"[The series shows] a joy in language that jumps from every page....You're in for a wonderful voyage."—Cutler Durkee, People
Shipwrecked on a remote island in the Dutch East Indies, Captain Aubrey, surgeon and secret intelligence agent Stephen Maturin, and the crew of the Diane fashion a schooner from the wreck. A vicious attack by Malay pirates is repulsed, but the makeshift vessel burns, and they are truly marooned. Their escape from this predicament is one that only the whimsy and ingenuity of Patrick O'Brian—or Stephen Maturin—could devise.
In command now of a new ship, the Nutmeg, Aubrey pursues his interrupted mission. The dreadful penal colony in New South Wales, harrowingly described, is the backdrop to a diplomatic crisis provoked by Maturin's Irish temper, and to a near-fatal encounter with the wildlife of the Australian outback.
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.
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.
A. S. Byatt
Gripping and vivid… a whole, solidly living world for the imagination to inhabit.
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.
The Nutmeg of Consolation 4.3 out of 5based on
tjsjohanna on LibraryThing
More than 1 year ago
Things that stood out for me in this novel included the descriptions of life in Botany Bay (penal colony in Australia) and the matter-of-factness of being shipwrecked. I have a romantic view of Australia - but Mr. O'Brian paints a dismal view of conditions there for prisoners. And it always amazes me that a shipwreck doesn't seem to phase Jack and his crew. They are always confident that things will work out. Mr O'Brian continues to amuse (but you have to read carefully to catch some of the jokes)!
jckeen on LibraryThing
More than 1 year ago
One of many in the Aubrey-Maturin Series. I chose The Nutmeg of Consolation simply because it is my favorite title in the series (what the heck does it mean anyway? You have to read the book before it to get it.)All of the books in the series are great. The first one, Master and Commander, is tough to get through--especially if you don't speak 18th Century British Navy. By the time you hit the second book, you get the hang of it. The jargon becomes second nature and you can focus on the beautiful story lines.
More than 1 year ago
This author gives it all: history, adventure, nature, complex characters, romance, great writing.
“This book has unusual insight into the human heart. Every scene is wonderfully immediate, real.
The reader is instantly drawn into this world, sensing a familiar territory where discoveries may yet be made.” Josephine HumphreysThis powerful narrative, winner of the ...
Bernard MacLaverty’s powerful novel is a love story as affecting and tragic as you could
want. USA TodayWhen it was first published, Bernard MacLaverty’s masterpiece was hailed by Michael Gorra in theNew York Times Book Reviewas a marvel of technical ...
These thrilling tales of high-seas adventure in the Napoleonic era, which Winston Churchill found vastly
entertaining and Ernest Hemingway recommended to every literate I know, are being eagerly embraced by a new generation of readers. Back Bay takes pleasure in ...
The second novel by the Man Booker Prize shortlisted author Madeleine Thien is beautiful, deeply
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