The Commodore (Aubrey-Maturin Series #17)

The Commodore (Aubrey-Maturin Series #17)

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by Patrick O'Brian, O'Brian
     
 

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The seventeenth novel in the best-selling Aubrey/Maturin series of naval tales, which the New York Times Book Review has described as "the best historical novels ever written."
Having survived a long and desperate adventure in the Great South Sea, Captain Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin return to England to very different circumstances. For Jack it is a happy

Overview

The seventeenth novel in the best-selling Aubrey/Maturin series of naval tales, which the New York Times Book Review has described as "the best historical novels ever written."
Having survived a long and desperate adventure in the Great South Sea, Captain Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin return to England to very different circumstances. For Jack it is a happy homecoming, at least initially, but for Stephen it is disastrous: his little daughter appears to be autistic, incapable of speech or contact, while his wife, Diana, unable to bear this situation, has disappeared, her house being looked after by the widowed Clarissa Oakes.
Much of The Commodore takes place on land, in sitting rooms and in drafty castles, but the roar of the great guns is never far from our hearing. Aubrey and Maturin are sent on a bizarre decoy mission to the fever-ridden lagoons of the Gulf of Guinea to suppress the slave trade. But their ultimate destination is Ireland, where the French are mounting an invasion that will test Aubrey's seamanship and Maturin's resourcefulness as a secret intelligence agent.
The subtle interweaving of these disparate themes is an achievement of pure storytelling by one of our greatest living novelists.

Editorial Reviews

A. S. Byatt
“Gripping and vivid… a whole, solidly living world for the imagination to inhabit.”
New York Times
[O’Brian’s] Aubrey-Maturin series, 20 novels of the Royal Navy in the Napoleonic Wars, is a masterpiece. It will outlive most of today’s putative literary gems as Sherlock Holmes has outlived Bulwer-Lytton, as Mark Twain has outlived Charles Reade.— David Mamet
Washington Post
The Aubrey-Maturin series… far beyond any episodic chronicle, ebbs and flows with the timeless tide of character and the human heart.— Ken Ringle
Chicago Sun-Times
There is not a writer alive whose work I value over his.— Stephen Becker
New Republic
Patrick O’Brian is unquestionably the Homer of the Napoleonic wars.
New York Times Book Review
The best historical novels ever written… On every page Mr. O’Brian reminds us with subtle artistry of the most important of all historical lessons: that times change but people don’t, that the griefs and follies and victories of the men and women who were here before us are in fact the maps of our own lives.— Richard Snow
Slate
I devoured Patrick O’Brian’s 20-volume masterpiece as if it had been so many tots of Jamaica grog.— Christopher Hitchens
George Will
“O’Brian’s Aubrey-Maturin volumes actually constitute a single 6,443-page novel, one that should have been on those lists of the greatest novels of the 20th century.”
Richard Snow - New York Times Book Review
“The best historical novels ever written… On every page Mr. O’Brian reminds us with subtle artistry of the most important of all historical lessons: that times change but people don’t, that the griefs and follies and victories of the men and women who were here before us are in fact the maps of our own lives.”
John Ferguson - Boston Sunday Globe
“The Commodore is so satisfying...because it is crowded with so many different kinds of pleasures. O'Brian's genius is in his ability to arrange all this material upon the well-constructed frame of an adventure plot....A lyric poet working in the epic form.”
Christopher Hitchens - Slate
“I devoured Patrick O’Brian’s 20-volume masterpiece as if it had been so many tots of Jamaica grog.”
James Hamilton-Paterson - New Republic
“Patrick O’Brian is unquestionably the Homer of the Napoleonic wars.”
Keith Richards
“I fell in love with his writing straightaway, at first with Master and Commander. It wasn’t primarily the Nelson and Napoleonic period, more the human relationships. …And of course having characters isolated in the middle of the goddamn sea gives more scope. …It’s about friendship, camaraderie. Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin always remind me a bit of Mick and me.”
Tamar Lewin - New York Times
“It has been something of a shock to find myself—an inveterate reader of girl books—obsessed with Patrick O’Brian’s Napoleonic-era historical novels… What keeps me hooked are the evolving relationships between Jack and Stephen and the women they love.”
David Mamet - New York Times
“[O’Brian’s] Aubrey-Maturin series, 20 novels of the Royal Navy in the Napoleonic Wars, is a masterpiece. It will outlive most of today’s putative literary gems as Sherlock Holmes has outlived Bulwer-Lytton, as Mark Twain has outlived Charles Reade.”
Ken Ringle - Washington Post
“The Aubrey-Maturin series… far beyond any episodic chronicle, ebbs and flows with the timeless tide of character and the human heart.”
Stephen Becker - Chicago Sun-Times
“There is not a writer alive whose work I value over his.”
E. O. Wilson - Boston Globe
“I haven’t read novels [in the past ten years] except for all of the Patrick O’Brian series. It was, unfortunately, like tripping on heroin. I started on those books and couldn’t stop.”
Boston Sunday Globe
The Commodore is so satisfying...because it is crowded with so many different kinds of pleasures. O'Brian's genius is in his ability to arrange all this material upon the well-constructed frame of an adventure plot....A lyric poet working in the epic form.— John Ferguson
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This 17th installment in O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin series of historical naval tales spent two weeks on PW's bestseller list. (Apr.)
The Washington Post
The pleasures of O'Brian's novels defy enumeration.
Boston Globe
I haven’t read novels [in the past ten years] except for all of the Patrick O’Brian series. It was, unfortunately, like tripping on heroin. I started on those books and couldn’t stop.— E. O. Wilson
The New York Times
It is the exquisite, small details of daily life, whether ashore or at sea, that keep drawing us back to Mr. O'Brian's salty tales.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393314595
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
04/17/1996
Series:
Aubrey-Maturin Series, #17
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
153,931
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.70(d)

What People are saying about this

Keith Richards
I fell in love with his writing straightaway, at first with Master and Commander. It wasn’t primarily the Nelson and Napoleonic period, more the human relationships. …And of course having characters isolated in the middle of the goddamn sea gives more scope. …It’s about friendship, camaraderie. Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin always remind me a bit of Mick and me.

Meet the Author

Patrick O'Brian's acclaimed Aubrey/Maturin series of historical novels has been described as "a masterpiece" (David Mamet, New York Times), "addictively readable" (Patrick T. Reardon, Chicago Tribune), and "the best historical novels ever written" (Richard Snow, New York Times Book Review), which "should have been on those lists of the greatest novels of the 20th century" (George Will).Set in the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars, O'Brian's twenty-volume series centers on the enduring friendship between naval officer Jack Aubrey and physician (and spy) Stephen Maturin. The Far Side of the World, the tenth book in the series, was adapted into a 2003 film directed by Peter Weir and starring Russell Crowe and Paul Bettany. The film was nominated for ten Oscars, including Best Picture. The books are now available in hardcover, paperback, and e-book format.In addition to the Aubrey/Maturin novels, Patrick O'Brian wrote several books including the novels Testimonies, The Golden Ocean, and The Unknown Shore, as well as biographies of Joseph Banks and Picasso. He translated many works from French into English, among them the novels and memoirs of Simone de Beauvoir, the first volume of Jean Lacouture's biography of Charles de Gaulle, and famed fugitive Henri Cherrière's memoir Papillon. O'Brian died in January 2000.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
December 12, 1914
Date of Death:
January 2, 2000
Place of Birth:
Chalfont St. Peter, Buckinghamshire
Place of Death:
Dublin, Ireland
Education:
Shebbear College, Devon
Website:
http://www.wwnorton.com/pob/pobhome.htm

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The Commodore 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you loved Aubrey-Maturin 1-16, you will love this one also. It continues the career paths of the men, and like the others, instead of being an action historical matter it delves deeply into the characters themselves and the times, and develops many side stories that make the entire series the most enjoyable fiction series I have ever read.
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