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Master and Commander by Patrick O'Brian

Master and Commander (original 1969; edition 2003)

by Patrick O'Brian

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7,091165791 (3.99)384
Title:Master and Commander
Authors:Patrick O'Brian
Info:Harpercollins Pub Ltd (2003), Paperback
Collections:Your library

Work details

Master and Commander by Patrick O'Brian (1969)

  1. 30
    A Sea of Words: A Lexicon and Companion to the Complete Seafaring Tales of Patrick O'Brian by Dean King (SV1XV)
  2. 30
    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.
  3. 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.
  4. 20
    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.
  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
    Moby Dick by Herman Melville (caflores)
    caflores: Para amantes del lenguaje náutico y de las descripciones detalladas.
  7. 10
    Harbors and High Seas, 3rd Edition: An Atlas and Geographical Guide to the Aubrey-Maturin Novels of Patrick O'Brian by Dean King (SV1XV)
  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
    Ramage by Dudley Pope (Cecrow)
  10. 00
    The Man Who Saved Henry Morgan: A Novel by Robert Hough (ShelfMonkey)
  11. 00
    His Majesty's Ship by Alaric Bond (infiniteletters)

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» See also 384 mentions

English (153)  Spanish (5)  Dutch (3)  Norwegian (1)  French (1)  Swedish (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (165)
Showing 1-5 of 153 (next | show all)
This book is the beginning of Jack Aubrey's captaincy, and the start of physician Stephen Maturin's tenor as a naval surgeon.

Jack is made captain of the Sloop, Sophie. In his excitement at finally being made captain, Aubrey seeks out Maturin, with whom he had an unpleasant meeting with the previous evening, to apologize and invite to share a meal. During this time he learns that Stephen is a physician in need of employment as his current patient had recently died. Jack was in the market for a ship surgeon. It was kismet.

The Sophie engages in several battles, takes several prizes and Jack begins to make a name for himself; especially with what he has accomplished with such a small ship. We see the start of the Aubrey/Maturin great friendship, and meet fun characters that will stick with him through his captaincy like Pullings, Bondin and Mowett. All-in-all it was an interesting start to the long story f Aubrey/Maturin and I look forward to seeing how many books it takes for Jack to inherit the Surprise. ( )
1 vote Virago77 | Dec 6, 2018 |
When I first picked up this novel for some light vacation reading I had no idea that I was about to embark on an incredible twenty-book adventure that would take me into the heart of the Napoleonic wars and all around the globe to just about every ocean and sea. Each book in the Aubrey/Maturin series contains its own story and together they relate the early nineteenth century adventures of Jack Aubrey, an officer in the Royal Navy, and his companion, Doctor Stephen Maturin, as they play their part in taking on the might of the Napoleonic empire.

In this first story, Aubrey bumps into Maturin at a concert. As much as they seem to dislike each other, through their mutual love of music and distaste for Napoleon’s tyranny, they soon forge an unlikely friendship. So much so that Aubrey persuades Maturin to be his ship’s doctor and help him lead the crew of the small sloop, HMS Sophie, against a formidable Spanish frigate.

O’Brian’s attention to historical detail is incredible. Perhaps too much so for some people. He describes the period, the dress, the ships, the music, the scenery, and even the food so vividly that it is almost as though he (and we) were there. In fact, the books are so rich in historical detail that they have inspired spin-off cookbooks (“Lobscouse and Spotted Dog”), geographical texts, and music collections.

The most enjoyable part of the series for me, however, was exploring the relationship of its chief protagonists. Aubrey and Maturin are two sides of the same coin. Maturin is sophisticated, a deep thinker, a talented surgeon, a naturalist, and a spy. Aubrey is far more straightforward, a bit of a duffer in life, but a brilliant naval battle commander. And we follow them together as Aubrey rises (and sometimes falls) through the ranks of the navy, joining them and their crew on adventures that O’Brian based on real life incidents.

The series as a whole is worthy of five-stars—no doubt about it. And this first novel is a great read. For me, though, the books get even better as the series progresses and as we learn to love the characters and even the ships they command, especially HMS Surprise!

Very highly recommended for lovers of historical fiction. ( )
  AndrewGaddes | Sep 17, 2018 |
lots of reviews are saying this book gets good in the last 100 or so pages but i just could not last that long :(
  ireneattolia | Sep 3, 2018 |
At 2/3's through, I'm giving up on Master and Commander. The first half was so laden with nautical terms that it was unreadable by the lay person and when the story finally got going in the second half, I was bored. I know a lot of people love this series, but it didn't grab me. I'm older and don't have time for books that I don't enjoy. I don't rate books I haven't finished.
  MarysGirl | Jul 12, 2018 |
I wish I'd loved it but I didn't. ( )
  GaylaBassham | May 27, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 153 (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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[ = 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.
'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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Haiku summary
A navy captain
and a land loving surgeon
fight Spaniards and French. (marcusbrutus)

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0393307050, Paperback)

The opening salvo of the Aubrey-Maturin epic, in which the surgeon introduces himself to the captain by driving an elbow into his ribs during a chamber-music recital. Fortunately for millions of readers, the two quickly make up. Then they commence one of the great literary voyages of our century, set against an immaculately-detailed backdrop of the Napoleonic wars. This is the place to start--and in all likelihood, you won't be able to stop.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:23 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin form a friendship in the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars. Life aboard a man-of-war in Nelson's navy is described.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 15 descriptions

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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.

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