The Golden Ocean

The Golden Ocean

3.3 3
by Patrick O'Brian
     
 

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The first novel Patrick O'Brian ever wrote about the sea, a precursor to the acclaimed Aubrey/Maturin series.
In the year 1740, Commodore (later Admiral) George Anson embarked on a voyage that would become one of the most famous exploits in British naval history. Sailing through poorly charted waters, Anson and his men encountered disaster, disease, and

Overview

The first novel Patrick O'Brian ever wrote about the sea, a precursor to the acclaimed Aubrey/Maturin series.
In the year 1740, Commodore (later Admiral) George Anson embarked on a voyage that would become one of the most famous exploits in British naval history. Sailing through poorly charted waters, Anson and his men encountered disaster, disease, and astonishing success. They circumnavigated the globe and seized a nearly incalcuable sum of Spanish gold and silver, but only one of the five ships survived.
This is the background to the first novel Patrick O'Brian ever wrote about the sea, a precursor to the acclaimed Aubrey/Maturin series that shares the excitement and rich humor of those books. The protagonist is Peter Palafox, son of a poor Irish parson, who signs on as a midshipman, never before having seen a ship. Together with his lifelong friend Sean, Peter sets out to seek his fortune, embarking upon a journey of danger, disappointment, foreign lands, and excitement.
Here is a tale certain to please not only admirers of O'Brian's work but also any reader with an adventurous soul.

Editorial Reviews

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
Los Angeles Times
[A] rousing novelistic retelling of a particularly colorful chapter in the history of the imperialist wars of the mid-18th century....Robust and exhilarating....[The] power [of the sea] as a kind of fate is rendered with the Conradian force that shows where O'Brian was headed as a narrative writer.— Tom Clark
New York Times Book Review
Both aficionados and newcomers will be swept up by the richness of Mr. O'Brian's prodigious imagination.— Scott Veale
Scott Veale - New York Times Book Review
“Both aficionados and newcomers will be swept up by the richness of Mr. O'Brian's prodigious imagination.”
Tom Clark - Los Angeles Times
“[A] rousing novelistic retelling of a particularly colorful chapter in the history of the imperialist wars of the mid-18th century....Robust and exhilarating....[The] power [of the sea] as a kind of fate is rendered with the Conradian force that shows where O'Brian was headed as a narrative writer.”
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.”
Patrick O'Brian on the writing of The Golden Ocean
“In the present case the names were provided for me, together with the whole sequence of events, just as they were for Homer, Virgil, and many others....I was fortunate enough to have great material, and I wrote the book in about six weeks (or was it less?), laughing most of the time.”
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Originally published in 1956, this is O'Brian's first novel of the sea. But it is more than just a curiosity from the author of the 16 wonderful Aubrey/Maturin books, most recently The Wine-Dark Sea ; it can stand on its own as an entertaining and psychologically astute narrative. Based on British Commodore George Anson's four-year circumnavigation that began in 1740, the book focuses on young midshipman Peter Palafox. A younger son of a poor Irish parson, Peter is sweet-natured, impetuous and innocent (though well educated: he knows English, Irish, Latin and Greek). Much of the narrative follows his evolution into a capable seaman with a talent for leadership and--after the capture of large sums of Spanish gold and silver--into a rich man. This early work has practically all the naval lore and sense of place that grace the Aubrey/Maturin books; the scenes in China are particular standouts. Shipboard life rings true, the story never flags and humor abounds: ``Well, he is a wonderful poacher for a Protestant,'' observes one Anglo-Irishman. O'Brian says he wrote the book in about six weeks, ``laughing most of the time,'' and one believes him. Though the splendid characters of Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin are absent, fans will gladly use this story to fill the time til the next episode of their adventures. (Apr.)
Library Journal
Although this 1956 title preceded O'Brian's popular Aubrey/Maturin series, it set the course they later followed. The Golden Ocean relates the adventures--or misadventures--of Peter Palafox, a tenderfoot landlubber who signs on-board a deep water bark without ever having seen a ship. A humorous adventure for all collections.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393315370
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
10/28/1996
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
285
Sales rank:
559,926
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.70(d)

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 Golden Ocean 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought this was a wonderful book! It's beautifully written, with wonderful characters and levity. I love books that can make me laugh out loud, and this one succeeded. I think the details make the story richer - but this type of writing is rare nowadays so I can understand people getting frustrated with it. It stayed with me after I had finished reading it :) Very enjoyable.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the book but it was missing a critical storyline. The plot was too muddied with dry details. Plenty of characters and great jokes but lacking unity. During my reading I could easily put the book down and when I started again I had a tough time putting the plot together. I may read it a second time and see if I can make more sense of it because it is well written. I just feel there is no central conflict or specific theme. May be that is art of this story.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book has good intentions but when all is said and done it is far too much conversation between sailors and not enough adventure. I know the author knew his stuff but you do not get to know it because of all the useless detail.