The Wine-Dark Sea (Aubrey-Maturin Series #16) [NOOK Book]

Overview

The sixteenth volume in the Aubrey/Maturin series, and Patrick O'Brian's first bestseller in the United States.

At the outset of this adventure filled with disaster and delight, Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin pursue an American privateer through the Great South Sea. The strange color of the ocean reminds Stephen of Homer's famous description, and portends an underwater volcanic eruption that will create a new island overnight and leave an ...

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The Wine-Dark Sea (Aubrey-Maturin Series #16)

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Overview

The sixteenth volume in the Aubrey/Maturin series, and Patrick O'Brian's first bestseller in the United States.

At the outset of this adventure filled with disaster and delight, Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin pursue an American privateer through the Great South Sea. The strange color of the ocean reminds Stephen of Homer's famous description, and portends an underwater volcanic eruption that will create a new island overnight and leave an indelible impression on the reader's imagination.


Their ship, the Surprise, is now also a privateer, the better to escape diplomatic complications from Stephen's mission, which is to ignite the revolutionary tinder of South America. Jack will survive a desperate open boat journey and come face to face with his illegitimate black son; Stephen, caught up in the aftermath of his failed coup, will flee for his life into the high, frozen wastes of the Andes; and Patrick O'Brian's brilliantly detailed narrative will reunite them at last in a breathtaking chase through stormy seas and icebergs south of Cape Horn, where the hunters suddenly become the hunted.

1st American ed.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Though the Jack Aubrey-Stephen Maturin books can be profitably read separately, as fans know, together they read as one long, wonderful novel. This 16th installment (following The Truelove ) is no doubt the best chapter yet. In the early 1800s, Bluff Jack, captain of the privateer Surprise , steers his frigate across the Pacific to South America, around Cape Horn and into the Atlantic, taking French and American prizes, fighting off a Yankee Man of War and suffering dire eye and leg wounds for his trouble. Subtle Stephen, ship's doctor and British intelligence agent, almost pulls off a coup in Peru and must escape across the Andes, losing some toes to frostbite for his efforts. Favorite characters reappear here: Killick, Jack's crabby steward; Sarah and Emily Sweeting, precocious Melanesian waifs attached to Maturin's sick-berth; Sam, Jack's illegitimate black son and rising Churchman. The naval actions are bang-on and bang-up--fast, furious and bloody--and the Andean milieu is as vivid as the shipboard scenes. As usual, readers can revel in the symbiotic friendship of Jack and Stephen, who make for a marvelous duo, whether in their violin and cello duets or in their sharp dialogue. If O'Brian hasn't quite had a break-out book yet, then this deserves to be it. 40,000 first printing; $50,000 ad/promo; author tour. (Nov.)
Library Journal
On the high seas in the early years of the 19th century, when full-rigged sailing ships carried cargoes of treasure and slaves and privateers were a continual threat, surgeon-spy Stephen Maturin and his good friend Capt. Jack Aubrey have set sail for South America. Their ship is a privateer with a crew more than ready to board and capture anything in their path. This 16th entry in O'Brian's long-running saga opens as the two men and their crew encounter a volcanic eruption and continues as Maturin, engaged in diplomatic scheming, heads for Peru, where he finds an exotic array of birds and animals as well as opportunities for espionage. Readers already familiar with the series will enthusiastically welcome this new chapter; others may find the references to earlier adventures and distant characters confusing. The plot groans under detailed descriptions of everything from managing the sails to galley-table etiquette. Recommended for libraries holding O'Brian's earlier works. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 5/15/93.-- Elsa Pendleton, Boeing Computer Support Svces., Ridgecrest, Cal.
Gilbert Taylor
Slicing through the swells of the South Seas, HMS "Surprise" heads for the Peruvian coast on a general-purpose patrol. It's wartime circa 1812, so Captain Aubrey captures en route an American ship and its French master before discharging his main mission: depositing pal and secret agent Dr. Maturin ashore so he can foment revolution against the Spanish. Thickly annealed to this basic action, layer after layer, is talk--stilted talk about swabbing decks; Rousseau; anatomy and medicine; minuets and quartets; the quality of wines--all intended to evoke shipboard life in the days of sail. "Moby Dick" this ain't, but O'Brian's not aiming for the ages: he strikes for readers hungering after nautical minutiae, which he has served up in nearly two dozen tales of sea salts, many starring the Aubrey/Maturin duo. O'Brian appeals to those who buy into his maritime formulas--and the publisher banks on 40,000 doing so this time.
Kirkus Reviews
Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin—the amiable, music-loving heroes of O'Brian's wonderful sail-powered series (The Truelove, The Letter of Marque, The Far Side of the World, et al.)—follow orders into the midst of revolutionary South American politics. His Majesty's government has become interested in Peru, where the Spanish vicegerency is tottering and the beastly French seek greater influence. Who better to send to see that, when the old order falls, the new government is Anglophilic than that extremely clever half-Spanish ship's surgeon and spy Stephen Maturin? Maturin, concert-quality cellist, and Captain Jack Aubrey, the best violinist ever to command a man-o'-war, have successfully concluded their business in the South Pacific and are on board Surprise, a privateer. Licensed to steal anything they find in the way of enemy shipping, the duo make it a profitable crossing, taking their biggest haul from the Yankee ship Franklin, which carries, in addition to tons of loot, one Monsieur Dutourd, who says he's just another string-player and utopian disciple of Rousseau but who seems entirely too interested in Peruvian politics. Dutourd presents a problem in that he and Maturin have crossed paths in Paris, and if they land in Lima together, Maturin's identity as a British spy may become known. Along with fretting about Dutourd, Dr. Maturin is concerned about his assistant and fellow naturalist the Rev. Mr. Martin, whose belief that lust in one's heart can result in venereal disease has brought him to death's door. When the sailors at last reach the shores of Peru, Dutourd escapes and Maturin's mission, complicated enough by the various revolutionary factions, becomes a realhair-raiser involving an arduous transit of the Andes, where he is spit on by llamas and sees the great condors. Literate, leisurely, and as charming as the rest of the series. The illustrated guide to sails and masts is worth the price by itself. (First printing of 40,000)
Time
“lf Jane Austen had written rousing sea yarns, she would have produced something very close to the prose of Patrick O'Brian.”
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
Chicago Tribune
“Addictively readable.”
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
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.”
New Republic
Patrick O’Brian is unquestionably the Homer of the Napoleonic wars.
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
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.”
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.”
From Barnes & Noble
At the outset of an adventure filled with disaster and delight, Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin are pursuing a prize through the Great South Sea, where the strange color of the ocean waters (reminding them of Homer's famous description) is a portent of violence. Patrick O'Brian's brilliantly detailed narrative reunites them in a breathtaking chase through stormy seas and icebergs south of Cape Horn, where the hunters suddenly become the hunted. "The pleasures of Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin novels defy enumeration...These are books that offer the reader both sensual and intellectual enjoyment, the pleasures of immensely stylish writing as well as the pleasures of engagement with an author who is moralist, naturalist, and naval historian into the bargain."-- Washington Post.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393063691
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/5/2011
  • Series: Aubrey-Maturin Series , #16
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 61,068
  • File size: 2 MB

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
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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2007

    A reviewer

    Patrick O'Brian's 16th book continues his tales of napoleonic society and naval engagements following Aubrey and Maturin, one of the greatest duos of British literature. He is one of the few authors that can weave fiction, historical accuracy and adventure together and create literary masterpieces. This book follows Aubrey 'now a distinguished British naval captain' sailing the Pacific Ocean praying on American whalers and merchant vessels. Add a story of espionage and an explosive revolution and the result is a riveting tale that captures the readers imagination while giving them an accurate account of actual naval life. My one criticism is that O'Brian tends to burden the reader with many over- analyzed characters. Other than this I think most readers will enjoy this napoleonic adventure.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2013

    Sam

    Did u know that 7th day adventists believe that wine in the bible accually means grape juice?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2013

    Faty

    A nice merot is tasty

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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