The second book Patrick O’Brian wrote about the sea and a brilliant sequel to The Golden Ocean.
As in The Golden Ocean, The Unknown Shore tells the tale of another ill-fated ship on Anson’s expedition round the world – the Wager. Parted from her squadron in the fearful storms off Cape Horn, the Wager struggles on alone up the ironbound coast of Chile, before she is driven onto rocks and sinks. The survivors include Jack Byron, a midshipman, and his eccentric protégé Toby, an alarmingly naive surgeon’s mate with a single-minded devotion to zoology.
Faced with a surplus of rum, a disappearing stock of food, and a hard, detested captain, the survivors soon descend into trouble of every kind, including drunkeness, mutiny and bloodshed. As they make their way northwards under the guidance of a band of stony and depraved Indians, they at last find safety and good treatment in Valparaiso.
Admirers of O’Brian’s Aubrey-Maturin novels will see in Jack Byron a matter-of-fact, bluff precursor to the great Jack Aubrey. Whilst Toby, raging in Greek against a corrupt Member of Parliament, stripped by thieves in the Farthing Pie House, asking the Commodore to carry his snake, arousing the darkest suspicions in the Chilean Inquisition, is an amiable companion whose vagaries afford endless diversion on a hard and dramatic journey.
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The Unknown Shore, something of a sequel to The Golden Ocean, is a fascinating blue-print for the Aubrey-Maturin series. We follow Jack Byron and Tobias Barrow, two unlikely neighbours and close friends in whom we catch glimpses of the heroes of the epic series to come. They set off to sea in 1740 as part of Commodore Anson's fleet to circumnavigate the globe. Byron, a romantic, forceful lad, signs on as a midshipman; Barrow, a strangely educated, scientifically brilliant boy, is running away from his father and wins a commission as a surgeon's mate. Set up in the Wager, which is parted from Anson's squadron and sinks somewhere along the desolate coast of Chile, Byron and Barrow are left to struggle for survival by wits alone, facing mutiny, famine, indifferent natives and lingering infighting. A fully realized hint of the fictional magic to come.Review:
“'The Unknown Shore' has the same elements that mark Mr O’Brian’s more recent works: the wealth of social detail, the quiet humour, the harrowing shipwrecks, the swashbuckling adventures in foreign parts – and most important, the abiding and unlikely friendship between two young men, one a sociable creature born to the sea and the other a surgeon’s mate, brilliant in scientific understanding but lacking in social graces.”
TAMAR LEWIN, 'NewYork Times'
“Patrick O’Brian is the doyen of naval fiction…'The Unknown Shore' is satisfyingly filled with details of naval life, of natural history, and of the political and social background to the narrative. It is written with all the wit, scholarship and meticulous attention to detail which are characteristic of its 18 successors.”
PETER GORB, 'Ham & High'
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Book Description Harpercollins, 1998. Book Condition: Good. N/A. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP80520972
Book Description HarperCollins, 1998. Paperback. Book Condition: Good. A slight tan to the page edges. Ex Library Book with usual stamps and stickers. Good condition book. Good condition is defined as: a copy that has been read but remains in clean condition. All of the pages are intact and the cover is intact and the spine may show signs of wear. The book may have minor markings which are not specifically mentioned. Most items will be dispatched the same or the next working day. Bookseller Inventory # mon0005631362
Book Description HarperCollins, 1998. Paperback. Book Condition: Used; Very Good. Dispatched, from the UK, within 48 hours of ordering. Though second-hand, the book is still in very good shape. Minimal signs of usage may include very minor creasing on the cover or on the spine. Bookseller Inventory # CHL1462836
Book Description HarperCollins, 1998. Paperback. Book Condition: Good. Usual signs of a well read book but good overall condition. May not look good on your bookcase after reading and probably not suitable as a present unless hard to find elsewhere ALL ITEMS POSTED NEXT WORKING DAY. Bookseller Inventory # mon0000745273
Book Description Harpercollins, 1998. Book Condition: Good. N/A. Ships from the UK. Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP13637471
Book Description Harpercollins, 1998. Book Condition: Fair. N/A. Ships from the UK. Former Library book. Shows definite wear, and perhaps considerable marking on inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP71476008
Book Description HarperCollins 19/10/1998, 1998. Book Condition: Very Good. This book is in very good condition and will be shipped within 24 hours of ordering. The cover may have some limited signs of wear but the pages are clean, intact and the spine remains undamaged. This book has clearly been well maintained and looked after thus far. Money back guarantee if you are not satisfied. See all our books here, order more than 1 book and get discounted shipping. . Bookseller Inventory # 7719-9780006497950
Book Description HarperCollins 19/10/1998, 1998. Book Condition: Good. This book is in good or better condition. It has no tears to the pages and no pages will be missing from the book. The spine of the book is still in great condition and the front cover is generally unmarked. It has signs of previous use but overall is in really nice, tight condition. Shipping is normally same day from our UK warehouse. We offer a money back guarantee if you are not satisfied. Bookseller Inventory # 9053-9780006497950
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Book Description HarperCollins 19/10/1998, 1998. Book Condition: Good. Will be shipped promptly from UK warehouse. Book is in good condition with no missing pages, no damage or soiling and tight spine. There may be some dog-eared pages showing previous use but overall a great book. Bookseller Inventory # 9053-9780006497950