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

4.34  ·  Rating Details ·  5,254 Ratings  ·  149 Reviews
This novel, enriched with excitement, action and grand naval battles, sees Aubrey and Maturin in the thick of Europe's attempt to prevent the French emperor from regaining his power.
Paperback, 292 pages
Published August 1st 2008 by Harper Perennial (first published 1998)
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Apr 06, 2014 Ted rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 1/2

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 [1815] - Napoleon has escaped from Elba. The reviewed n
Dec 23, 2011 Nelson rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Joshua Rigsby
Oct 15, 2014 Joshua Rigsby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nautical
Patrick O'Brian is close to the end of the series with this book. There are only one and a half books left and a little bit of the shine and luster have faded. Relatively important characters suddenly die off with very little explanation or impact on the story, Maturin has strangely come to understand the names of sails and the comparative values of different vessels, and much of the narrative involves espionage and the preparations for espionage instead of old fashioned cannon thumping and swas ...more
Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.)
Jul 02, 2009 Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) by:
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
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
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
Fritz Schneider
Nov 17, 2009 Fritz Schneider rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 22, 2011 Angela rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 12, 2009 Al rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 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
Mar 27, 2014 Susan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, jack-aubrey, 2015
I didn't enjoy this book as much as I did the previous one.

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
Jul 11, 2015 Corto rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
...hard to write my thoughts about this one without spoilers- so there isn't much to say. This volume is a solid part of the canon. POB was really regaining his footing after a bit of a "drop in intensity". This one pulsed with life. I thoroughly enjoyed it. 3 stars for the unceremonious way the endpoint of one character's long-term trajectory was handled.
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.
My favorite character is dead!
Catherine Mayo
This sets out to be another glorious read from Patrick O’Brian. Unfortunately O’Brian chooses to eliminate Stephen Maturin’s wife Diana in such a cursory fashion in the first few pages, it is hard to forgive him and slide back happily into the story. In the previous volume, The Yellow Admiral, we come to know Diana even better than before, and to have such a dashing, independent, colourful personality, with such superlative driving skills, rubbed out via a conversation between two characters tha ...more
Malcolm Costain
I confess it was the movie, 'Master and Commander: The far side of the world' that got me into this series several years ago.

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.
Jan 31, 2017 Don rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sea-and-sailors
Back in real-time history (after the interminable years 1812-1813 during which Patrick O'Brian extended the Aubrey/Maturin series with so many great books) I appreciate this one more than most of the series' books. Not only for the links with real history, but also for the balance between Aubrey-elements (sailing and sea-battles) and Maturin-elements (intelligence warfare).
Without putting in spoilers, I was less impressed with the way in which some majors characters were written out of the book
Web Webster
Sort of interstitial, not my favorite of the series. Too, a couple of important deaths go largely un-remarked. And I'm beginning to thing the "the dear old Surprise" is cut from The same cloth as villains in GI Joe cartoons … epic damage, this time at the hands of a badly steered Dutch man-of-war, can't sink her.
May 22, 2017 Marcus rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, not a whole lot happens in this book until the end (common theme at this point in the series) but the characters you love (Jack and Stephen) talk about stuff and look at stuff and eat stuff and it's somehow pretty satisfying. Oh and spoilers: Napoleon loses at Waterloo
Neil Coulter

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

Phil Jeffery
May 31, 2017 Phil Jeffery rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the better books of the series. I went straight into the next book after reading this one. Lots of intrigue and action.
May 18, 2017 Sandi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love this series of Patrick O'Brian and this one was very good. My only problem is that it is #19 of he 20 book series so I am almost done and am going to miss them!!!!
Boney has escaped his captivity on Elba and is threatening Europe once again. And once again, the British Navy and one of its most illustrious captains, now Commodore Jack Aubrey, are called upon to meet the challenge.

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
Marge Anderson
My least favorite of the Aubreiad, since Bonden cops it as well as Diana and Mrs. Williams. Still, there are amazing moments - most especially the disgrace of both Killick and a dog named Masby for their importunate bringing of bad luck to The Surprise.
Apr 23, 2009 Kathryn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2007, reread-books, 2001, 2016
1st Recorded Reading: September 2001
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
Jan 30, 2014 Derek rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 02, 2009 Mike rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 05, 2014 Kat rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nautical, historical
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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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
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Other Books in the Series

Aubrey & Maturin (1 - 10 of 21 books)
  • Master and Commander
  • Post Captain
  • H.M.S. Surprise
  • The Mauritius Command
  • Desolation Island
  • The Fortune of War
  • The Surgeon's Mate
  • The Ionian Mission
  • Treason's Harbour
  • The Far Side of the World

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“Wit is the unexpected copulation of ideas.” 1072 likes
“Jack, I must tell you in your private ear that we have some allies ashore, rather curious allies, I admit, who look after these operations: I hope and trust that you will see many another yard burnt or burning before we reach Durazzo. I am aware that this is not your kind of war, brother: it is not glorious. Yet as you see, it is effective.’ ‘Do not take me for a bloody-minded man, Stephen, a death-or-glory swashbuckling cove. Believe me, I had rather see a first-rate burnt to the water-line than a ship’s boy killed or mutilated.” 1 likes
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