The Final Unfinished Voyage of Jack Aubrey (Aubrey & Maturin #21)
The last couple books had been disappointing in how the plot and pace spun out, but this one started out strong IMO, with some more glimpses into Jack and Stephen's domestic life. It is probably too mu ...more
Anyway, this partial book really wasn't a story as it is incomplete but still gave glimpses into the domestic relations both Stephen and Jack have. It also shows their subtle sense of humor when interacting with one another.
No big sea battle here, but more a one last quiet look into the world they are surrounde ...more
The book reproduces both O'Brian's partial typescript, and his long-hand manuscr ...more
The secondary benefit of seeing facsimiles of the author's handwritten drafts, cross-o ...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
With the first ...more
The pages of O'Brian's 21st Aubrey novel will leave readers hungry for more. Not surprisingly, 21 neither stands alone as a novel nor serves as a concise conclusion to the series. Instead, it sketches out the details of the start of another Aubrey mission. The bulk of the chapters offers set-pieces describing gunnery practice, grog, deck-swabbing, a hernia operation, and a reunion with Papal Nuncio Samuel Mputa. The pages also contain O'Brian's trademark humor and eagle-eyed observations, if cut...more
As a whole, the series was really good. The characters were likable, and the storyline was good. Towards the end of the series, it seemed the author had lost interest in some of the characters and either killed them or dropped them from the series with no explanation. At the same ti ...more
When the story ends there, it ...more
It's childish I guess, but it feels like, no matter how good it is, when you get to the end of something, especially when that something is several thousand pages of nautical adventure, it feels dimished somehow. That what felt impossibly huge around the midd ...more
I knew that 21 is only a fragment of O'Brian's early working through the next Aubrey/Maturin story--and I could see from the appearance of the book itself that it is quite short--and so my expectations were set quite low. I looked for it to be only a last souvenir of a series that I have loved. It is all that, of course. But I was surprised at just how much substance O'Brian set down on paper before his death ended the series forever. Like the completed volumes that end the series, there is much...more
As a ra ...more
Do read it, however, if you want to read every last word that O'Brian wrote about his heroes - or if you have any interest at all in O'Brian's writing process. You may need a magnifying lens to read the facsimile pages, in O'Brian's elegant but not-very-legible handwritin ...more
While the inclusion of the facsimile is interesting, it is not legible.
Had the manuscript been typeset, perhaps in italic script to differentiate it from the part that O'Brian had typed up, the reader would be able to access the whole of what had been written.
The decision not to render the text legible is incomprehensible.
I started the first book in this series in January, and determined to read through them all by the end of the year. (Could have read them all in a much shorter time, of course, but I wanted to draw it out, and make the experience last as long as possible. But, now its over, and I'm not ready...
This last entry in a wonderful series is only three chapters. Less, really, as O'Brian stopped mid-sentence, and died without finishing it. Still, he left us with all our beloved friends seemingly h ...more
Set in the ...more