H.M.S. Surprise

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9780006499176: H.M.S. Surprise

Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin tales are widely acknowledged to be the greatest series of historical novels ever written. H.M.S. Surprise follows the variable fortunes of Captain Jack Aubrey's career in Nelson's navy as he attempts to hold his ground against admirals, colleagues and the enemy, accepting a mission to convey a British ambassador to the East Indies. The voyage takes him and his friend Stephen Maturin to the strange sights and smells of the Indian sub-continent, and through the archipelago of spice islands where the French have a near-overwhelming superiority. Rarely has a novel managed to convey more vividly the fragility of a sailing ship in a wild sea. Rarely has a historical novelist combined action and lyricism of style in the way that O' Brian does. His superb sense of place, brilliant characterisation, and a vigour and joy of writing lift O'Brian above any but the most exalted of comparisons.

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Review:

The stakes are high as HMS Surprise opens, and actor Robert Hardy's sterling reading never lets you forget them. Hardy makes Patrick O'Brian's third novel of high-seas adventure--written in 1973 and set mainly in 1805 on the waters surrounding India and the Orient--seem as immediate as an overdrawn checking account. Money plays a big role, and Captain Jack Aubrey stands to make a lot of it. All he has to do is find Napoleon's fleet--and take their gold away from them. (Running time: three hours, two cassettes) --Lou Schuler

From the Inside Flap:

2 cassettes/ 3 hours
Read by Robert Hardy
Abridged
AudioBook contains an illustration of the sails of a square-rigged ship.

The 3rd installment in O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin series

"The best historical novels ever written..."
-The New York Times Book Review

Third in the series of Aubrey/Maturin adventures, this novel is set among the strange sights and smells of the Indian subcontinent, and in the distant waters ploughed by the ships of the East India Company.  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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