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The Commodore (Vol. Book 17) (Aubrey/Maturin Novels) Paperback – April 17, 1996
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
Even though Commodore Aubrey's mission is to suppress the slave trade off the west coast of Africa and later onto a secret mission on the Irish coast to prevent a French invasion, `The Commodore' is not filled with seagoing adventure. In fact, the main components of the tale take place ashore. Maturin and Aubrey find themselves home after a long and successful adventure. While Lucky Jack is promoted to Commodore of the First Class, not all is well at home. Both he and his wife suspect the other of infidelity. Dianne has run away leaving Stephen's autistic child with the widow Clarissa Oakes. Political intrigue forces Stephen to slip some of his fortune and his child to Spain.
At sea, Stephen battles his addition to coca leaves and a severe bout with Yellow Fever. Commodore Aubrey's leadership and seamanship are tested by two Captains under his command. One is more interested in polished brass and drives his crew hard with the whip. The other is a sodomite, whose favoritism to those young men among his crew that he beds disrupts discipline and the fighting efficacy of his vessel.
This is one of the more magnificent books in the series and I heartily recommend it, as I do with the rest of the books in the Aubrey/Maturin series.
However, all is not well. Aubrey's wife, Sophie, suspects him of having an affair with the stowaway, Mrs. Oakes, although he is innocent. He, in turn, suspects her of having an affair with the local parson, who pursued her before their marriage. Stephen finds his wife, Diana, gone to parts unknown, and his girl child whom he has never seen, is suspected of being an idiot.
Jack is given a new command, promoted to Commodore, and embarks on an effort to stop the slave trade out of Africa, as well as to frustrate a French squadron from interfering in Ireland.
No one knows square-rigged ships as well as the late Patrick O'Brian, the author. His 19th century sea battles are often taken directly from British Admiralty records, but more than that his dialogues are replete with period expressions and turns of phrase that add greatly to his stories. What magnificent stories!Read more ›
Although there are twenty (completed) Aubrey-Maturin novels, in a sense they are one long, unending story. O'Brian tells the story of an unlikely pair of friends in early 19th century Britain: a hard-charging Royal Navy captain and an Irish physician and naturalist (and British spy). Both are devoted, for different reasons, to the fight against Napoleonic France. Captain Jack Aubrey and Doctor Stephen Maturin are dedicated friends, and the interplay between this unlikely pair is ranges from deep philosophical discussions to intended and unintended humor.
But what really makes these novels is Patrick O'Brian's writing style. Through his words, he paints wonderful pictures and creates real characters in brilliant narratives; which is good, because Aubrey and many of his exploits are based on real-life adventures during the Napoleonic Wars.
In "The Commodore," Aubrey leads a fleet of Royal Navy ships to the coast of Africa to interdict the slave trade. Aubrey has to deal with the internal problems of his fleet while also leading a successful campaign against African traders. Finally, Aubrey leads the fleet north to stop a French invasion of Ireland. This is a fabulous book, but I recommend that everyone with any interest in historical fiction or the Royal Navy read the entire series in order.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I've finished the entire set of 11 books. It takes Hornblower from just joining the British Navy as a Midshipman all the way to book 11 where he retires as Admiral of the West... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Grandpa Gary
Have read entire series of 20 five times through....perfect story tellingPublished 2 months ago by Kathy Keller
Another great Hornblower story but on a decidedly different tack. Whereas the previous books centered on sailing adventures this one stayed, for the most part, landlocked in... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Todd Gutschow
Great book,great read, love his series. Well written, an factual.
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Although all of the books in the series have been excellent, this was one the best. The tales are fresh, interesting and spell-binding at times. Read morePublished 4 months ago by BabyR