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The Thirteen-Gun Salute: Aubrey/Maturin Paperback – August 17, 1992


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Frequently Bought Together

The Thirteen-Gun Salute: Aubrey/Maturin + The Nutmeg of Consolation (Vol. Book 14)  (Aubrey/Maturin Novels) + The Letter of Marque (Vol. Book 12)  (Aubrey/Maturin Novels)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (August 17, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 039330907X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393309072
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #79,071 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Will Napoleon Bonaparte form an alliance with the Malay princes of the South China Sea? Not if Jack Aubrey can help it. Conveying a diplomatic mission to the Sultan's court, Aubrey and company must also contend with orangutans, typhoons, and a squadron of wily French envoys.

From Publishers Weekly

The 18th in O'Brian's Jack Aubrey series will please current fans and likely make new ones. Newly rich Aubrey ( The Letter of Marque ), again a Royal Navy captain and even a "rotten-borough" M.P., is given command of the frigate Diane with orders to bring king's envoy Fox to conclude a treaty with the sultan of Borneo before Napoleon does. Aboard is Jack's friend Dr. Maturin, English secret agent and avid naturalist. After a placid trip (via Antarctica) and some stormy local politics (involving two English traitors and the sultan's catamite) the treaty is made. Fox's growing arrogance breeds ill will and when homeward-bound Diane hits a reef Jack gladly sends the envoy ahead in a cutter. O'Brian's style has been compared with Jane Austen's: even the dinners (in country house, London, ship's mess, sultan's palace, Buddhist monastery) are distinguished wittily. Perhaps the most charming segment is Maturin's idyllic stay in a remote valley, where he blissfully encounters and studies a variety of tame exotic beasts.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

In addition to twenty volumes in the highly respected Aubrey/Maturin series, Patrick O'Brian's many books include "Testimonies," "The Golden Ocean," and "The Unknown Shore". O'Brian also wrote acclaimed biographies of Pablo Picasso and Sir Joseph Banks and translated many works from the French, among them the novels and memoirs of Simone de Beauvoir and Jean Lacouture's biographies of Charles de Gaulle. He passed away in January 2000 at the age of 85.

Customer Reviews

This is a good book, but I think what makes it better is if you read the series.
Robert Flowers
O'Brien's interest in psychology went well beyond normal character development, some books contain excellent case studies of anxiety, depression, and mania.
R. Albin
His first assignment is to convey his brilliant spy/surgeon/best friend Maturin on a diplomatic mission to the Malay prince at Pulo Prabang.
Dan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 6, 1998
Format: Hardcover
The opening paragraphs by themselves are worth the price of the book in summarizing the lives of all who have sailed into uncertainties. Most of the action is political intrigue in the South Sea kingdoms and then the faithful reader is forever left with an intensely moral question about one of the main characters of this extraordinary set of tales. Please start with the 1st book of the series, "Master and Commander," in order to have the on-going subplots make sense and in order to grow with Jack and Stephen. The "13 Gun Salute" is the 13th of the series. Patrick O'Brian writes with humour, intelligence and a deep loving affinity for long gone ships and seas.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By R. Albin TOP 500 REVIEWER on October 26, 2003
Format: Paperback
Some critics have referred to the Aubrey/Maturin books as one long novel united not only by their historical setting but also by the central plot element of the Aubrey/Maturin friendship. Having read these fine books over a period of several years, I decided to evaluate their cumulative integrity by reading them consecutively in order of publication over a period of a few weeks. This turned out to be a rewarding enterprise. For readers unfamiliar with these books, they describe the experiences of a Royal Navy officer and his close friend and traveling companion, a naval surgeon. The experiences cover a broad swath of the Napoleonic Wars and virtually the whole globe.
Rereading all the books confirmed that O'Brian is a superb writer and that his ability to evoke the past is outstanding. O'Brian has numerous gifts as a writer. He is the master of the long, careful description, and the short, telling episode. His ability to construct ingenious but creditable plots is first-rate, probably because he based much of the action of his books on actual events. For example, some of the episodes of Jack Aubrey's career are based on the life of the famous frigate captain, Lord Cochrane. O'Brian excels also in his depiction of characters. His ability to develop psychologically creditable characters through a combination of dialogue, comments by other characters, and description is tremendous. O'Brien's interest in psychology went well beyond normal character development, some books contain excellent case studies of anxiety, depression, and mania.
Reading O'Brien gives vivid view of the early 19th century. The historian Bernard Bailyn, writing of colonial America, stated once that the 18th century world was not only pre-industrial but also pre-humanitarian (paraphrase).
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Larry Scantlebury on April 3, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful series. There are several other 'books turned into series' that depict friendship and loyalty but on those occasions, they sometimes fall into dialogue loaded with humorous repartee. The excellent (yet limited) series of Spenser of course is always about friendship and loyalty, although I am certain that Professor Parker would agree that Aubrey and Maturin represent a far more prodigous, complicated effort than Spenser and Hawk.
"The Thirteen Gun Salute" takes the crew of The Diane well, well south into frozen waters, battles typhoons, carries with it political intrigue, but mostly immerses us in the lexicon and morality of 200 years ago. By now all who are but a little familiar with Lucky Jack Aubrey know that it is his friendship with Dr. Maturin and the ensuing conversations that make the series fly . . . well, float. Add to that the close, uncanny description of life on board a sailing ship and the tumult of the time resounding with the French, here Malay Sultans, protestants, Catholics and revolutionaries, and you're in for a great, enjoyable history lesson.
Some criticize O'Brian for being tedious. For the rest of us it is why we are there. It is O'Brian's attention to detail from eating pudding before the rats get it to gunnery practice in the late afternoon that makes it all worthwhile. Highly recommended. Thirteen Guns and Five Stars. Larry Scantlebury
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Tracy L. Ford on November 8, 2002
Format: Paperback
I have read every book in order and this was one of the best. I would suggest like all the other reviewers to read the series starting with 1 and working through it. I am a sailor myself and the sea jargon is hard and the sometimes too much but the thrust of the story more then keeps you going. I was glad in this book to see the eventual demise of Wray and Ledward, which not clearly explained, was done none the less. Also I thought that some of Stephen's observations of Fox to be an insightfull look at human character. I am anxiously waiting for book 14,15,and 16 to come but also realize that I am getting closer to the end of the series. Overall a very good series and one that will keep you interested from the first book to which ever one you happen to be on at the moment.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Michael K. Smith TOP 500 REVIEWER on December 22, 2002
Format: Paperback
In terms of delineation of character and pure description of the sea -- at both of which O'Brian excells -- this thirteenth novel in the series is one of his best yet. Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin are off, finally, on their quasi-diplomatic voyage to South America -- but wait! The Admiralty suddenly needs them for a mission in one of the Malayan sultanates! Jack gets his commission and seniority back, he's given the Diane (which he captured in the last book), and he takes aboard another envoy (who rates thirteen guns, hence the title). The French are in Pulo Prabang, too, in the persons of the traitors Wray and Ledward, and Maturin has his hands full, but they come to a delightfully bonechilling end under the doctor's scalpel. And then there's that uncharted reef. . . .
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