The Hundred Days (Aubrey & Maturin #19)
Popular Answered Questions
Said Kent (a Whitehall gentleman), “You will recall that Buonaparte professed himself a Muslim at the time of the Egyptian campaign?”
This from the penultimate (19 of 20) novel in O’Brian’s Aubrey-Maturin series of Napoleonic-era sailing/adventure novels. (For an overview and introduction to this series, see my review of Master and Commander.)
At the end of the previous novel (The Yellow Admiral) Aubrey receives a letter, dated Feb 28  - Napoleon has escaped from Elba. The reviewed n ...more
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
I will confess, on a shallower note, to having de ...more
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...
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
The author tended to ramble on about inconsequential things and when something did happen, it felt like the events were few and far between. As others mentioned, there was a death and we were not privy to any consequences from this nor any reactions. That was disappointing.
Still, I enjoy the characters of Jack and Stephen as they always surprise me with their actions. I think these two are probably the most human characters I've read in ...more
Since then, I've read almost all 20 of the 21 book series. There's only the final unfinished manuscript of the 21st book to go.
Things that make the series so good:
1. The characters of Jack Aubrey and Steven Maturin are so well developed that it's easy to spend time with them.
2. The technical details of the old sailing ships -- not for everyone but fascinating for me.
Without putting in spoilers, I was less impressed with the way in which some majors characters were written out of the book ...more
Many readers have noted that O'Brian's series declines in quality generally at some point in the second ten books. I agree with that, but The Hundred Days is the first volume where I actually almost wished he'd ended the series earlier. The reason for this is mostly in the opening chapter. The clunky exposition in this first chapter is not especially worse than the lame exposition sections in some (not all) of the other books in the series. But I felt shocked and insulted at the way O'Brian uses...more
Aubrey and his squadron of ships head to Gibraltar to begin their new campaign. As they are approaching the Rock, two old salts watch and discuss Aubrey and Dr. Stephen Maturin and their exploits. It is from their discussion that we learn of a tragedy that has befallen the pair. A ...more
2nd Recorded Reading: February 2007
This is the 19th (and second to last) novel in the series about the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars, featuring Captain Jack Aubrey and his good friend Dr. Stephen Maturin (who, besides officially being a physician, surgeon, and naturalist, is also deeply connected with the British Intelligence Service). I first read this book in September 2001, and again in February 2007, and I have been very much enjoying re-reading th ...more
Set in the ...more