The Hundred Days (Aubrey/Maturin, #19)
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The Hundred Days (Aubrey & Maturin #19)

4.31 of 5 stars 4.31  ·  rating details  ·  3,523 ratings  ·  98 reviews
Napoleon escapes from Elba, and the fate of Europe hinges on a desperate mission: Stephen Maturin must ferret out the French dictator's secret link to the powers of Islam, and Jack Aubrey must destroy it. Boldly conceived and brilliantly executed, "The Hundred Days" is Patrick O'Brian's most ambitious novel yet, and surely one of his most rewarding. In this climactic -- bu...more
Hardcover, 280 pages
Published October 17th 1998 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published 1998)
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For the second time (I think) in the series, O'Brian has written an ordinarily entertaining novel rather than something that achieved a bit more. There are minor lapses here and there. Those who cavil at the leaps in plot and the lingering on what sometimes seem like insignificant details haven't been paying enough attention; O'Brian has done this from the beginning. In the past, the swift refocusing of the narrative on surprising events (or the glossing over of major ones--here, the death of a...more
Gilly McGillicuddy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Christopher H.
I have to say reading this novel resulted in a bit of a shock to me. Patrick O'Brian uses deus ex machina to address some apparent 'loose ends,' and I shan't say anything further to spoil it for the reader. Superbly plotted and deftly written, "The Hundred Days" refers to the period of time between Napoleon's escape from exile on Elba to his subsequent defeat on the battlefield of Waterloo in June 1815 by the Allies. In that same time frame, our intrepid Royal Navy Captain, Jack Aubrey, now made...more
Duncan Mandel
SUMMARY: The year is 1815, and Europe's most unpopular (not to mention tiniest) empire-builder has escaped from Elba. In The Hundred Days, it's up to Jack Aubrey--and surgeon-cum-spymaster Stephen Maturin--to stop Napoleon in his tracks. How? For starters, Aubrey and his squadron have been dispatched to the Adriatic coast, to keep Bonapartist shipbuilders from beefing up the French navy. Meanwhile, one Sheik Ibn Hazm is fomenting an Islamic uprising against the Allies. The only way to halt this...more
Fritz Schneider
I cannot tell you how much I love this series. I've been rationing it -- I saved two of the last four for my honeymoon. I'm debating when and how to consume the last two.

These books are awesome -- funny, with great characters. If you're just starting out ask someone who's read them before to give you a little primer on what to pay attention to...
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...more
It was interesting to read this book, written by O'Brian toward the end of his Aubrey-Maturin series, soon after reading HMS Surprise, written much earlier. The Hundred Days fails by comparison. Its plot is weak, disjointed, and wandering. The book deals with a series of relatively minor events occurring during the "hundred days" of Napoleon's return from exile, which return ended in his loss to Wellington at Waterloo. In the book, Aubrey and Maturin fitfully pursue a shipment of gold intended...more
This book was not what I've come to expect of O'Brien. The pacing and characterization were a little off. I had trouble getting through the first hundred pages. Then, the book didn't really seem true to the two main characters. There were a couple of sudden deaths of characters that have been around since the first books--which were then hardly ever mentioned again. I didn't feel that Stephen or Jack reacted to those deaths in realistic ways. I don't care if they are British--no-one's stiff uppe...more
Craig a.k.a Meatstack
Patrick O'Brian, you Son of a B

How can you just kill off one of the most beloved characters in this series, and brush it aside like nothing happened?

I get that sudden death is a fact in the British Navy of the Napoleonic wars, but that was ludicrous. I can't believe that, and I'm trying not to spoil the "who" involved, Jack and Steven would have just moved on like he was a landsman.

Ok, I'm done venting. Maybe not...

Here's the problem. This story isn't the most succinct of the series. it's sort...more
Not him at his best, I think. O' Brian's very clearly tired at this point, and I think writing just in order to spend more time with the characters, rather than in order to say anything new about them. Still eminently readable, of course, but there's a certain spark that's lacking—not to mention the fact that he elided over the departures of two major characters in a way which made my eyebrows shoot up. There's British reticence, and there's that.

I will confess, on a shallower note, to having de...more
Karla (Mossy Love Grotto)
Another in the series where I either couldn't get into the plot or there wasn't much of one to speak of. It seemed to really lack the narrative oomph of so many others in the series.
Derek Smith
If for no other reason, I have to rate this book a 4 out of 5 simply because I love Patrick O'Brian's use of language in his dialogue between characters to transport the reader to a past age. The series as a whole is a loose retelling of Lord Cochrane's (a true naval hero of that epoch) life but O'Brian is able to develop fictional relationships that have become famous in literature. Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin are as famous as the author himself and every book in the series relates their ad...more
My favorite character is dead!
Jack Aubrey is in his glory in this book. As a squadron commodore, he is able to wrangle command of his favorite ship, the small and fast "Surprise" and he, as always, uses this ship to its best advantages. He meets a French frigate in combat and sinks it, and, much to his glory and pocketbook, outmaneuvers and eventually captures a fast moving Algerian treasure galley. When not chasing a treasure laden zebec, he is using "Surprise" to attack and burn French ships being built in a dockyard, and...more
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Although the 19th book in the series, this was my third, having read just the first two in the series previous to this. What I found most surprising about that fact was that despite missing 16 books in between, I missed very little plot, and was easily caught up to date within a couple of chapters. This was both good (easy to read, familiar characters, etc), and somewhat disappointing (how can so little happen in so many books?). That said, I have no doubt that there is still much adventure and...more
Why weren't O'Brian's editors supporting him here? Do editors just let successful prolific authors run amok? The publisher could have substantially strengthened this book without much more than an ordinary reader's knowledge of the series. He was in his late 80s and cranking these out - the least they could have done was double-check the consistency.
MAJOR spoiler:
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I hadn't remembered this volume fondly (and I am an O'Brian fan) but I enjoyed the reread. I had forgotten the scene when Killick breaks the narwhal's horn which was wonderfully funny as was the dog eating the hand of glory. By funny I mean tears running down my face funny. There are deaths of much loved characters in this volume and there is a cloud over the action so the truly funny parts are glorious and unexpected.
Kory Klimoski
I am getting closer and closer..... There are twenty-one books to the Aubrey/Maturin series and I only have a couple left. Just this thought alone depresses me a little, I like the series so much. I guess I will have to start over again once I am finished. This particular book is much better than the last one. Napoleon is back in power and Jack is back out at sea. The times spent at home for Jack and Steven aren't very exciting and O'Brien has a tough time at keeping the reader interested. When...more
read for 2nd time - first read 2010 (?). I'd given this 2 stars on first recording it on goodreads, but I must say on rereading that I found it as good as any in the Aubrey/Maturin series - almost. A certain plot point (why the treasure is needed) was reiterated 3 or 4 times, and I can't really understand the heavy-handedness of this emphasis, as O'Brian's touch is usually much lighter, except where summarizing earlier events ('Previously on HMS Surprise...'). But I found this as gripping and en...more
David Miller
On the one hand, historical fiction like this is mouth watering. We have an absurd depth of research applied to getting all the details of language and custom and history right. And they're on a boat! Sometimes it's nice to lay back and quietly absorb all this talk of stunsails.

On the other hand, the plot is kind of lazy, and excepting the few battle scenes it often feels like most of the action that moves the plot forward happens "off screen." The timing of events, moreover, subtly implies that...more
This is a seafaring novel that takes place at the end of the Napoleanic wars in Europe 1815 or so, I think. O’Brian writes like Dickens with obscure words and descriptions. Vic Barrett of Utah State says that this is his favorite author. I tried reading one of O’Brian’s books a couple years ago but I just couldn’t finish it. This was full length recorded book on CD that allowed me to concentrate on the listening and not the reading. It really does give someone a flavor of what it might have been...more
This was another 3.5 stars really, a good read, but I still prefer the earlier books in the series. The thing that really stuck out in this one was the death of two important characters, one on land and one at sea. Considering who they were (I won't say to spoil things), I was surprised at how little it seemed to effect the other characters in the book, especially Aubrey and Maturin. One of the deaths you only hear about via idle gossip, the other you witness, but it was abrupt and barely mentio...more
This is such a wonderful series I am sad to be reaching the end. I have one (and a half...Patrick O'Brian did not finish the last one) to go and am rationing them out. I actually listened to this one on CD. It is read by the talented Patrick Tull. This book chronicles Jack and Stephen as they play out their part in the last Hundred Days before Waterloo, when Napoleon is finally defeated. Stephen plays a much bigger role in this book than does Jack. We see him on a diplomatic mission in Northern...more
I'm terribad at updating my Goodreads.
I finished "The Hundred Days" more than a hundred days ago.
Admittedly it did take me a while to get through the end of this book, but this is because I didn't want the series to end!
But end it did, and while it seemed like there was some set-up for a next book, it also worked well as a series end.

I look forward to re-reading the entire series in a few years, though perhaps with the aid of some of the supplemental books. I hardly ever paused to look up loca...more
I read the very first "Master and Commander" a long time ago and do not really remember much. But after watching "The Far Side of the World" with a very cute Russel Crowe as Jack Aubrey, I had to have another go. The first 30 pages or so were a bit slow going - I had to get used to the old fashioned writing style. But once that did not throw me anymore, I had a good time. Not quite Hornblower, but close. I loved the naval battles. Quite a lot of quirkiness as well, especially when Maturin turns...more
Although I’m not certain if O’Brian wrote any others after this novel in the Aubrey and Maturin series, this must be near the end. The two participate in the final downfall of Napoleon’s attempt at a comeback. Leave it to me to read the last novel first but none the less. it’s a brilliantly written story that captures the flavor of the period in language, dress and customs. The characters are nuanced and believable yet I feel that a lot has transpired between them that I should be privy to but t...more
Jack and Stephen race around the Mediterranean destroying French ships under construction and tracking a shipment of gold that, if delivered successfully, will pay mercenaries to stop the Allies from defeating Napoleon at Waterloo. Lots of interesting new characters, including a scientific and political colleague for Stephen, a lion-hunting Dey and his crafty Vizier, and two Irish children whom Stephen purchases in a slave market. Some beloved characters perish in this book, both without warning...more
Some sad news in the beginning. However, most of the sadness is well buried below the surface.

A successful campaign in the Mediterranean, in the coast of Italy, and Barbary.

Maturin, with a special mission in the Barbary country, hunted with the Bey, and some rather byzantine schemes in the Barbary country.

A final battle with a xebec, and I am deeply saddened by the sudden death of a wonderful crewman.

I am also saddened by the fact that there is only one book left in the series, Blue at the M...more
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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...more
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