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The Nutmeg of Consolation (Aubrey/Maturin Book 14)
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The Nutmeg of Consolation (Aubrey & Maturin #14)

4.38 of 5 stars 4.38  ·  rating details  ·  4,731 ratings  ·  135 reviews
La costa australiana es el escenario de esta nueva entrega de las aventuras del capitán Jack Aubrey y el espía Stephen Maturin, en la que, tras naufragar en una isla desierta, la tripulación de la Diane es asaltada por un grupo de feroces piratas malayos; consiguen escapar y hacerse con una maltrecha goleta con la que deberán enfrentarse a la Cornélie (una poderosa fragata ...more
Published March 12th 1992 by Fontana Press (first published 1991)
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Christopher H.
This, the 14th volume in Patrick O'Brian's brilliant Aubrey-Maturin canon, is one of my absolute favorites of the twenty completed novels in this wonderful Napoleonic wars seafaring series. "The Nutmeg of Consolation" is a page-turner from page one on.

We join Captain Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin in the East Indies as they are rescued from a deserted island, acquire the beautifully Dutch-built small frigate the Nutmeg of Consolation, fight a running sea-battle with the much larger French frig

This particular edition to the series may well have been entitled "When Maturin, Cannibals and Platypuses Attack." This (and the previous book in the series) is rather meandering and doesn't seem to have much in the way of a concrete objective in terms of where the author wanted to take the characters, but it's Patrick O'Brain, so who cares? His descriptive detail, the viewpoints of the characters, (mostly and seemingly increasingly from Maturin), the vast knowledge of contemporar
K.M. Weiland
A little slower and little more self-indulgent than some of the previous entries, but a delight from start to finish, as always. The early part, on the island, put me in mind of Far Side of the World (only better than what we find in that installment), and the return to India (which was very enjoyable in the previous book) and the exploration of Australia was lovely. Not too many sea battles here, but it’s perhaps funnier than any of the previous books. Wonderful to finally get back to the Surpr ...more
Great historical fiction, only passingly good fiction. A fun read, nonetheless.

The usual suspects maneuvered around the western Pacific to touch on as many real--or realistic--situations as possible. Some sub-plots better developed than others, but surely the Aubery-Maturin true believers will love it all.

O'Brian resisted the temptation to leave us hanging from another cliff.
After taking a hiatus from the Jack Aubrey series from the last unsuccessful attempt (The Thirteen Gun Salute), I finally picked up this volume.

You would think that this book wasn't that good considering the time it took me to read. Not so. Finding the time was the problem, but when I did I was completely immersed in this latest adventure. It was good to see the camaraderie between Jack and Stephen once again.

I thought the story was interesting, though perhaps not quite as exciting as some of t
Every one of my Patrick O'Brian reviews are the same: I love these books! I think the best bit of this one is them being shipwrecked (again!) and having to find a way out of it. This kind of thing really makes you realize how little ability modern people have with their hands. I know that *I* couldn't build a ship from scratch using the materials from a wrecked one plus whatever was available on a desert island. How about you?

I'll be sad when I come to the end of the series. But wait, that means
Dan Glover
As with all the novels in this series (which might be considered one long novel), I loved this book. All the elements of a great novel are here, but there is one ingredient in the Aubrey/Maturin novels that is missing from so many other great works: a deeply developed, realistically represented, quirky friendship between two men. The friendship between Jack and Stephen makes all the other male friendships I can think of in famous literature seem caricatured or shallow or like a device through wh ...more
EJD Dignan
Repeated from review of Book 1

That Patrick O'Brian chose to place his characters on the sea in the not so distant past just raised the hurdle I had to leap to get to know this wonderful author.

I had never been enamored with sea stories, didn't much care for European history, and yet was wonderfully taken with this series. The sea is a major character, but history is not greatly illuminated, almost a backdrop to the specific circumstance the characters find themselves in. Which perhaps reflects t
Gilly McGillicuddy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Amy VanGundy
This is honest-to-God one of my favorite authors/series. I love this books. They are tremendously well researched. It's ridiculous to compare these to any other "historical fiction" that I am aware of. You would think they had been written when the events within them actually occurred.

Nutmeg of Consolation has Aubrey and Maturin recovering from a shipwreck on an island. They manage to get off the island with the help of a passing ship that came to collect birds nests which are used for "bird's
This is so much more eventful than The Thirteen Gun Salute, much more action-filled and much more dramatic. To some extent, that's a disappointment because there's so much less time for the kind of small moments of character interplay that O' Brian does so well. On the other hand, it made for an incredibly engaging and satisfying novel which I finished very, very quickly, building smoothly to a great cliffhanger of an ending.

I was delighted to see Padeen return, especially after a novel which wa
Unfortunately this installment took too long to get moving. It wasn't until the last third that things started coming together and the plot got moving. Naturally it ends on an abrupt sort of cliffie with half-resolution (Stephen's poisonous encounter with a male platypus). I won't rest easy about the fate of Stephen's ex-loblolly Padeen Colman until I start the next book in the series. The rescue attempt to get Padeen out of prison in New South Wales was the exciting, torturous final act the boo ...more
Although I didn't enjoy Patrick Tull's narration nearly as much as that of Simon Vance in other books in this series, I still really liked the story and got used to Mr. Tull. Still, if you have the choice, go with Simon Vance is my recommendation. This story is more of a direct continuation of the previous book than some of the other books in the series. The previous book ("The Thirteen Gun Salute") kind of leaves the reader high and dry (along with Jack Aubrey et al) and leaves the reader with ...more
Patrick O'Brian continues as excellently as always. This story doesn't really have a dramatic arc of any sort and is simply a continuation of the voyage that started in the previous novel. But that does not mean that important issues are not handled: Captain Aubrey is shown to suffer from a condition that changes his behavior while Maturin struggles with his sense of responsibility for an old friend who is now suffering as a convict in Australia. The harshness of life and the evilness of men in ...more
This, the 14th novel in the British naval historical fiction series telling the stories of captain Jack Aubrey and physician/spy Stephen Maturin, may be my favorite so far in this engaging, erudite, albeit long series. I've given it 5 stars and as I think back on how deeply I've enjoyed this whole series, I am considering going back to my other reviews and changing them all from 4 to 5 stars. Anyway, this installment is chock-full of fabulousness-- shipwreck on a desert island, Malay pirates, bi ...more
I used to think that I just liked the exploits of Jack Aubrey and Steven Maturin but, in truth, I now believe that I enjoy the series because of the beautiful prose of Patrick O’Brian.

This is the second installment of “The Thirteen Gun Salute” and starts with the ship’s crew on an island building a boat from the remnants of Jack’s command that was destroyed in a typhoon. Next they’re attached by Borneo head hunter pirates in a GREAT land battle! Then, there’s a GREAT accounting of Steven Maturin
Alex Sarll
I forget who it was said that if Jane Austen had a brother who'd gone to sea, he might have written the Aubrey & Maturin books, but there's a lot in it. The waspish wit and the godawful social minefields are all here, but then so is so much more. There's also stuff which would never have been possible in a novel of the time, but which one feels sure is accurate, for O'Brian has that great gift - shared by Marguerite Yourcenar and precious few others - of writing historical novels which, with ...more
Cole Schoolland
Certainly one of the more geographically adventurous chapters in the series. There are so many events and so many places, it is hard to really focus on any one theme. This comes nearer to the tail end of a very long voyage that spans several books fought with much hardship. All of this hardship; the shipwreck, the marooning, the raiding Malay pirates, and the misery of Botany Bay juxtaposed against the happy sights and thoughts of home. I think it is best summed up by the very last line of text ...more
Stephen's experience is life in a nutshell. You have a ship. Your ship is gone. You have money. Your money is gone. You have shipmates. Your shipmates have been killed. You have a nice supply of coca leaves. Then you don't. But you find a new ship. You make more money. You get new shipmates. So many major life changes in just a few short weeks.

What remains constant: Friendship. Devotion to his professional goals. The mission he has sworn to carry out. (Marriage isn't included in this list, becau
Seemed a lot more human than some of the other books. Really enjoyed it.
Just started the audio book - but I've been eager to finish the story arc started in The Thirteen Gun salute. Jack, Stephen and all my favorite crew are marooned on a desert island after a shipwreck - with important intelligence documents! I'll let you know if it holds up the standard or the previous series.

I have now finished reading all the Aubrey/Maturin books in order TWICE!!! They have enriched my life so much by knowing so much real information about England's navy in Napoleonic times. So
Another leg of the journey finished. Started in Batavia, Java, ended in Sydney, New South Wales.

A shipwreck; a flight with pirates on Swallow-Nest island; a hitchhike on-board a Chinese junk, a new ship, a naval battle with a French frigate, Cornelie. Reunion with old HMHS Surprise; The turning fortune of Dr. Maturin.

Well paced, lots of action, on land and sea. Language is precise, charming, and elegant.

By now, I must be a seasoned sea dog, as Dr. Maturin described himself, :-)

Delve in the ne
Richard E.
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
Duncan Mandel
SUMMARY: At the end of O'Brian's Thirteen Gun Salute, Captain Aubrey and the crew of the Diane are shipwrecked by a typhoon on a remote island in the Dutch East Indies. After they are rescued, Aubrey and crew continue their interrupted mission aboard a new vessel, the Nutmeg. The fourteenth novel in the classic Aubrey-Maturin series finds Aubrey and Maturin shipwrecked, harassed by pirates and then in the brutal penal colonies of New South Wales. Patrick O'Brian is regarded by many as the greate ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Delicious episode at the beginning in which the Marines, up until now a mere garnish in the story salad, act with energy and foresight to save the crew from complete annihilation. And a little coda shortly after, in which they make a colorful show of force to scare off more pirates. And I love this tidbit on page 91: "'He counted his chickens without reckoning his host,' said Stephen." Maturin uncharacteristically slips in a loving dig at Aubrey's ineptitude with proverbs, which Aubrey doesn't e ...more
Captain Jack Aubrey is a Royal Naval officer in the British Navy in the early 18th century. His close friend and ship's doctor is Stephen Maturin, an Irish Catholic who is also employed be British intelligence. Jack is a larger than life swashbuckler who has been in the navy since he was a lad. He is an avid sailor with a fine touch on his boats. He runs them like thoroughbreds and is always looking at getting the best out of both the ship and the crew. Stephen is more circumspect and uses his w ...more
Every time I read a Patrick O'Brian novel I wonder why he is not more widely read/known and why he is not ever assigned in high school or college classrooms. His characters are both heroic and deeply flawed, his 19th century world is vivid and excruciatingly researched and his prose is at times witty and charming and at others deeply excoriating. O'Brian takes the coolest literary duo since Holmes and Watson and introduces us to life in the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars as well as the la ...more

This book resolves the cliffhanger ending of The Thirteen-Gun Salute, but otherwise it is one of the Aubrey/Maturin volumes in which not much happens. They don't travel very far, there are no major sea-battles, and few of the ongoing domestic problems are resolved or moved further ahead. Despite that, I still enjoyed the story, and it was one of the quickest reads yet (I went through it like smoke and oakum). I particularly enjoyed Maturin's line that he and Martin "brought back an ass-load of s

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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
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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 Far Side of the World (Aubrey/Maturin, #10)
Master and Commander (Aubrey/Maturin, #1) H.M.S. Surprise (Aubrey/Maturin, #3) Post Captain (Aubrey/Maturin, #2) The Mauritius Command (Aubrey/Maturin, #4) Desolation Island (Aubrey/Maturin, #5)

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“Sir,’ said Stephen, ‘I read novels with the utmost pertinacity. I look upon them--I look upon good novels--as a very valuable part of literature, conveying more exact and finely-distinguished knowledge of the human heart and mind than almost any other, with greater breadth and depth and fewer constraints.” 25 likes
“I cannot understand the principle at all,' said Stephen. 'I should very much like to show it to Captain Aubrey, who is so very well versed in the mathematics and dynamics of sailing. Landlord, pray ask him whether he is willing to part with the instrument.'
Not on your fucking life,' said the Aboriginal, snatching the boomerang and clasping it to his bosom.
He says he does not choose to dispose of it, your honour,' said the landlord. 'But never fret. I have a dozen behind the bar that I sell to ingenious travelers for half a guinea. Choose any one that takes your fancy, sit, and Bennelong will throw it to prove it comes back, a true homing pigeon, as we say. Won't you?' This much louder, in the black man's ear.
Won't I what?'
Throw it for the gentleman.'
Give um dram.'
Sir, he says he will be happy to throw it for you; and hopes you will encourage him with a tot of rum. (pp. 353-354)”
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