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Post Captain (Aubrey/Maturin, #2)
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Post Captain (Aubrey & Maturin #2)

4.29 of 5 stars 4.29  ·  rating details  ·  10,342 ratings  ·  517 reviews
"I fell in love with [O'Brian's] writing straightaway, at first with Master and Commander. It's about friendship, camaraderie. Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin always remind me a bit of Mick and me." —Keith Richards, in his memoir Life

"We've beat them before and we'll beat them again." In 1803 Napoleon smashes the Peace of Amiens, and Captain Jack Aubrey, R. N., taking refu
Paperback, 527 pages
Published August 17th 1990 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published 1972)
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Post Captain makes me wonder if Patrick O'Brian originally intended Master and Commander as a one off (and if you know the answer please don't tell me. I like not knowing).

Master and Commander is a great book, and our introduction to Captain Jack Aubrey and Doctor Stephen Maturin is a great hook, but it can stand alone as a simple Naval adventure without any need for additional information about the men and women confined by its pages. This could, of course, simply be a result of its place as th
Jason Koivu
Apr 30, 2013 Jason Koivu rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jason by: C.S. Forester, in a way.

Dancing bears and loons that fancy themselves teapots? No, number two in the series is not a typical Aubrey/Maturin adventure, yet it is perhaps better than the first!

While book one, Master & Commander, was about war and friendship, the second book, Post Captain enters the love arena, and friendship is put to the test. Of course war is not forgotten, this is a historical fiction series set during the Napoleonic Wars after all. The career of our hero Captain Jack Aubrey of the Royal Navy inte
Patrick O'Brian, you have exposed yourself.

Exposed yourself as a Jane Austen wannabe, that is. One who is a bit sniffily about the fact that Jane (quite unfairly, I'm sure!) did not give us the thoughts of the male half of the regency romance equation.

The first 200 pages of this novel do really read like a historical romance. Albeit one with a very masculine touch- there's just as much swearing and angst and tinkering with the natural world in odd ways as ever there was before, but now its all i

Second books in a long epic series are usually a lot harder to write and to get right than debut ones. To use an analogy from music, a rock band usually writes a great debut album : they've been playing the material for years in garages and/or small pubs before being noticed, they have their enthusiasm stil running high and the ambition to get noticed. Second showings are often either trying to cash in on original success and are rushed with outtakes and rejects from the first album or are self-
Edward Waverley
Among John Fowles’ many goals in The French Lieutenant’s Woman (1969) was his intention to pay homage to Jane Austen’s Persuasion. But Post Captain, published just three years after Fowles’s book, is a far happier tribute to Jane, enriching my enjoyment of Austen, while succeeding on many other accounts as well. While Fowles rambles all over Lyme and Bath trying both to epitomize and to outdo the entire body of Victorian literature, O’Brian, as always, entertains and educates with matchless grac ...more
The second installment of the Aubrey-Maturin chronicles is long, and has the unpredictable, organic rhythm one comes to expect of the books: the small and large concerns chasing each other, defeat crowding upon victory, action on small, daily joys.

This volume brings us deeper into the landed life of the two protagonists, and explores new highs and lows in their friendship. It also brings us new ships to love and hate, blazing action, and the difference between the wizened heads of male and femal
I would give it ten stars if I could!

I can't even get my mind around how much story was in this book, but it was wonderful. There is so much going on from one section to the next. Something always happening. There are no dull moments. Always new things to learn about. So much humor in the dialogue - much of it tongue-in-cheek. Laugh out loud funny at times. Then there are scenes where things are so sad. There is a love story for one and the opposite for another.

Jack - having to evade creditors
Sherwood Smith
Patrick O’Brian’s worldbuilding conveys the impression that there are not only detailed landscape and dwellings to be glimpsed through the smallest window, but the roads lead somewhere just as detailed, whether the story leads us there or not.

O’Brian is a perfect example of what I call the bricolage method of worldbuilding, bricolage being (I think) a strong element of appeal for many genre readers.

O’Brian’s mastery of history is evident in the slight references that evoke, to the reader who kno
The second in the Aubrey-Maturin series. In this 400-page tome, so much happens it’s impossible to encapsulate a plot. Aubrey is promoted to the titular rank but is hounded by debtors, the two men escape while Aubrey is disguised as a bear (!), Stephen works as a spy for the Admiralty, the two men both dote on the same two girls (whose mother is an obvious homage to Mrs. Bennet in Pride And Prejudice), they nearly fight a duel, and of course there is tremendous naval action. I now look back with ...more
Rebecca Huston
A very enjoyable entry in the series, as we get to see Jack and Stephen fall in love, struggle with money, go on an adventure or two, and the real use of a dancing bear. Lots of little nautical details and don't let the esoteric terms through you off -- it's worth the effort. Five stars overall and very much recommended.

For the longer review please go here:
Carac Allison

The Aubrey/Maturin series is a marvel. Every five years or so I work my way through it again. Right now I'm listening to Simon Vance's fine audiobook versions.

"Post Captain" is the one book I always have trouble rereading because of the rift between Jack and Stephen. Silly I know but there it is.

This was better than the first book for me. Jack and Stephen were not the annoying characters I found them in the first book and the story could be quite humourous in places.

I enjoyed the love story element but was very happy to have them back at sea by the end of the book.
Felicity Teasdale
I first came across these books about ten years ago when a friend gave me Master and Commander - the first book in the Aubrey-Maturin series - as a gift. I was largely discouraged by the naval language and the style of writing. Older and wiser, I gave it another try last year and found a new affection for the characters.

Post Captain - the second book in the series - has confirmed me as a devotee and I'm looking forward to reading more of these.

The story picks up where Master and Commander left
In the second installment of the Aubrey/Maturin series we see O'Brian really flesh out his characters giving them great depth and believability. In Post-Captain we see the more social sides of Jack and Stephen as they peruse their future wives.

We see the main characters outside the setting of Ships and gun smoke during the Peace of Amiens. We learn that Stephen Maturin is more than he seems as he is a Naval Surgeon and a British Intelligence agent. The book is really well paced and juxtaposed b
Christopher H.
This is the second in the twenty completed volumes of the Aubrey-Maturin canon, and one of the best too. While first book, Master and Commander, kicked off the series with terrific writing and action, this volume really develops the characters in a most Austenesque fashion (and has its fair share of action and adventure too). In Post Captain we truly come to know and care for Jack Aubrey, Stephen Maturin, Sophie Williams, Barret Bonden, and Preserved Killick, and a whole raft of other great char ...more
If you liked Master & Commander, as I did, you will definitely love this book also. The descriptions by Mr. O'Brian are so amazinly detailed and thorough, that the reader definitely has the feeling of being a "fly on the wall" in seeing all that is happening. Jack
Aubrey and Stephen Maturin are people that we actually get to know and I keep wondering how Mr O'Brian became so well versed in not only the history of the time but in the small details of life such as the use of "was" by educated
Renee M
I reread the first three books of this series periodically. They are just brilliant! Post Captain is the one that sealed my fate as a member of the Aubrey-Maturin fan club. They and their crew have become like old and very dear friends.

I am struck by how much happens in this particular book. How funny and how suspenseful. Stephen comes much more into the forefront as a primary character, and what a divine, complex, ingenious character he is. :)

Overall, Post Captain has a place of distinction i
Fans of Jane Austen ought to be more than won over by the second in O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin series, as Jack and Stephen leave the comfortable unpredictability of the sea for the more mannered and perilous milieu of drawingroom courtship. Interspersed between the dewey-eyed maids and their avaricious mothers lie some of O'Brian's most vivid action sequences, including a land escape from France into Spain, and a shallow-water battle that must be read to be believed.
Patrick O'Brian proved he was not a one-hit wonder after he followed his first critically-acclaimed novel "Master and Commander" with this book; he would continue to prove his point eighteen more times in later years. As with the first book, "Post Captain" provides the reader with details concerning character developments, historical context and seafaring terminology that will provide the basis for understanding the whole canon of Aubrey-Maturin-related literature. This is not to say you have to ...more
"There she is, sir, just under the sprits'l yard. Tops'ls: maybe mizen t'garns'ls. Close-hauled, I take it."

Nope, me neither. But you know what? This book is such ruddy good fun that it really doesn't matter - I spent most of my reading time with a huge grin on my face when I wasn't laughing. Life's been a bit rocky lately, and this did a fantastic job of cheering me up and keeping my mind occupied, which was just what I needed.

Spending the first third of the book on land, the 'Jane Austen for b
I was really disappointed with this book. I had very much enjoyed Master and Commander, so when I saw other books in the series at the charity shop, I snapped them all up and am now semi-regretting it.
Nothing really seemed to happen for the whole of this fairly lengthy book. I know that it's setting up a lot of the characters, situations etc for the future books, so maybe that was the problem? But I spent the whole time waiting for the main point of the story and it never came.
The writing style
This is part 2 of 22 in the Aubrey/Maturin series and Patrick O'Brian, despite his eloquent, colorful timepiece language, could do so much more for the series if he wrote more lengthy passages about naval maneuvers and fighting action in Post Captain. Instead he spent well over 450 pages maturing the relationship between our two protagonists. Hands down, though, the best part is the language. "Ahoy, lubber, sheet the mains'ls and run-out the 24 pounders."

O'Brian gives us only two teasing passage
For much of Post Captain (1972), the second novel in Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin naval saga set during the age of sail and Napoleon, Jack Aubrey is "brought by the lee," stuck in a difficult and uncomfortable position. Still waiting for his promotion to Post Captain and his prize money to come through after the climax of Master and Commander (1970), Jack has barely set up housekeeping with his good friend Stephen Maturin (medical doctor, avid naturalist, and secret agent) in a rented mansio ...more
Gary Foss
I've read some reviewers of these books describe them as "Jane Austen for guys." After reading the first in the series, Master and Commander, I was more than a little confused by that description as there seemed to be so little basis for comparison other than the period in which they were written. The writing styles are only alike in that the dialogue has the tone of the period, though I would hazard that for Austen that tone is authentic while O'Brian's version is affected. (That's a bit unfair ...more
Book 2: Exit Sophie the ship, enter, Sophie, the girl ...
Grounded, Commander Jack and his mates take a brief respite in ... 'Pride and Prejudice.' Seriously, they've rented a cottage in pastoral southern England during that Jane-Austenesque superearly-19th century time that's more like the 18th century. Enter, the neighbors: A family of landed gentry consisting almost entirely of marriageable young ladies, including -- I truly am not making this up -- the aforementioned "namesake" of Jack's s
Lord Beardsley
May 04, 2008 Lord Beardsley rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: adventure lovers with a brain
Recommended to Lord by: Gilly!
Shelves: read2008
The more of these books I read, the more I enjoy them. It takes a while to get into them, but once you do, it's a treat. The humour is hard to spot in the first novel (Master and Commander), but by this one, it's there in full-force. Bear suit anyone? Maturin and Aubrey are the ambiguously gay duo, and the novel is written with so many choice bits that it makes you giggle in the best middle-schooler type of way. No surprise that so much slash fan fiction is based on this series.

Besides that, th
This is the second book of Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin series. I actually found this book to be more enjoyable than the first volume. The plot clips along at a lively pace, providing a bit of Austen-like romance, a dash of silly escapades (an escape from the French in a bear costume), a tense test of the core friendship (a demand of satisfaction at dawn) and, of course, the requisite crashing carronades, roaring broadsides and cheering boarding parties. The book is great fun. I really enjoy ...more
Two down, nineteen to go - and I'm looking forward to it.

Yep. These books are like a beautiful but chilly swimming pool. If you stick your foot in the water you'll be tempted to walk away and go sit on a lawn chair under a sprinkler instead. But you'll be missing out.

Get in the pool! The language is challenging at first, because O'Brien writes it with authenticity and detail. Especially the naval lingo. But once you decide to dive in and let it surround you, you get a rich immersive experience i
Compelling story, better than the first book, I can see why people love this series.

This, the second book in the series is much better than the first. Mostly it’s in the writing style. The author “switched” from the old/older style of incredibly long paragraphs to the more modern style of shorter paragraphs that have a specific lede. This book (the second, not the series) is focused on character development mostly, including love interest for the two principals (Aubrey and Maturin). There were s
-------- Potential spoilers ahead --------
Was disappointed a few pages into this novel that there wasn't much seafaring going on, but it eventually turned out to be an excellent read.

Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin set up lodgings in Melbury Lodge and gain the acquaintance of their neighbours, the Williams family. Aubrey courts Sophia and Maturin quietly pursues Diana Villers, her cousin, who treats him merely as a close friend. Meanwhile, Aubrey's finances go for a toss and he suddenly finds hi
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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 about Patrick O'Brian...

Other Books in the Series

Aubrey & Maturin (1 - 10 of 21 books)
  • Master and Commander (Aubrey/Maturin, #1)
  • H.M.S. Surprise (Aubrey/Maturin, #3)
  • The Mauritius Command (Aubrey/Maturin, #4)
  • Desolation Island (Aubrey/Maturin, #5)
  • The Fortune of War (Aubrey/Maturin, #6)
  • The Surgeon's Mate (Aubrey/Maturin, #7)
  • The Ionian Mission (Aubrey/Maturin, #8)
  • Treason's Harbour (Aubrey/Maturin #9)
  • The Far Side of the World (Aubrey/Maturin, #10)
  • The Reverse of the Medal (Aubrey/Maturin Book, #11)
Master and Commander (Aubrey/Maturin, #1) H.M.S. Surprise (Aubrey/Maturin, #3) The Mauritius Command (Aubrey/Maturin, #4) Desolation Island (Aubrey/Maturin, #5) The Fortune of War (Aubrey/Maturin, #6)

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