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Author O'Brian's Book Reviews

H.M.S. Surprise
The third Aubrey/Maturin book opens in the fall of 1804. Jack has survived another court martial and is given command of the "Surprise." Stephen has been captured by the Spanish and is being held and tortured on Minorca, so Jack and his junior officers effect a daring rescue. Most of the book is taken up by an 1805 voyage across the Indian Ocean to the East Indies on an abortive trip to deliver an ambassador to Malaya. Stephen escapes death a second time...
Master and Commander (Thriller/Action)
The first in a series by Patrick O'brian following the exploits of Captain Jack Aubrey of the British Royal Navy and his good friend Dr. Stephen Maturin, naval surgeon and spy. Set during the Napoleonic wars the book takes place mostly on the open ocean, and is rich in historical detail. Their is much technical jargon regarding the operating of the ship, but this is supplemented by the varied characters and their developed interaction. Their are inten...
Master and Commander (Literature)
This 1970 novel introduced the pair of British characters whose early 19th century adventures at sea would eventually run to a series of 20 books: Jack Aubrey, the naval ship commander and Stephen Maturin, the ship's surgeon. It is April 1800, and on the Mediterranean island of Minorca Aubrey receives his first command, the small sloop "Sophie." Maturin is a penniless Irish physician, well read and multi-lingual, with a considerable interest in naturali...
Post Captain
In the early spring of 1802, a peace treaty is signed between Britain and Napoleon. Jack Aubrey and several of his young officers, along with Stephen Maturin, are out of a job and retire in the south of England. It's pretty boring, save for a trio of sisters -- Sophia, Cecilia, and Frances Williams -- who live nearby with their insufferable mother, and a cousin named Diana Villiers, a young widow of 27. For a time it's horse riding and dances, but sudden...

O'Brian booklist

The Golden Ocean
Peter Palafox, the son of an Irish parson, secures a midshipman's berth on Commodore Anson's flagship Centurion, through the good offices of his father's friend Mr. Walters, the Centurion's chaplain. Together with Sean O'Mara, a laborer from the same parish, Peter meets Mr. FitzGerald, a young midshipman like himself departing on Commodore Anson's expedition. The three meet at a horse fair, where amusing mishaps cause the young men to travel most of the ...


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