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Treason's Harbour (Vol. Book 9) (Aubrey/Maturin Novels) Paperback – April 17, 1992

Book 9 of 21 in the Aubrey/Maturin Novels Series

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Treason's Harbour (Vol. Book 9)  (Aubrey/Maturin Novels) + The Ionian Mission (Vol. Book 8)  (Aubrey/Maturin Novels) + The Far Side of the World (Vol. Book 10)  (Aubrey/Maturin Novels)
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

This segment of the Aubrey saga is set in Malta, where the captain's "small, sweet-sailing frigate" is undergoing repairs. The island, however, is swarming with Napoleonic agents, which means that Stephen Maturin must do everything in his power to avert sabotage. A typical O'Brian cocktail of action and intrigue.

From Publishers Weekly

This novel, the ninth installment of 20 in what is certainly the greatest series about the British Navy ever written--indeed, one of the most successful of its magnitude ever written in any genre--is not well served by its reader. Royal Shakespeare Company and National Theatre actor Pigott-Smith has an appropriately English accent, but his characters' voices lack consistency and sensitivity to the subtleties of O'Brian's pen. In this recording, the swashbuckling Captain Aubrey and the ironic, stealthy Stephen Maturin, his ship's surgeon, do not step onto the stage of the Napoleonic wars as the nuanced heroes O'Brian's readers have come to know over three decades. Pigott-Smith's Maturin lacks compassion; his Aubrey lacks intelligence. The narrative turns from nefarious intrigues in Malta to an amazing mission in the Red Sea and back again, but the drama is conveyed with neither satisfying variation of tempo nor ringing cadence. While O'Brian's devotees will find all the naval and historical details they usually delight in, they will despair at hearing how this production tramples upon his genius in portraying shockingly real characters in an utterly foreign, far-off time. Based on the Norton hardcover.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Aubrey/Maturin Novels (Book 9)
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (April 17, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393308634
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393308631
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.7 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,681 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

One of the best in the Aubrey/Maturin series.
MatthewSanDiego
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
I recommend you read this but start with the first book and work your way to this then complete the series.
Kevin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 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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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 31, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is the ninth book in the Aubrey/Maturin series and it stands as one of the best, in my opinion, and nearly a rival for "Desolation Island." With all due respect to most of the other reviews here, this book had me riveted and quite moved by the end. Maybe it has something to do with the main setting: Malta, Eqypt and the Red Sea. Some people may be bored by it. I felt the story played across the desert landscape quite beautifully. This is a gripping read, full of political and personal intrigue, great atmosphere, science (Stephen and that damned diving bell) and pitch-perfect characterizations, especially of the two principal protagonists. While Maturin is usually treated more three-dimensionally in the books, it is rare to see Aubrey as fully. Here you have him whole, and powerfully heroic.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By R. Swanson on March 5, 1998
Format: Paperback
A good change of pace for O'Brian. His characters get involved in the intrigues on land and an interesting side trip by sea and land. Some readers often accuse these books of dragging, when the characters hit the beach, while accelerating in action and interest once they go to sea again. This book breaks that pattern very well. Highly recommended to solid Aubry/Maturin fans, and to readers of Le Carre novels, too. Deep, dark stuff.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Robert Moore HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 14, 2004
Format: Paperback
I am very conflicted about rating this novel. The Aubrey-Maturin books are a series of novels, but in fact area almost a single novel rather than a series of stand alone books. Disliking one novel is almost tantamount to saying that you dislike a chapter of a book, which is almost silly. I must, therefore, confess to feeling a bit silly saying that this is one of my least favorite novels in the series. The series as a whole is masterful, and group of books that I love dearly, and it is to be expected that some parts are to be less successful than others.
TREASON'S HARBOUR is from first to last a spy story. This is not always apparent, but even the two long segments that interrupt the more straightforward espionage sections of the narrative result as they do because of a major British official selling state secrets. O'Brian's genius lies in his willingness to leave so many strands of his story unresolved at the end, and while this willingness to forestall resolving his tale weakens TREASON'S HARBOUR taken exclusively on its own, it strengthens the series of books overall.
The novel finds our heroes in Malta, following the events of THE IONIAN MISSION. Almost immediately we find that French agents have identified Stephen Maturin as a British intelligence agent, and they point their reluctant agent Laura Fielding--an Italian beauty who is the wife of a British naval officer who has been imprisoned by the French and who can therefore be used to force her to comply with their needs-at the good doctor, hoping to make her his lover in order to accumulate secrets. When finished with Maturin, they clearly mean to kill him. Meanwhile, we learn that a major British official is in league with the French, and is passing on secrets to them.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Michael K. Smith TOP 500 REVIEWER on November 29, 2002
Format: Paperback
Captain Jack Aubrey was known in the Royal Navy as "Lucky Jack" in his earlier career, but he hasn't been so lucky of late. This ninth novel in the series, which continues immediately after _The Ionian Mission_ (and appears to be the middle installment of a mini-trilogy), is a satisfying mix of naval adventure, set mostly in the Red Sea, and spy story, set in Malta and revolving around Stephen Maturin's befriending of the young wife of a captured naval captain who is working, semi-unaware, for the French intelligence service. He's much better known to his enemies now than in times past, which has increased his personal danger greatly, and -- while we all know he's going to survive -- it's interesting to see how he does it. As always, O'Brian shows himself a master of early 19th century slang and jargon, and also of droll wit. The extra fillip this time is the pair's adventures crossing the desert between the Mediterranean and the Gulf of Suez, combined with Maturin's acquisition of a massive brass diving bell. And the account of the pellmell journey down the narrow passage in pursuit of a galley hopefully filled with French gold is one of the author's best extended scenes yet.
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Treason's Harbour (Vol. Book 9)  (Aubrey/Maturin Novels)
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