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Preview — The Nutmeg of Consolation by Patrick O'Brian
The Nutmeg of Consolation (Aubrey & Maturin #14)
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 ...more
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 ...more
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.
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 ...more
I'll be sad when I come to the end of the series. But wait, that means ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
I was delighted to see Padeen return, especially after a novel which wa ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...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...more
Set in the ...more
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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)”