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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 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.
|Publisher:||Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.70(d)|
About 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.
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
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.