The Far Side of the World (Aubrey & Maturin #10)
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...more
Beware all readers who are looking for the literary counterpart to the Russel Crowe movie Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World . While the books share the same title, the same premise (Napoleonic-era British ship HMS Surprise goes after an enemy that is attacking British whalers in the South Pacific) and many, but not all, of the same characters, they are in no way the same story.
Patrick O'Brian's attention to historical detail is almost un...more
Captain Jack Aubrey sets sail for Cape Horn, determined to intercept an American frigate before it can wreak havoc on the British whaling trade. As always, he is accompanied by intelligence operative Stephen Maturin, and as always, Aubrey has no idea of what his companion is up to. Another impeccably written adventure, by the end of which you should be able to identify a mizzen topsail in your sleep.Review
'...full of the energy that comes from a writer having struck a vein....more
As for the book, O'Brian packs a lot into this one, but ultimately I prefer the conclusion of the movie to that of the book.
The wreck of the Norfolk was a disappointment, especial...more
Once Again Sir O'Brian does not feel the need to over elaborate every encounter on the sea, however the ending of this book really deserved a better treatment than it did. Without spoiling, there should have been some form of explanation why things worked out like they did.
Another criticism I have for this episode is how the last act really could have been...more
Maturin and Aubrey go to the far side of the world, around the southern tip of South America, out to the pacific, and on their way, they are castaways, and at the mercy of castrating Amazons. Why did I not find this offensive? Is it because Maturin understands why they are so angry at men? Is it because the women are such great sailors? This book has a potentially melodramatic bit of plotting having to do with a jealous husband and his wife but the lurid scenes take plac...more
Despite having the same title as the movie, the film was actually an amalgam of scenes from the series--many of them from this book, but not all. The movie, however, misses out on an amazing sequence where Stephen and Jack fall overboard (okay, Stephen falls overboard and Jack dives in to save him) and must fend for themselves, as wel...more
This particular book features much talk...more
The plot of the book differs, of cours...more
The character of Hollom was another of these "same, but different" elements - in the film, he is a wholly sympathetic character but in the...more
H.M.S. Surprise, the Surprises, Jack Aubrey, and Stephen Maturin depart Gibraltar on a long voyage to pursue the American frigate Norfolk as it is intent upon harassing and capturing British whaling ships in the southern Atlantic and Pacific...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
Cocaine, too? Jeez, how many drugs is poor Stephen going to end up addicted to?
O'Brian's unique style and depth of characterisation, along with convincing dialogue and wealth of detail are all present and mixed with a story that never gets be-calmed make this a book that easily transcends genre.
Only ten more volumes of...more
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'She is the Surprise,' said Stephen, and he whispered, 'The joyful Surprise, God and Mary be with her.”