The Far Side of the World (Aubrey-Maturin Series #10)

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Overview

The inspiration for the major new motion picture starring Russell Crowe.
The war of 1812 continues, and Jack Aubrey sets course for Cape Horn on a mission after his own heart: intercepting a powerful American frigate outward bound to play havoc with the British whaling trade. Stephen Maturin has fish of his own to fry in the world of secret intelligence. Disaster in various guises awaits them in the Great ...

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The Far Side of the World (Aubrey-Maturin Series #10)

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Overview

The inspiration for the major new motion picture starring Russell Crowe.
The war of 1812 continues, and Jack Aubrey sets course for Cape Horn on a mission after his own heart: intercepting a powerful American frigate outward bound to play havoc with the British whaling trade. Stephen Maturin has fish of his own to fry in the world of secret intelligence. Disaster in various guises awaits them in the Great South Sea and in the far reaches of the Pacific: typhoons, castaways, shipwrecks, murder, and criminal insanity.

The War of 1812 continues, and Jack Aubrey sets course for Cape Horn on a mission after his own heart: intercepting a powerful American frigate outward bound to play havoc with the British whaling trade. Little do he and Maturin know that disaster awaits them in the Great South Sea: typhoons, shipwrecks, murder, and criminal insanity.

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Editorial Reviews

A. S. Byatt
“Gripping and vivid… a whole, solidly living world for the imagination to inhabit.”
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 Bayley - New York Review of Books
“A world of enchanting fictional surfaces.”
Thomas Flanagan - New York Times Book Review
“These eccentric, improbably novels seem to have been written by Patrick O'Brian to please himself in the first instance, and thereafter to please those readers who may share his delight in precision of language, odd lands and colors, a humane respect for such old-fashioned sentiments as friendship and honor. Like Aubrey and Maturin playing Mozart duets beneath a Pacific moon, he works elegant variations on the tradition of the seafaring adventure story.”
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 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
New York Times Book Review
These eccentric, improbably novels seem to have been written by Patrick O'Brian to please himself in the first instance, and thereafter to please those readers who may share his delight in precision of language, odd lands and colors, a humane respect for such old-fashioned sentiments as friendship and honor. Like Aubrey and Maturin playing Mozart duets beneath a Pacific moon, he works elegant variations on the tradition of the seafaring adventure story.— Thomas Flanagan
New York Review of Books
A world of enchanting fictional surfaces.— John Bayley
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393308624
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/28/1992
  • Series: Aubrey-Maturin Series , #10
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 113,173
  • Product dimensions: 8.14 (w) x 10.88 (h) x 0.76 (d)

Meet the Author

Patrick O'Brian

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.

Biography

In addition to the twenty volumes of the highly-respected Aubrey/Maturin series, Patrick O'Brian's many novels include Testimonies, The Golden Ocean, and The Unknown Shore. O'Brian has also written acclaimed biographies of Pablo Picasso and Sir Joseph Banks and has translated many works from the French, among them the novels and memoirs of Simone de Beauvoir and Jean Lacouture's biography of Charles de Gaulle. Born in 1914, he passed away in January 2000.

Patrick O'Brian was one of the great authors of the twentieth century, whose novels were often compared by critics to the work of Jane Austen and even Homer. A writer of breathtaking erudition, Mr. O'Brian evoked in complete and dazzling detail an entire world -- that of the British Navy during the Napoleonic Wars. In addition to formidable scholarship, Mr. O'Brian brought to his work keen psychological insights, a sharp wit, and fast-paced, heart-stopping action.

In a cover story in The New York Times Book Review published on January 6, 1991, nine years to the day before Mr. O'Brian's death, Richard Snow wrote that Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin naval adventure novels are "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." In a Washington Post article published August 2, 1992, Ken Ringle wrote, "The Aubrey/Maturin series far beyond any episodic chronicle, ebbs and flows with the timeless tide of character and the human heart."

W.W. Norton & Company began publishing Patrick O'Brian's books in 1990. The previous year, Norton's editor-in-chief, Starling Lawrence, had read The Reverse of the Medal on a trans-Atlantic flight, fallen hard for the series, and had become convinced that Norton ought to publish Mr. O'Brian's works in the U.S. Norton decided to publish each new book in hardcover as it was completed and to bring out the earlier books in the series in paperback until they had caught up. The first season, Norton published The Letter of Marque (# 12) in hardcover and Master and Commander (# 1) and Post Captain (# 2) in paperback. Most recently, Norton published Blue at the Mizzen (# 20) in hardcover in 1999 and in paperback in 2000. At present, Norton has all of the books in the series available in uniform hardcover and paperback editions.

In addition to the twenty books in the Aubrey/Maturin series, Norton has published a short story collection (The Rendezvous and Other Stories) and three of Mr. O'Brian's other novels: Testimonies, The Golden Ocean, and The Unknown Shore. O'Brian has also written acclaimed biographies of Pablo Picasso and Sir Joseph Banks and has translated many works from the French, among them the novels and memoirs of Simone de Beauvoir and Jean Lacouture's biography of Charles de Gaulle. In April of 2000, Norton published Caesar: The Life Story of a Panda-Leopard, his very first book, begun when he was just twelve, and Hussein: An Entertainment, written when he was about twenty years old. Both of these books had long been out of print.

Starting in the early 1990s, Mr. O'Brian achieved, at long last, the critical and popular recognition that was his due. All of his new books published since 1993 have appeared on national bestseller charts, and his books have sold well over three million copies in the U.S. alone.

Mr. O'Brian once said, "Obviously, I have lived very much out of the world: I know little of present-day Dublin or London or Paris, even less of post-modernity, post-structuralism, hard rock or rap, and I cannot write with much conviction about the contemporary scene." [Patrick O'Brian: Critical Essays and a Bibliography, edited by Arthur Cunningham]. In fact, Mr. O'Brian often seemed to have walked out of another era, and in his interactions with his publisher, he displayed a level of courtesy and civility rarely seen in our times.

Author biography courtesy of W.W. Norton & Company.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Richard Patrick Russ
    1. Date of Birth:
      December 12, 1914
    2. Place of Birth:
      Chalfont St. Peter, Buckinghamshire
    1. Date of Death:
      January 2, 2000
    2. Place of Death:
      Dublin, Ireland

Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 17 )
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(10)

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Sort by: Showing all of 19 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 10, 2014

    One of the best volumes in this series!

    Really liked this installment of the series. Lots of adventure and plot twists-hard to put down. This is the book (sort of)that the movie of the same name was based on, but there were few similarities other than the most general plot line. Having seen the movie will not provide many,if any, spoilers for this book.

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  • Posted December 20, 2013

    All Time Favotite Series!

    There is so much in this series - make sure you start at the beginning with Master & Commander.

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  • Posted September 9, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    well read; rousing, rollicking, tale

    This adventure, the ninth in the series, is a rollicking tale of sail and sea, by the late Patrick O'Brian; read by Mr. Piggott-Smith; Ronald Merrick of Jewel in the Crown, and features a fine reading. Mr. Piggott-Smith's rousing rendition with various voices show his abilities as an actor. The story isn't bad either. Also recommended Master and Commander and The Commodore.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2006

    A well read ripping adventure of sea, ships, and men.

    This abridged audio version of The Far Side Of The World, from the rousing Aubrey-Maturin series of books, by the late Patrick O'Brian, features a ripping adventure of ships and sea. Mr. Tim Piggott-Smith (best known for portraying that right b-----d Ronald Merrick, in the Jewel In The Crown, and well played was that role too, by Mr. Piggott-Smith, gives a wonderful reading, employing his many talents as an actor, with the various voices (including an American? one) to bring the adventure to life. The story surrounds the adventures of Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin on the Surprise, one of her majesty's ships. Beyond that, you'll have to listen, sorry. I also recommend The Commodore and Master and Commander (not necessarily the 'Crowe' version). I might caution the listener/reader to pick up a copy of 'A Sea Of Words' in the latest addition, as the nautical terms might throw one for a 'loop', as they are almost a language in themselves. It doesn't diminish this fine seafaring adventure. For all of us 'landlubbers' who fancy themselves (in our minds) seamen.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2006

    Sea story for those who already hold its genre dear

    Jack Aubrey, captain of HMS Surprise, sets off to intercept an American vessel that's been assigned to harass British shipping and whaling in the Pacific. From the viewpoint of an Englishman in Nelson's time, he's literally been sent to the far side of the world. There are 20 novels about Captain Aubrey and his close friend, ship's surgeon Stephen Maturin. Despite my long-standing affection for this genre (C.S. Forester and Alexander Kent are old friends), I've frankly avoided the Aubrey-Maturin series because I didn't want to find myself chasing down all of its volumes. I picked this book up remaindered, after seeing the recent film. My reaction to O'Brian's original tale won't be colored here (I hope) by my enjoyment of the movie, because the two stories simply are not one and the same. This novel wouldn't have made an audience-pleasing screenplay without drastic changes, and I can only applaud the film's writers for the transformation they worked. But, with that said... THE FAR SIDE OF THE WORLD is a sea story for those who already hold its genre dear. More time than I as a newcomer to the series needed was spent 'catching up' on the characters' past lives, but I could see why O'Brian thought it necessary to offer the information. The book's pace is leisurely, and the author seems far more interested in characterization and historical detail than in rousing action sequences. This works beautifully as far as it goes - I read immersed in the time and place, and I came to know Jack Aubrey quite well in the relatively brief space of this one book. Yet when I came to the ending, and witnessed what could have been a visceral conflict from a bystander's viewpoint - and had to put up with being told what had just happened, instead of being allowed to see and feel it with one of the participants - I closed the book feeling let down. No, I'm not hooked on this series as a result of having read THE FAR SIDE OF THE WORLD. But neither am I so disappointed that I won't be willing to sample it again, if a similar opportunity presents itself.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2005

    This is one of the greatest books I have ever read

    I love this book. I think that is the reason why it taking me a very long time to read it. I am suprise that my favorite scene from the movie appears in the third chapter. I expected it to be much later than that. Here is something else that surprises me. There are women board the ship in the book, but not in the movie. That is so weird.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 24, 2003

    BORING

    If your looking for an action book go some where else

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2002

    RUSSELL CROWE as Jack

    I haven't read the book.. I can't find it anywhere but here,,, but I have to wait awhile.. But I hope mates my man can fufill the book as you guys have read..

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2002

    movie tie-in

    some of you may be coming here hearing about the new movie version of o'brien's books that stars russell crowe and is directed by peter weir. this book only provides the broad background for the plot of the movie. if you really want to learn about jack aubrey, read the first in the series, master and commander, and the second, post-capitan. those tell you everything you need to know about these two fascinating characters. this one doesn't. once you make it here, you'll love it!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2000

    New suprises for Aubrey - Maturin fans

    Obviously, if you are looking at this book, you have made it through the first nine books of the Aubrey - Maturin series by Patrick O'Brian. If you are like me, you are hooked. This book, 'The Far Side of the World' has some new twists. It takes you to new areas of the ocean and you will have the opportunity to learn about the whale trade as it was in those days. The book does leave you hanging just a bit at the end, I suggest having book eleven ready to read immediatelly after you are done with this one.

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    Posted April 29, 2013

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