The Thirteen-Gun Salute (Aubrey & Maturin #13)
Captain Jack Aubrey sets sail for the South China Sea with a new lease on life. Following his dismissal from the Royal Navy (a false accusation), he has earned reinstatement through his daring exploits as a privateer, brilliantly chronicled in The Letter of Marque. Now he is to shepherd Stephen Maturin—his friend, ship's surgeon, and sometimes intelligence agent—on a diplo...more
Words & Notes
p. 29 As usual, Stephen is at the cutting edge of medical technology, stocking "plaster of Par...more
The story begins with Jack Aubrey and Steven Maturin preparing for an espionage voyage to...more
The highlight of the book is the pilgrimage Dr. Steven Maturin...more
So, thirteen books in and it's getting har...more
But I’m probably preaching to the choir. If you’ve gotten this far in the series, you know why you should read this book. The deep and ever maturing characters – the exciting nav...more
What makes it a favourite is the chapter where Stephen, accompanied by an orang-utan, climbs a mountain to visit a...more
By this thirteenth book, titles are starting to feel more like arbitrary chunks of the ongoing dual biography than discrete novels. A high degree of familiarity with the series is presumed, but for dedicated readers this is part of the charm.
Highlights include Dr. Maturin's sojourn at a Buddhist temple in an isolated volcanic crater -- a...more
Another wonderful Aubrey and Maturin book. I always get lost in the world of these books, in the intricate diplomacy of shipboard life and the uncertain navigation of that era.
The best part is Stephen in Palo Prabang; he is such a geeky naturalist, and the descriptions of his explorations, his eating of a durian for the first time, meeting the orang-utangs, collecting orchids and so on are lush and evocative. And then the geeky naturalist shows his other face, as an intelligen...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
Apart from that minor quibble, though, this was as superb as I've come to expect from O'Brian, full of humour and intelligenc...more
In this installment Jack is still the captain of his beloved Surprise as a Letter of Marque vessel (a state sponsored, yet privately owned, pirate ship). It chronicles the trials and tribulations of transporting diplomats and working with them to negotiating treaties and a fascinating description of primiti...more
Seriously, I wouldn't consider myself a naval history buff, but that doesn't matter with these. It's the characters, the humor, the unexpected twists, and the realistic descriptions that help you imagine life aboard HMS ____ that keeps me coming back.