Desolation Island (Aubrey & Maturin #5)
Desolation Island and all of the Aubrey/Mat...more
I've had this on Mt. TBR for years and now it is the Classic Serial starting Sunday. Bargain!
BBC BLURB: August, 1811. Jack Aubrey sets sail for Australia in his new command, HMS Leopard. His mission - to transport a group of convicts to Botany Bay, including a woman, Louisa Wogan, who has been spying for the Americans. Stephen Maturin joins Jack once again as ship's surgeon - but his real mission is to watch Mrs Wogan. When a fever breaks out among the prisoners and crew, Jack decides to head f...more
But O'Brian never does that. Never. And we're talking p...more
During the course of Desolation Island, the constantly changing setting help breath more life...more
One of my favorite P.O'B. books.
Further thoughts (on the fourth or fifth reading): This book is a classic 'out of the frying pan, into the fire' adventure. Fro...more
O'Brian skillfully creates another compelling adventure from historical facts during the Napoleonic Wars. This time, the story places a mysterious female spy (and her paramour) aboard the "Leopard," an aging ship bound for Botany Bay commanded by Jack Aubrey. An unknown, fatal illness claims half the crew and a high-speed chase in which they are pursued by a Dutch frigate end in the most horrifying description of disaster at sea ever put to paper made my heart thump. The...more
I read the first two Aubrey/Maturin books many many years ago, and while I enjoyed them I never quite got into the habit of pursuing the series. A couple of years back I picked up Desolation Island from Bookmooch (which seems incidentally to have lurched back into activity in the last month or so, which is good news) and have now submitted to various people's urgings in my last couple of what-shall-I-read-next-year posts and digested it.
It is a cracking...more
In a book such as this, the discussion of pintels, forecastles, orlop decks,...more
Holy shit, look at all that stuff! Mutineers! Sexy lady spies! Plagues! What isn't to like here?
First, a few corrections t...more
This book begins my favorite of the story arcs in the Aubrey-Maturin series. Jack and Stephen are aboard "the horrible old Leopard ", and there are some absolutely amazing action scenes in this book: the pursuit by the Dutch 74-gun during a storm; the chaos when the sailors abandon the damaged ship to sail away with Grant; the tense effort to bring the ship to Desolation island before she founders.
Then there's the human...more
didn't really care for the Wogan/Herapath subplot (predictable), and got a little tired of Stephen's wallowing and Jack's ironic misogyny. the caper with the Dutch man o'war was actually one of the more thril...more
Five books in, and the series has not lost the number of its mess. Desolation Island begins with an update on life with the Aubreys at Ashgrove Cottage. It's the beginning of ongoing struggles Jack will have with con men who prey on hapless sailors on land. But it reaffirms Jack's trusting, kind heart, and it reveals Sophie's deep strengths—the perfect wife for Jack, despite her doubts.
But Jack and Stephen are quickly back to sea, and so commences what will be a very long and tortuous journey be...more
So, yeah, I found thi...more
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Nonsense,’ said Stephen, ‘it is the most wholesome cabbage I have ever come across in the whole of my career. I hope, Mr. Herapath, that you are not going to join in the silly weak womanish unphilosophical mewling and puling about the cabbage. So it is a little yellow in certain lights, so it is a little sharp, so it smells a little strange: so much the better, say I. At least that will stop the insensate Phaeacian hogs from abusing it, as they abuse the brute creation, stuffing themselves with flesh until what little brain they have is drowned in fat. A virtuous esculent! Even its boldest detractors, ready to make the most hellish declarations and to swear through a nine-inch plank that the cabbage makes them fart and rumble, cannot deny that it cured their purpurae. Let them rumble till the heavens shake and resound again; let them fart fire and brimstone, the Gomorrhans, I will not have a single case of scurvy on my hands, the sea-surgeon’s shame, while there is a cabbage to be culled.”