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H.M.S. Surprise (1973)

by Patrick O'Brian

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Aubrey-Maturin (3)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
3,778582,554 (4.29)1 / 89
Set among the strange sights and smells of the Indian subcontintent and the waters nearby, Aubrey is on the defensive, pitting wits and seamanship against an enemy enjoying overwhelming local superiority. But somewhere in the Indian Ocean lies the prize that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams: the ships sent by Napoleon to attack the China Fleet.… (more)

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English (53)  Spanish (3)  Swedish (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (58)
Showing 1-5 of 53 (next | show all)
I always enjoy a good sea adventure, and O'Brian delivers. The sense of time and place, the characters development, the bits of history mixed in, make these books a joy to read. I'm sorry to not give more time to the review, but there are lots of lovely reviews on this book, so this one is for my memory.
Jack and Stephen are hard put to it to succeed in their romances. Time spent in India and of course some rousing sea battles made this one a nice read. ( )
  MrsLee | Sep 20, 2021 |
The third book from Aubrey-Maturin series and it is as exciting as the earlier 2 I read. I have more understanding of 18th century naval jargon now having read the earlier two and so this was an easier read.

HMS Surprise starts from where [b:Post Captain|17768|Post Captain (Aubrey/Maturin, #2)|Patrick O'Brian|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1375475591s/17768.jpg|1200321] ended. The start is bit slow since they on land and then catches pace. There is then the daring rescue of Maturin followed by Aubrey getting command of HMS Surprise and their voyage to India. Aubrey-Maturin continue their adventures in Bombay and Indian ocean.

The book touches many of the political issues of 18th century that are still are unresolved like the independence of Catalonia. This book is great a read and I will start [b:The Mauritius Command|77431|The Mauritius Command|Patrick O'Brian|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1455373531s/77431.jpg|2393986] in 2018. ( )
  nitins | Jul 28, 2021 |
It has been quite a while since I read "Post Captain", the book before this one, and I found it took me a while to get back into the world of Jack Aubrey & Stephen Maturin. The beginning is very exciting but that story line faded out, which I found a little disappointing. As expected, there were plenty of adventures at sea - storms & battles & Maturin's side trips investigating the local fauna - but rather more about both Jack & Stephen's romantic life than I had expected.

Simon Vance does an excellent narration. ( )
  leslie.98 | Mar 16, 2021 |
A bit of a disappointment after the second book - some excitement at the beginning and towards the end, with a long streak of nothing in the middle. Probably closer to 3.5 stars, but I'll round up as Aubrey and Maturin are as charming as ever. ( )
  skolastic | Feb 2, 2021 |
Unabridged audiobook read by Ric Jerrom:
Jerrom is a skilled reader and helps to bring the story to life.

Note that there are separate audiobooks read by Patrick Tull. I recommend Ric Jerrom over Patrick Tull as a reader.

Simon Vance is another reader option but I haven't heard his version.
  rakerman | Nov 25, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 53 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Patrick O'Brianprimary authorall editionscalculated
Heston, CharltonContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hunt, GeoffCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jerrom, RicNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lee, JohnNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Merla, PaolaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Oca, Aleida Lama Montes deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thorne, StephenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tull, PatrickNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vance, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wannenmacher, JuttaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wiberg, CarlaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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[ = I present and dedicate [this book] to Mary, the commander and mistress of our yacht]
First words
'But I put it to you, my lord, that prize-money is of essential importance to the Navy.'

Chapter one.
The trouble with writing about Patrick O'Brian's books is that they are so engrossing.

Arms and the man, by Charlton Heston.
'Jack, you have debauched my sloth.'
"[Dr. Maturin] speaks languages like a walking Tower of Babel, all except ours. Dear Lord,' he said, laughing heartily, 'to this day I don't believe he knows the odds between port and starboard....' p. 40
... [M]ost of the frigate's people felt both past and future blur, dwindling almost into insignificance: an impression all the stronger since the Surprise was once more in a lonely sea, two thousand miles of dark blue water with never an island to break its perfect round: not the faintest smell of land even on the strongest breeze -- the ship was a world self-contained, swimming between two perpetually renewed horizons. Stronger still, because in these waters there was no eager impatience to see over the eastward rim: they sailed with no relation to an enemy, nor to any potential prize. The Dutch were bottled up; the French had disappeared; the Portuguese were friends. [223]
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Set among the strange sights and smells of the Indian subcontintent and the waters nearby, Aubrey is on the defensive, pitting wits and seamanship against an enemy enjoying overwhelming local superiority. But somewhere in the Indian Ocean lies the prize that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams: the ships sent by Napoleon to attack the China Fleet.

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Average: (4.29)
1 1
1.5 1
2 8
2.5 3
3 76
3.5 29
4 287
4.5 48
5 319

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W.W. Norton

2 editions of this book were published by W.W. Norton.

Editions: 0393307611, 0393037037

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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