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The Wine-Dark Sea (Aubrey & Maturin #16)

4.38  ·  Rating details ·  6,057 Ratings  ·  176 Reviews
Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey-Maturin tales are widely acknowledged to be the greatest series of historical novels ever written. To commemorate the 40th anniversary of their beginning, with Master and Commander, these evocative stories are being re-issued in paperback with smart new livery. This is the sixteenth book in the series.

At the opening of a voyage filled with disaster
Paperback, 308 pages
Published April 1st 2010 by HarperCollins (first published 1980)
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Iain Hello - I read my first few out of order initially, after picking them up at random on my travels. They're still fairly accessible, as each one begins…moreHello - I read my first few out of order initially, after picking them up at random on my travels. They're still fairly accessible, as each one begins with a recap of what's happened in the previous. story. That said, they're much more rewarding when read in order. Hope that helps, and hope you enjoy!(less)
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Oct 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, aubrey-maturin
“And jealous now of me, you gods, because I befriend a man, one I saved as he straddled the keel alone, when Zeus had blasted and shattered his swift ship with a bright lightning bolt, out on the wine-dark sea.”
—Homer, The Odyssey, Book V
"oínopa pónton"


So, "wine-dark sea" is a phrase used quite a bit by Homer. And Homer was quite an author I guess. And he did some pretty damn good writing about boats and stuff. So, it is only natural that Patrick O'Brian would eventually get around to using the
Apr 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: series, read-audio
One of my favorite in the series yet. Imagine being in a sailing ship near an underwater volcano when it decided to erupt and push up to the surface! Ice bergs in the south sea at the tip of South America and a sea battle with an American Man of War and escaping by the skin of their teeth. Struck by lightning and no main mast nor rudder. Doomed to sail ever eastward 5000 miles until they reach land again???
Dec 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Doctor Stephen Maturin, an intelligence agent of formidable powers, is dispatched to discomfit the Napoleonic French and their allies. With him comes his particular friend, naval captain Jack Aubrey. Each of them has some successes on this long voyage--Jack takes a truly ridiculous number of prizes--but are battered by their adventures and happy to head home.

I love this series so much. At this point,the continued travails of the Surprise's crew, captain, and surgeon are as comforting and interes
Mar 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sea
The first book by O'Brian that I read -- or 12 pages anyway. Then I put the book down, went back to the bookstore and bought the first five books in his Aubrey/Maturin series. A whole new world of pleasure opened up fifteen years ago that still satisfies today.

My favorite section of the book narrates Stephen Maturin's journey across the high Andes of Peru in the company of a naturalist of Incan descent.
Renee M
Sep 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The one with Volcanoes and icebergs. Jack and Stephen get soundly mangled between the battles and the frostbite. Lots of chase and be chased. Plus, some intrigue in Peru, lots of cool animals for Stephen, and plenty of prize money.
It says something about O'Brian's writing that, despite having a SPOILERIFIC description here on Goodreads, the initial portion of the novel - with the strange behavior of the sea causing everyone concern and dread, a slow build-up to the big reveal - still had power and beauty, even if I had been robbed of the suspense.

The middle of the series seemed to lag, but the last third has been strong and constantly on the upswing. Even though there are repetitious details (innate to series), the charac
May 26, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Better; much better. Still did a ten-page data dump before starting the story, but at least there was a story.

Good characterization. The Peruvian excursion was a welcome diversion. Volcanoes, icebergs and shipwrecks, oh my.

A recurring theme is hubris, with various characters often counting on favorable outcomes only to have the cold water of reality dashed in their face.
Jan 30, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not to read a handful of the Aubry books is to miss visiting one of the most thoroughly realized and absorbing imaginary worlds in all of English literature. O'Brian may not be as essential to life as Shakespeare, but he makes life richer by far.
Judith Johnson
Aug 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
What a cracker! In spite of the fact that I am with child to find out what's happening back at the ranch with Diana, I thoroughly enjoyed this - excellent dramatic episodes, and all the usual O'Brian side stories - natural history, medicine, social history, international relations etc etc. As always, if my husband had given me a sideways glance as we sat relaxing and holiday-reading together in the Austrian alps, he would have seen that my face was wreathed in smiles, and, (but for goodness sake ...more
Sep 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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Goodreads Librari...: Please add the page length for 0-393-31244-5 3 11 Jan 10, 2018 03:14PM  
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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 about Patrick O'Brian...

Other Books in the Series

Aubrey & Maturin (1 - 10 of 21 books)
  • Master and Commander (Aubrey & Maturin, #1)
  • 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
“For my own part,' said Captain Aubrey, 'I have no notion of disliking a man for his beliefs, above all if he was born with them. I find I can get along very well with Jews or even...' The P of Papists was already formed, and the word was obliged to come out as Pindoos.” 7 likes
“He had known it often enough. A delightful child, even a delightful early adolescent, interested in everything, alive,affectionate, would turn into a thick, heavy, stupid brute and never recover: ageing men would become wholly self-centered, indifferent to those who had been their friends, avaricious” 2 likes
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