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Master and Commander (1969)

by Patrick O'Brian

Other authors: Max Hastings (Introduction)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
8,491198807 (3.98)1 / 447
This, the first in the series of Jack Aubrey novels, establishes the friendship between Captain Aubrey, R.N., and Stephen Maturin, ship's surgeon and intelligence agent, against the thrilling backdrop of the Napoleonic wars. Details of life aboard a man-of-war in Nelson's navy are faultlessly rendered: the conversational idiom of the officers in the ward room and the men on the lower deck, the flood, the floggings, the mysteries of the wind and the rigging, and the road of broadsides as the great ships close in battle.… (more)
  1. 50
    Cochrane: The Real Master and Commander by David Cordingly (DCBlack)
    DCBlack: Some plot elements in the Aubrey- Maturin series were taken from the career and exploits of Admiral Lord Cochrane.
  2. 40
    A Sea of Words: A Lexicon and Companion to the Complete Seafaring Tales of Patrick O'Brian by Dean King (SV1XV)
  3. 30
    Memoirs of a Fighting Captain by Thomas Cochrane, Earl of Dundonald (DCBlack)
    DCBlack: Some plot elements in the Aubrey- Maturin series were taken from the career and exploits of Admiral Lord Cochrane.
  4. 20
    Lobscouse and Spotted Dog by Anne Chotzinoff Grossman (fyrefly98)
    fyrefly98: A reference and cookbook for the various food items mentioned in the Aubrey/Maturin series.
  5. 20
    His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik (aqualectrix)
    aqualectrix: In the same style (complete with rigging descriptions) and time period, only with dragons instead of ships.
  6. 10
    Harbors and High Seas: An Atlas and Geographical Guide to the Aubrey-Maturin Novels of Patrick O'Brian by Dean King (SV1XV)
  7. 10
    Moby Dick by Herman Melville (caflores)
    caflores: Para amantes del lenguaje náutico y de las descripciones detalladas.
  8. 10
    The Trafalgar Companion: The Complete Guide to History's Most Famous Sea Battle and the Life of Admiral Lord Nelson by Mark Adkin (simon_carr)
  9. 00
    This Thing of Darkness by Harry Thompson (andejons)
  10. 00
    Ramage by Dudley Pope (Cecrow)
  11. 00
    The Man Who Saved Henry Morgan: A Novel by Robert Hough (ShelfMonkey)
  12. 00
    His Majesty's Ship by Alaric Bond (infiniteletters)
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» See also 447 mentions

English (186)  Spanish (5)  Dutch (3)  Norwegian (1)  French (1)  Swedish (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (198)
Showing 1-5 of 186 (next | show all)
8439588402
  archivomorero | Jun 27, 2022 |
A rollicking good read. The first book in the Aubrey Maturin series by Patrick O'Brian. If you like your stories with nautical details and yearn for the era when Britain ruled the high seas and pretty much the rest of the world, then this is the saga for you. Full of Tom Clancy like detail of all matters nautical from the golden age of sail and naval battle. The characters are all well drawn and engaging, Captain Jack Aubrey and Surgeon Stephen Maturin being the chief protagonists. These two provide a foil for each other, the wry, intellectual, witty yet earnest Maturin playing of the boisterous, lusty, driven and brilliant Aubrey. For all their differences they are as thick as thieves. Captain Aubrey is in charge of an English privateer, the sloop Sophie, a sort of pirate with a license. Eventually we get to the so called meat of the matter with all sorts of naval bluffs and maneuvers and plenty of detail and effects of large wooden vessels hurling plenty of supersonic red hot iron, balls, grape shot, chains, and the like, at each other, sometimes at short range. The surgeon is often busy.

This book starts a little slow since it spends a lot of time explaining technical details about sailing and the back story of how the main characters came together. I suspect there is a great deal of attention to accuracy here which is going to be important to some people. All this detail though isn't really my cup of tea. I don't need to know how a transporter works to enjoy Star Trek and the same is true here. I prefer a good Sabatini where the ships get right down to blasting each other and boarding. I suspect the subsequent books in this series spend less time on the buildup and explication and more on the action.

If you want a good naval story with realistic and interesting characters you're in the right place. There's plenty more after this. ( )
  Gumbywan | Jun 24, 2022 |
Redeemed itself towards the end, buy didn't like it as much as I hoped to. Will try the next book now that I've become attuned to the language. ( )
  ds_db | Apr 25, 2022 |
Am excellent historical adventure that immerses the reader in its world as completely as anything I have read. The beautiful part being that despite the huge amounts of detail it’s never dull. The plot is simple and effective but it’s the characters that really make it, in particular the two leads: Stephen Maturin, serious, thoughtful, considerate ships’s doctor and Jack Aubrey, captain and simultaneously genius and fool. ( )
  whatmeworry | Apr 9, 2022 |
Unabridged audio.

Another gem found while looking for something else. O’Brian’s vivid descriptions of life in the British Navy during the Napoleonic Era places the reader amidst the ports, brothels, parlours, and (of course) ships. The only thing missing was the scent of the oceans coming from the recording. ( )
  AMKitty | Mar 20, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 186 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (31 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
O'Brian, PatrickAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hastings, MaxIntroductionsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Andersson, StefanIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brown, RichardNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jerrom, RicNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Merla, PaolaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nikupaavola, RenneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Olofsson, LennartTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tull, PatrickNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vance, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wannenmacher, JuttaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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[None]
Dedication
MARIAE LEMBI NOSTRI DUCI ET MAGISTRAE DO DEDICO

[ = I present and dedicate [this book] to Mary, the commander and mistress of our yacht]
First words
When one is writing about the Royal Navy of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries it is difficult to avoid understatement; it is difficult to do full justice to one's subject; for so very often the improbable reality outruns fiction.

Author's note.
The music-room in the Governor's House at Port Mahon, a tall, handsome, pillared octagon, was filled with the triumphant first movement of Locatelli's C major quartet.

Chapter one.
Quotations
'But my Sophie must have a medical man -- apart from anything else, you have no notion of what a hypochondriac your seaman is: they love to be physicked, and a ship's company without someone to look after them, even the rawest half-grown surgeon's mate, is not a happy ship's company ...' [Aubrey: 33]
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (2)

This, the first in the series of Jack Aubrey novels, establishes the friendship between Captain Aubrey, R.N., and Stephen Maturin, ship's surgeon and intelligence agent, against the thrilling backdrop of the Napoleonic wars. Details of life aboard a man-of-war in Nelson's navy are faultlessly rendered: the conversational idiom of the officers in the ward room and the men on the lower deck, the flood, the floggings, the mysteries of the wind and the rigging, and the road of broadsides as the great ships close in battle.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary
A navy captain
and a land loving surgeon
fight Spaniards and French. (marcusbrutus)

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Average: (3.98)
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1 28
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W.W. Norton

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

Editions: 0393307050, 0393325172, 0393037010, 0393339319

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

» Publisher information page

 

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