The Ionian Mission (Aubrey-Maturin Series #8)

The Ionian Mission (Aubrey-Maturin Series #8)

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by Patrick O'Brian, O'Brian
     
 

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"O'Brian is one author who can put a spark of character into the sawdust of time, and The Ionian Mission is another rattling good yarn." —Stephen Vaughan, The Observer
Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin, veterans now of many battles, return in this novel to the seas where they first sailed as shipmates. But Jack is now a senior captain commanding a

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Overview

"O'Brian is one author who can put a spark of character into the sawdust of time, and The Ionian Mission is another rattling good yarn." —Stephen Vaughan, The Observer
Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin, veterans now of many battles, return in this novel to the seas where they first sailed as shipmates. But Jack is now a senior captain commanding a line-of-battle ship in the Royal Navy's blockade of Toulon, and this is a longer, harder, colder war than the dashing frigate actions of his early days. A sudden turn of events takes him and Stephen off on a hazardous mission to the Greek Islands, where all his old skills of seamanship and his proverbial luck when fighting against odds come triumphantly into their own.

Editorial Reviews

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.”
The New Yorker
“They're funny, they're exciting, they're informative...There are legions of us who gladly ship out time and time again under Captain Aubrey.”
Mark Horowitz - Los Angeles Times Book Review
“O'Brian's books are as atypical of conventional sea stories as Conrad's. Like John LeCarré, he has erased the boundary separating a debased genre from 'serious' fiction. O'Brian is a novelist, pure and simple, one of the best we have.”
Christopher Hitchens - Slate
“I devoured Patrick O’Brian’s 20-volume masterpiece as if it had been so many tots of Jamaica grog.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This entry in the Aubrey/Maturin series (see above review of The Surgeon's Mate ) finds Captain Jack Aubrey ``shoved into a temporary command in that rotten old Worcester ,'' a poorly built ship. Worse, he's off to the Mediterranean to join the Royal Navy's endless blockade of the French port of Toulon. Aside from a chance encounter with a French man-of-war that triggers a brief but extremely colorful battle, there is little excitement as HMS Worcester settles in with the other blockading ships, some with crews showing signs of strain from remaining constantly alert but inactive. Second in command at Toulon is Admiral Harte, no friend of Aubrey's (who cuckolded the admiral years ago). Harte dispatches Aubrey on a delicate mission to the politically volatile Ionian coast. Although he has the succor of Stephen Maturin, a seasoned intelligence agent, and Professor Graham, an expert on the region's customs, Aubrey is caught in a complex net of Turkish politics and rivalries. And while Harte seems to offer all reasonable backing for the mission, Aubrey knows that should he fail, the admiral would like nothing better than to throw him to the dogs. (Jan.)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393308211
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
01/28/1992
Series:
Aubrey-Maturin Series, #8
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
94,242
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.80(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.

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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 Ionian Mission 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Start at the begining of the series and follow the development of the characters and the story.
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