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Master and Commander by Patrick O'Brian
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Master and Commander (1969)

by Patrick O'Brian

Other authors: Max Hastings (Introduction)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Aubrey-Maturin (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7,423172799 (3.98)413
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 backdrop of the Napoleonic wars.
  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: Which It's a Gastronomic Companion to the Aubrey/Maturin Novels 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 413 mentions

English (160)  Spanish (5)  Dutch (3)  Norwegian (1)  French (1)  Swedish (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (172)
Showing 1-5 of 160 (next | show all)
I put this off and started/stopped reading this many times. Finally, I gave up. This series is over 20 volumes long. To hear others say "I gave up after two hours" makes me understand why they did. I liked the film, and really wanted to like this book. I found the first hour sheer drudgery. It's just not my book, so I gave up...again, and again. I just couldn't face 500 hours of this. ( )
  buffalogr | Jan 19, 2020 |
...and now I'm in the society of Patrick O'Brian readers.

The story had me hooked from the opening scene. Not only was I fascinated by these two characters (Aubrey and Maturin) but O'Brian's deft sentence construction impressed me deeply. There are so many wonderful moments amid a jungle of exotic nautical terminology that though I lost track of the geography on the HMS Sophie more than once, I was still enraptured by the novel.

I will definitely be continuing the series and I recommend this book to anyone looking for solid prose and an interesting world to inhabit for awhile. ( )
1 vote Adrian_Astur_Alvarez | Dec 3, 2019 |
...and now I'm in the society of Patrick O'Brian readers.

The story had me hooked from the opening scene. Not only was I fascinated by these two characters (Aubrey and Maturin) but O'Brian's deft sentence construction impressed me deeply. There are so many wonderful moments amid a jungle of exotic nautical terminology that though I lost track of the geography on the HMS Sophie more than once, I was still enraptured by the novel.

I will definitely be continuing the series and I recommend this book to anyone looking for solid prose and an interesting world to inhabit for awhile. ( )
  Adrian_Astur_Alvarez | Dec 3, 2019 |
Love this series, my favorite historical fiction of all time. Still a little weird how the ending of this first volume just sort of stops: and then there was a court-martial, but it was cool. Everything was fine the end. Nevertheless, such a great first chapter of my favorite literary friendship. ( )
1 vote nushustu | Aug 5, 2019 |
Wow, this is one of the most difficult books I've read through to the end. The nautical terminology used was like reading a foreign language. I did pick up a companion guide called "A Sea of Words" which was helpful, but really, there was so much I didn't understand I would have had to stop reading every sentence to look stuff up. Basically this is a story of Jack Aubrey of the English Royal Navy in the 1800s during the war with France and his adventures in being commander of the good ship (sloop, maybe?) Sophie. Overall, I thought the story, when I could understand what was going on, was pretty interesting. There is a lot of interaction with a lot of different sorts of people. Jack seemed to come off as bit of a ruffian sort, kind of thick when it comes to everything other than commanding and sailing. In those respects, Jack excels immensely. On the personal side, he feels set apart from everyone else, and has bad taste in women (or mainly one particular woman, but he doesn't seem too fussy). Even his newly made best friend, Stephen Maturin, feels set apart from Jack on occasion.

I did watch the movie of this once I was over 3/4 of the way through the book, thinking that if I didn't get what was going on in the book, the movie could offer some enlightenment. Boy was I soooo very wrong. The movie, which barely followed the book in any respect, was even more incomprehensible. I was really very disappointed because I think if a movie of this story was done correctly, it would be very interesting indeed.

Overall, I'm glad to have read the book, despite how difficult I found it. If you enjoy adventure stories and don't fear having to have a guide to get you through (unless you're fluent in nautical terminology already), I'd recommend this book. ( )
  Jenson_AKA_DL | Jul 29, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 160 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (31 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Patrick O'Brianprimary authorall editionscalculated
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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Epigraph
[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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Book description
Haiku summary
A navy captain
and a land loving surgeon
fight Spaniards and French. (marcusbrutus)

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W.W. Norton

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

Editions: 0393307050, 0393325172, 0393037010, 0393339319

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An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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