Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Far Side of the World (Aubrey/Maturin Book 10)” as Want to Read:
The Far Side of the World (Aubrey/Maturin Book 10)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Far Side of the World (Aubrey & Maturin #10)

4.43  ·  Rating Details ·  7,780 Ratings  ·  232 Reviews
Tie-in edition of the major film from Fox due next Spring. Starring Russell Crowe as Jack Aubrey and Paul Bettany (A Beautiful Mind) as Stephen Maturin. Directed by Peter Weir.
Unknown Binding
Published October 20th 2003 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published 1984)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Far Side of the World, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Far Side of the World

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jason Koivu
In case you ever wanted to know what it feels like without actually doing it, here is a book that moves with the slow satisfaction of a sailboat journey around the world.

The flow of language will at times rock you asleep and other times you will be buffeted about by a crash of words mightily massed and moving perpetually forward.

But mostly The Far Side of the World is a book for those who are already embroiled in the saga of Jack and Stephen, two unlikely friends bound together in a noble cause,
Sep 05, 2016 Algernon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016

Come all you thoughtless
young men, a warning
take by me
And never leave your
happy homes to sail the
raging sea.

Episode number ten bring about a change of tack in the long journey of Captain Jack Aubrey and his friend, Doctor Stephen Maturin. It is time to sail away from the crowded and treacherous waters of the Mediterranean, from the cat-and-mouse games with French spies and frombureaucratic entanglements. "H.M.S. Surprise" is sent on a solitary mission to the far side of the world, there to g
Nov 02, 2014 Madeline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historic-fiction
It's always nice to revisit Aubrey and Maturin. I've only read a couple books from this series, and I never feel any serious need to find more installments, but I always enjoy them when I do. And this is one of the best ones - not only because it's pretty similar to the movie version and picking out what they changed/didn't change for the adaptation is a fun game, but also for other reasons, which I will now list:

-Plots! So many plots. Almost too many plots.

This book is just over four hundred pa
Mar 20, 2013 Wealhtheow rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
Captain Aubrey of the British Royal Navy is sent to the South Seas to prevent the American frigate Norfolk from harassing English whalers. It's an excellent book all around, but there are moments of pure perfection in it. The prim parson Martin shows Maturin the letter he wants to woo his lady-love with, it's horrifyingly bad, Maturin tries to tell him so as gently as possible, and Martin completely refuses to hear it. Or at one point Maturin falls out of the cabin window while Aubrey is talking ...more
May 29, 2015 Cherie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: series, read-audio
Not a lot of war or spying stuff going on for the most parts, just a lot of going about the seas, my favorite parts! Jack and Stephen lost at sea and Stephen on the verge of having his head operated on. The Surprise to the rescue and - the end. IS the war over?

As always, a stellar reading by Simon Vance.

John Jr.
No women are major characters in this volume of Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin’s adventures during the War of 1812, but women are central to parts of the action, even though the story takes place entirely on and around the frigate H.M.S. Surprise, which Aubrey commands. Needless to say, naval practices were different 200 years ago. Along with two women, the Surprise is carrying a cat belonging to the bosun, a goat named Aspasia to provide milk, and a handful of other animals taken along as food ...more
Jamie Collins
This is the book that provides the largest chunk of plot for the movie, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World. Jack Aubrey and the crew of the Surprise pursue their enemy around stormy Cape Horn, and naturalist Stephen Maturin is furious at being denied the opportunity to spend time on the amazing Galapagos Islands. During the journey there is drama on board concerning an unlucky “old” Midshipman who is considered a Jonah by the superstitious crew.

The plot of the book differs, of cours
Dan Glover
Jan 08, 2013 Dan Glover rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Like all of the Aubrey/Maturin series that I have thus far read, this was great. This book contained much more of the sailor's superstitions than the other books and there was a more serious falling out between Jack and Stephen than in previous volumes as well, adding some further depth to their relationship. Overall, really enjoyed it.

In the volume I have there is an essay on Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin novels by Charlton Heston. Of course it is an admirer's perspective but it is a good e
Jan 25, 2011 Evan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a book that calls for a breakdown in the rating. There are aspects of it that probably deserve a three at best. The plot itself isn't actually all that compelling: the story simply plods along from one adventure or crisis to the next, framed by the overarching back-cover-synopsis plot (which occupies remarkably little of the book). The characters are memorable, but I can't think of a single one that really develops during the story. But what brings the overall rating up to five stars is ...more
Jun 27, 2015 Anna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This must be one of my favourite instalments of the Aubrey and Maturin series. It contains a good many exciting pursuits, terrible storms, unfortunate misadventures, amusing puns, appealing creatures, even some frightening and sad moments. The whole book concerns one very long voyage to the South Pacific and thus there is a lot more in the way of ship shenanigans than spy happenings. As usual, I laughed out loud many times, for example at Jack misquoting "Lead on, Macbeth," only for a crewman na ...more
It was impossible to listen to this book and not think of the film the entire time. I was actually surprised by how much the movie adhered to it, although it was more in terms of themes and glimpses, rather than sticking to the actual plot. The plot as a whole was the same (chasing a ship around the Horn), but so much of the ancillary details had been altered.

The character of Hollom was another of these "same, but different" elements - in the film, he is a wholly sympathetic character but in the
Jul 29, 2009 Kenneth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kaye Stambaugh
Jan 30, 2016 Kaye Stambaugh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm reading (in the case, listening) to this series in order, and The Far Side of the World is action-packed and full of twists and turns. There is a little of everything thrown into this novel making it incredibly entertaining and sometimes thought provoking. I had no problem rooting for the HMS Surprise over the American Frigate Norfolk and found Simon Vance's American accent amusing. I'm finding this the perfect series for audio books.
I had a hard time separating the movie, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World from the book. I adore the movie. Even reading the previous 9 volumes made me aware that a lot of the movie lines and plot came from the previous novels, I was not expecting how little similarity the book and movie had with each other. I suspect that I would've enjoyed this more if I didn't have such a love for the movie.
John Chiafos
Aug 20, 2016 John Chiafos rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nine tenths of a great Aubrey/Maturin novel. Wasn't a fan of the ending. However, it's still one of my faves in this series.
Really? A little less talk and a lot more action.
Don Maker
The overall story is really good, but I discovered the movie was a compilation of several books from the “Master and Commander” series. That’s fine, but this book did not make it on its own for me.

First, it took too long to get into the actual story, or action. That is typical, as even I (i.e., not a “fast and furious” sort of fan) found the entire novel too slow. There is a lot more droll humor than in the movie version, but there was also a huge amount of technical nautical terminology, which
Richard Burke
Jan 28, 2015 Richard Burke rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Series Overview.

I fell in love with the series from the opening scene of Master and Commander, and went on to read all 20 Aubrey-Maturin novels. The characters of Jack Aubrey and Dr. Stephen Maturin were initialized in that opening scene, and grew through the entire series. This is the best historical fiction I have read. In the series, I learned about British, French, Dutch, and Spanish naval operations during the Napoleonic wars. I also first learned of Napoleon's command and espionage structu
Angela Coan
Jan 09, 2015 Angela Coan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was the tenth in the series and not very much like the movie, which is based on the series and bears the same title. Every time I read one of these books I can't "five star" it enough. While I realize that not everyone can appreciate this kind of writing, with its roster of nearly all male characters and an over-abundance of nautical terms, I am of the opinion there is no better writing to be found, especially not in contemporary fiction series. O'Brian is a master at subtle wit, comed ...more
Luciana Darce
Dec 09, 2014 Luciana Darce rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Régis me mandou esse livro como empréstimo, mas demorei um pouco a tirá-lo da estante, até ser tomada por uma onda náutica, quando devorei pelo menos uns quatro livros envolvendo navios, piratas, soldados, capitães da marinha e mares nunca dantes navegados.

Foi começar e não parar mais...

Lembro de quando assisti o filme. Estava no colégio ainda e fui vê-lo no cinema com minha turma de amigos. Naquela época eu já gostava de batalhas e explosões e saí da sessão quase vibrando e pulando de tão emp
Gláucia Renata
O livro faz parte da série "Mestre dos Mares" composta de 20 volumes e o 21º incompleto por conta da morte do autor. Comecei por esse que é o ~décimo volume pois não encontrei os anteriores. Adoro romances sobre aventuras marítimas e esse traz uma dupla de personagens incríveis: o comandante Jack Aubrey, um verdadeiro predador dos mares e seu grande amigo e médico do navio Stephen Maturin, naturalista cujo maior interesse é estudar as belezas naturais de terras remotas e praticamente desconhecid ...more
Aug 27, 2012 Susan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, 2012
I didn't enjoy this book as much as some others. There was way too much talk about bugs, animals and vegetation for me. And I would have been much happier if the description about how to cut up a whale was skipped (much like Jack Aubrey). There weren't any huge dramas at sea but instead there was alot of talk, talk, talk.

I'm afraid while listening to this I was comparing it to the movie in my head. Perhaps this was why I was disappointed.

I hope the next one is a bit better.
Xoxe Garcia
Feb 17, 2016 Xoxe Garcia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historia, naval
Un final espectacular y fascinante en el que el 20% final del libro es pura adrenalina que te pone espírico, nervioso, tenso, acelerado y vertiginoso. Un prodigio de final de un libro que no tiene absolutamente nada que ver con la película existente de Master & Commander con el mismo título.

También, a diferencia de la película se nota que la realidad respecto al USS Norfolk (que en la película es el francés Acheon) te das cuenta de lo peor que llegó a poblar Estados Unidos, lo peor de Europa
Jul 06, 2016 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The movie is very different than the book. If you've read the other novels in the series so far then you will recognize scenes from other novels included in the movie. That being said, one thing that I really liked about the movie, having honeymooned in the Galapagos Islands, is having so much of the movie filmed there. But enough of that, let's get back to the book.

Capt. Aubrey receives orders to take the H.M.S. Surprise and chase down the U.S.S. Norfolk, which is on its way to the Pacific to r
Todd Stockslager
Jun 09, 2015 Todd Stockslager rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
One of the better of the series, perhaps because, as O'Brian explains in his introduction, he has mined out the history books for dramatic sea stories of the time, so is turning to strictly fictional action for this book.

This time, Aubrey's beloved Surprise, apparently headed for the boneyard, is instead drafted to try to cut off an American war ship before it turns the Cape of Good Horn to prey on English whalers. Through doldrums and storms, he comes up short, which takes the chase into the So
Jul 31, 2013 Deb rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
These books only get better, deeper relationships, far distant missions, beautifully evocative language.

The piéce de résistance however is Jack's rescue of Stephen as he falls out the stern windows while collecting specimens, and their encounter with a ship crewed by Polynesian amazons! Endless surprises...
Linda Barnett
Jul 14, 2016 Linda Barnett rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Several reviewers have stated the opinion that you can pick up O'Brian's series, midstream, without missing anything from the previous nine books - I totally disagree. Yes, the movie Master and Commander is loosely based on The Far Side of the World, with elements from other books along with some invention by the writers, but it only skims the surface of the complicated relationship between Aubrey and Maturin, let alone all the other elements that make O'Brian's writing so fascinating.

Do yoursel
Judith Johnson
Sep 22, 2016 Judith Johnson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Once again, this book is full of all the usual good things that make Patrick O'Brian so beloved by his followers. Definitely my Desert Island pick for the complete works of!
So torn with this book. I REALLY loved the movie, which was full of action and adventure. Unfortunately, the movie was much more interesting than the book, which is a very rare occurrence in my world. The book is part of a long-running series, and spends soooooo much time using nautical terminology and wordy descriptions of life at sea, that it became. slow and dragging. Very little of the movie actually happened in the book, and I found out that the movie was pieced together from different book ...more
Jan 03, 2016 Diana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is apparently one of a series of books about Patrick O'Brien's protagonist, Capt. Aubrey, and his exploits in the service of the British navy during the early 1800's.

The story starts in Gibraltar where the captain is commissioned to seek out American ships that are preying on British whalers in the Pacific. There ensues an exciting trip around the Horn and the adventures that await him and the crew of the ship HMS Surprise.

An engrossing, action packed story marred only, in my opinion, by e
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Flying Colours (Hornblower Saga: Chronological Order, #8)
  • A Sea of Words: A Lexicon and Companion to the Complete Seafaring Tales of Patrick O'Brian
  • Lobscouse and Spotted Dog: Which It's a Gastronomic Companion to the Aubrey/Maturin Novels
  • Under Enemy Colors (Charles Hayden, #1)
  • Seaflower (Kydd Sea Adventures, #3)
  • To Glory We Steer (Richard Bolitho, #7)
  • Ramage & the Freebooters (The Lord Ramage Novels, #3)
  • Sharpe's Company (Sharpe, #13)
  • H.M.S. Cockerel (Alan Lewrie, #6)
Patrick O'Brian's acclaimed Aubrey/Maturin series of historical novels has been described as "a masterpiece" (David Mamet, New York Times), "addictively readable" (Patrick T. Reardon, Chicago Tribune), and "the best historical novels ever written" (Richard Snow, New York Times Book Review), which "should have been on those lists of the greatest novels of the 20th century" (George Will).

Set in the
More about Patrick O'Brian...

Other Books in the Series

Aubrey & Maturin (1 - 10 of 21 books)
  • Master and Commander (Aubrey/Maturin, #1)
  • Post Captain (Aubrey/Maturin, #2)
  • H.M.S. Surprise (Aubrey/Maturin #3)
  • The Mauritius Command (Aubrey/Maturin, #4)
  • Desolation Island (Aubrey/Maturin, #5)
  • The Fortune of War (Aubrey/Maturin, #6)
  • The Surgeon's Mate (Aubrey/Maturin, #7)
  • The Ionian Mission (Aubrey/Maturin, #8)
  • Treason's Harbour (Aubrey/Maturin #9)
  • The Reverse of the Medal (Aubrey/Maturin Book, #11)

Share This Book

“That would be locking the horse after the stable door is gone, a very foolish thing to do.” 10 likes
“Martin was a thoroughly amiable man, a man of wide reading, but when he came to write he mounted upon a pair of stilts, unusually lofty stilts, and staggered along at a most ungracious pace, with an occasional awkward lurch into colloquialism, giving a strikingly false impression of himself.” 5 likes
More quotes…