The Hundred Days
- Patrick O'Brian, The Hundred Days
One more full novel to go in this series and two surprising deaths. This, the 19th novel was published in 1998, 29 years after the first book in the series (Master and Commander) came out (1969). This novel takes place largely in the Eastern Mediterranean, Gibraltar, and the Levant. There were many things about it to love and while this wasn't the best in the serie ...more
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
It was a bit of a shock to find Aubrey and Maturin had not only escaped the magically extended 1812 (authors are the gods of their creations and can do anything) but had arrived in 1815 without any apparent in ...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
I will confess, on a shallower note, to having de ...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
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...
Following the Peace and paying off of much of the Royal Navy, Napoleon has escaped from Elba and war is again upon Jack and Steven. They and the Surprise find themselves ordered to the Mediterranean again to harass and thwart Bonaparte’s plans to build more ships and reinforce his troops in Europe. There is plenty of action, plenty of ...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
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
In tutta onestà la morte di Diana non mi è andata giù, come non mi è andato giù il "eh ma la vita continua ! :P " cercando un riavvio della serie con le solite cose che i protagonisti fanno: saccheggiare, incendiare e distruggere le navi francesi (o catturarle per vendere), oppure andare ad osservare uccelli marini o specie, in questo caso, native dell'Adriatico. Non vedo la ragione per porre in ogni libro una disgrazia apparente, per poi volgerla come al solit ...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.
Just when you think that Mr. O'Brian has run out of plots, he challenges you with yet another one. Just when you think Killick's insouciance has gone too far, O'Brian surprises you. Just when you think you've come to know every seaman well, Mr. O'Brian introduces you to a new and wort ...more
Set in the ...more