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Master And Commander (Aubrey & Maturin #1)

4.1  ·  Rating details ·  35,396 Ratings  ·  2,471 Reviews
1800s. Britain's Nelson leads Navy against Napoleon's France. Captain Jack Aubrey, newly promoted to old, slow HMS Sophie, is a brave and gifted seaman, his thirst for adventure and victory immense. Aided by friend and skilled ship surgeon Stephen Maturin, Aubrey and crew win clashes, finally hopelessly outmatched by a mighty Spanish frigate.
Paperback, First Thus edition, 403 pages
Published October 6th 2003 by Harper Collins Publishers (first published 1969)
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Lynn Patrick O'Brian's Navy: The Illustrated Companion to Jack Aubrey's World by Richard O'Neill and The Patrick O'Brian Muster Book: Persons, Animals,…morePatrick O'Brian's Navy: The Illustrated Companion to Jack Aubrey's World by Richard O'Neill and The Patrick O'Brian Muster Book: Persons, Animals, Ships and Cannon in the Aubrey-Maturin Sea Novels by Anthony Gary Brown. Also, A Sea of Words: A Lexicon and Companion to the Complete Seafaring Tales of Patrick O'Brian by Dean King.(less)
Lucy Sí, la pelicula es basado en los personajes y la situación en general de los libros, aunque la historia en sí de la pelicula saca elementos de varios…moreSí, la pelicula es basado en los personajes y la situación en general de los libros, aunque la historia en sí de la pelicula saca elementos de varios d elos libros para generar una historia diferente. (less)
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Community Reviews

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Stephen
This story posed a bugger of a ratings quandary for yours truly.

While reading it I was bouncing around between everything from a bountiful 5 star rating for pure quality of writing, hefty historical detail and superbly drawn characters, all the way south to a skimpy 2 star for less than engaging plotting, iceberg-like pacing and noticeable lack of emotional resonance. Finally, in my best impression of Solomon, I settled on a solid, if not quite ebullient, 3 stars based on the fact that I was de
...more
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
$1.99 Kindle sale, May 2, 2017. The classic high seas adventure!

description

In the year 1800, Jack Aubrey sits next Stephen Maturin at a musical performance in Port Mahon, Minorca, a base of the British Royal Navy in the Mediterranean Sea between Spain and Italy. They immediately rub each other the wrong way. Both are snappish because of other issues in their lives, and they part planning on next meeting for a duel. But when Jack is given his first command of a ship, all is forgiven, and he needs a ship's
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Ted
The music-room in the Governor’s House at Port Mahon, a tall, handsome, pillared octagon, was filled with the triumphant first movement of Locatelli’s C major quartet. The players … were playing with passionate conviction as they mounted towards the penultimate crescendo, towards the tremendous pause and the deep, liberating final chord.

Thus the first sentence of Master and Commander; thus begins the grand series of historical novels penned by Patrick O’Brian over the last three decades of the
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Henry Avila
Jack Aubrey, the frustrated naval officer, at last, after a long wait, on shore, receives his own ship to command, the brig Sophie, but by the strange ways of the British Royal Navy , called a sloop. The year 1800, Napoleon is unstoppable on land, but the British rule the Seas. In Port Mahon, on the Mediterranean island of Minorca, captured from the Spanish, allies of the French. Aubrey tries to gets his ship ready, war rages, it has for many years. He, a music lover, meets Stephen Maturin, on d ...more
Kelly
Jun 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 19th century lit and history fans, lovers of a damn fine yarn
Recommended to Kelly by: Sarah
You know, I've often been annoyed by the fact that so many times, I never get to experience something the way it was intended, or to its fullest. Because someone else always gets there first, and someone's else's eyes are always put in front of mine before I get the chance to do it for myself (I recall writing a very emotional paper on Vermeer's Girl With a Pearl Earring, the Chevalier book and the movie that followed along these lines. Yeah, I was a silly teenager). I often see the parodies of ...more
Brad
Mar 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: my Dad
ii. I'm at it again, but this time I opened up my Aubrey-Maturin reread by listening. It took a month of commuting, but it was worth the time and the patience, and though I have gleaned no new insights into Master and Commander, my enjoyment of the audio experience was more than fulfilling enough.

O'Brian wasn't a big fan of the audio versions of his books, nor of the men reading them: “To revert to my ideal reader: he would avoid obvious emotion, italics and exclamation marks like the plague -
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Jason Koivu
Nov 22, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Master and Commander begins English author Patrick O'Brian's lush and literary epic seafaring historical fiction series based on the career of a naval captain during the time of the Napoleonic Wars.

Through out the entire series O'Brian delves into the themes of love, war and friendship. At the heart of M&C is the friendship between Captain Jack Aubrey and Irish surgeon and naturalist Stephen Maturin. When they meet at the book's outset - Aubrey a lieutenant without a ship, Maturin a doctor
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Joe
Jan 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Maybe it's a blasphemy, but I prefer the Aubrey-Maturin series to all others, even Holmes-Watson. Every book is packed to absolute straining with erudition, wit, history, and thunderous action. I read two books from the series every year - they're reliable standbys when I absolutely must read something I know I will love.
Diane
Ahoy, calling all fans of historical fiction! This first book in Patrick O'Brian's popular series about a captain in the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars was a surprising delight.

I say surprising because even though I had seen some great reviews of it by fellow Goodreaders, I was intimidated to read it out of fear of the nautical jargon. I listened to this on audio (narrated by the excellent Simon Vance) and I was glad I also had a print copy handy so I could look up some terms. My edition
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Simon
Jul 08, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: partly-read
I loved the film, and really, really wanted to love this book (with plans to go on and read others in the series) but with the exception of perhaps the first chapter, I found the first hundred pages to be sheer drudgery. O'Brian is obviously a brilliant writer and scholar, but the lengths to which he luxuriates in nautical lingo - coupled with the already flowery (however beautiful) vernacular of the time - rendered the text incredibly inaccessible in terms of a casual read. I'm years out of sch ...more
Darwin8u
Jun 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
“Patriotism is a word; and one that generally comes to mean either my country, right or wrong, which is infamous, or my country is always right, which is imbecile.”
― Patrick O'Brian, Master and Commander

description

Over the years I've collected O'Brian's paperback novels at used book stores, sale racks, goodwills, etc., one or two at a time. I almost have a complete paperback set (I also recently broke down and bought a four volume complete set), but didn't yet feel quite ready to attack. I needed a push
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Sparrow
Sep 12, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: sy fy fans
This book is very valuable insofar as it has taught me to respect the society of men the way I would respect the circle around a chained-up rabid dog. Usually it seemed like the men were always criticizing each other behind one another's backs and this usually arose from something like “he has slightly insulted my honor or friend, perhaps unintentionally, I'm not going to find out, I'm just going to list off and exaggerate every one of his faults because it will create a deeper bond between me a ...more
Leighton
Apr 25, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of C.S. Forester or Jane Austen
I'm putting this volume on my list to represent the entire twenty-volume series, which I've almost finished now. If you saw the Peter Weir movie, my impression was that the period detail was nice and Russell Crowe was well-cast but the rest of the film really didn't convey what is wonderful about Patrick O'Brian's mind.

These are naval adventure stories, set mostly aboard a British man-of-war during the Napoleonic conflicts. In those respects they are like C.S. Forester's Horatio Hornblower seri
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K.D. Absolutely
Aug 15, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 100 Must Read Books for Men
Shelves: adventure, guy-lit
Now, this is my favorite maritime historical novel. It has just dislodged Kon-Tiki by Thor Heyerdhal and Over the Edge of the World: Magellan's Terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe by Laurence Bergreen. The reason: the detailed and vivid writing of Patrick O'Brian (1914-2000). How could a trained pilot write a 20-novel Aubrey-Maturin (yes, this is 411-page book is just the first) about naval warfare during Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815) with such details and jargons as if he was from the era? R ...more
Tim
Mar 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It’s 1800 and the British navy is at war with Napoleon. Jack Aubrey is given command of his first ship. The main and most lovingly drawn character in this book is the ship itself, the Sophie. The knowledge Patrick O’Brian has of 19th century naval vessels is remarkable, almost overwhelming. I have to confess that at times there was almost too much research in this novel. Virtually every sentence contains nautical terms that I had to look up. It’s a very cinematic novel – more focused on action s ...more
Tristan
Jun 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Never mind manoeuvres, always go at them.”

-Patrick O'Brian, Master and Commander

description


O'Brian's Master & Commander, the first of his impressively lengthy 21-volume Aubrey/Maturin series which takes place during the era of the Napoleonic Wars, surely must have one of the all-time great set-ups of a male friendship in all of literature. The meeting of our two protagonists - Jack Aubrey an impoverished lieutenant aching for command of a ship, Stephen Maturin a rather aimless surgeon with a deep lov
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Jim
Jul 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read the Hornblower series not long ago, also as audio books, & this series was recommended to me. The comparison is obvious since both cover the same subject, a British officer during the Napoleonic Wars & beyond. Both are historically accurate in many ways, although this series seems a bit richer for historical detail, one of the good by-products of O'Brian's wordy style.

Well read by Simon Vance. He always does a good job & is particularly suited to this series.

The characters are
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Tiffany Reisz
OMG I finally finished this fucking book. Clearly I'm not cut out for nautical fiction. I didn't understand 50% of it because of all the nautical terminology. But I did enjoy the seamen. HA! Seriously, the characters are great and it's very funny but sort of plotless. Glad I read it. Never read it again. Although kudos for realism. Goat sodomy was mentioned and Captain Jack Aubrey caught an STD. You won't see THAT in Pirates of the Caribbean 5, eh?
Hana


I smile every time I read the first pages of Master and Commander knowing that hours, days of pure reading joy lie ahead.

In the music-room in the Governor’s House at Port Mahon, the triumphant first movement of Locatelli’s C major quartet is coming to a resolution. A Royal Navy lieutenant conducts from his audience seat. Beside him, a small dark man, also intent on the music whispers: 'If you really must beat the measure, sir, let me entreat you to do so in time and not half a beat ahead.'
For a
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Cherie
Mar 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: series, read-audio
Oh My Goodness! I can't begin to put into words just how much I enjoyed listening to this story! It was unbelievably wonderful listening to Simon Vance bring O'Brian's characters to life.

I am in complete awe at having just discovered this series and knowing there are eighteen more books still to be enjoyed.

How wonderfully well written the characters are and how much I care about them already! I love the doctor and how he writes in his journal about Jack Aubrey and his shipmates.

O'Brian makes l
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Joshua Rigsby
The first book in a series that I adore.

I've spent a long time trying to figure out the Aubrey / Maturin phenomenon. On the surface, O'Brian appears to make some rookie mistakes when it comes to historical nautical fiction. In places, when describing complex tacking maneuvers, the ways in which sails are set, or fleets wearing or attacking together, O'Brian gets fathoms deep into nautical jargon so that even Stephen Maturin, the well-appointed lubberly reader's surrogate, can't bail you out.

A p
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Algernon
Apr 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
Second time lucky: in my first attempt, I put the book away after a chapter and a half, slightly daunted by maritime jargon and a little bored by the lack of action right from the start. I guess it also caught me in a bad spot, too tired to give the story a fair chance, because coming back to it years later, I couldn't put it down, immediately setting aside the other three books I had on. The technical terms are as eclectic and frequent as I remembered (the schematic of a square rigged ship incl ...more
Joe O'Loughlin
Jul 13, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Never mind maneuvers - go straight at 'em!" This describes the main character's temperament perfectly. But when combined with his alter-ego's more calculating nature, the POV is entirely human and utterly compelling in it's contradictions, flaws and dramatic leverage.

This book had everything in it that I love in great books.

The sentence structure and wordplay were so dexterous and pleasing that I chuckled at its art and cleverness. I learned later that Mr. "O'Brian" (his nom de plume, a fact r
...more
Madeline
Dec 18, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historic-fiction
I'll be totally honest here: I read this book because I saw the movie version first. There were other reasons, of course - this book (and the entire series) is generally well-reviewed, and my dad is a huge fan of the series. But mostly I picked this up because I freaking love the movie and wanted to see how the book matched up.

Very well, it turns out. Although some good parts from the movie are missing here (like that adorable kid who gets his arm amputated), I didn't mind - Master and Commande
...more
Heather
I think Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin are two of the greatest characters ever. And part of what makes them so great is that POB wasn't afraid to let them be complex and awkward and sad. He wasn't afraid, either, to let them be products of their time. Too often, writers of historical fiction feel like they need to make their characters some kind of historical prodigy -- the 18thC doctor who has discovered that if he feeds his patients this special mold, they'll get better. That sort of thing. B ...more
Eric_W
Nov 12, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nautical-fiction
In Master and Commander, the first of the Aubrey/Maturin series by Patrick O'Brian, Jack gets his first command. It's the Sophie, a seventy-eight-foot sloop with a crew of more than eighty. It's a wonder where they stuck them all. It's also the beginning of the friendship between Jack and Stephen Maturin, who becomes the ship's surgeon. They don't get off on the right foot, however, as Maturin castigates
Jack for tapping his hand out of rhythm during a chamber concert. Rather than come to blows,
...more
Melissa McShane
There's a lot to like about this book--about the whole series--but basically I just love Jack Aubrey. He's a big, hearty, uncomplicated guy who loves his physical pleasures, but he's also a romantic and loves music and is really, really good at his job, which is being a Navy captain. Yes, I know, he's really only a lieutenant, but it's obvious that being a captain, sailing and fighting and taking prizes--that's who he is, and you can't imagine him being anything else. And he's not hardened by hi ...more
Joey Coleman
Hmmmm. I don't quite know what I think of this book, and I really don't know if I'm going to take the plunge into the second installment of the series. The naval jargon is just a wee bit over the top, oftentimes leaving the non-sailing reader completely confused and weighed down with feelings of inadequacy. Nonetheless, the tales related are interesting and the cast of characters deep and well developed. Still, I never woke up with the insatiable urge to pull on my topcoat and head to the quarte ...more
Cphe
Finally took the plunge and read Master and Commander, the first novel in the series. Have been recommended these novels many times over the years.

Took quite a while to find my "sea legs" with this one, but I loved the battle scenes and the relationship between Captain Aubrey and Stephen Maturin. Rich in historical detail which I enjoyed but had to stop many times to search out some of the nautical wording in the novel which tended to play havoc with the flow of the story.

A tough life on the hig
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« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Beat to Quarters
  • A Sea of Words: A Lexicon and Companion to the Complete Seafaring Tales of Patrick O'Brian
  • The King's Coat (Alan Lewrie, #1)
  • Sharpe's Rifles (Sharpe, #6)
  • Patrick O'Brian's Navy
  • Pawn in Frankincense (The Lymond Chronicles, #4)
  • Under Enemy Colors (Charles Hayden, #1)
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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
More about Patrick O'Brian...

Other Books in the Series

Aubrey & Maturin (1 - 10 of 21 books)
  • 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
  • The Reverse of the Medal

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“But you know as well as I, patriotism is a word; and one that generally comes to mean either my country, right or wrong, which is infamous, or my country is always right, which is imbecile.” 151 likes
“...I have had such a sickening of men in masses, and of causes, that I would not cross this room to reform parliament or prevent the union or to bring about the millennium. I speak only for myself, mind - it is my own truth alone - but man as part of a movement or a crowd is indifferent to me. He is inhuman. And I have nothing to do with nations, or nationalism. The only feelings I have - for what they are - are for men as individuals; my loyalties, such as they may be, are to private persons alone.” 21 likes
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