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The Far Side of the World (Vol. Book 10) (Aubrey/Maturin Novels) Paperback – April 17, 1992
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“Gripping and vivid… a whole, solidly living world for the imagination to inhabit.” (A. S. Byatt)
“O’Brian’s Aubrey-Maturin volumes actually constitute a single 6,443-page novel, one that should have been on those lists of the greatest novels of the 20th century.” (George Will)
“I haven’t read novels [in the past ten years] except for all of the Patrick O’Brian series. It was, unfortunately, like tripping on heroin. I started on those books and couldn’t stop.” (E. O. Wilson - Boston Globe)
“Patrick O’Brian is unquestionably the Homer of the Napoleonic wars.” (James Hamilton-Paterson - New Republic)
“I fell in love with his writing straightaway, at first with Master and Commander. It wasn’t primarily the Nelson and Napoleonic period, more the human relationships. …And of course having characters isolated in the middle of the goddamn sea gives more scope. …It’s about friendship, camaraderie. Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin always remind me a bit of Mick and me.” (Keith Richards)
“It has been something of a shock to find myself―an inveterate reader of girl books―obsessed with Patrick O’Brian’s Napoleonic-era historical novels… What keeps me hooked are the evolving relationships between Jack and Stephen and the women they love.” (Tamar Lewin - New York Times)
“[O’Brian’s] Aubrey-Maturin series, 20 novels of the Royal Navy in the Napoleonic Wars, is a masterpiece. It will outlive most of today’s putative literary gems as Sherlock Holmes has outlived Bulwer-Lytton, as Mark Twain has outlived Charles Reade.” (David Mamet - New York Times)
“The Aubrey-Maturin series… far beyond any episodic chronicle, ebbs and flows with the timeless tide of character and the human heart.” (Ken Ringle - Washington Post)
“There is not a writer alive whose work I value over his.” (Stephen Becker - Chicago Sun-Times)
“A world of enchanting fictional surfaces.” (John Bayley - New York Review of Books)
“These eccentric, improbably novels seem to have been written by Patrick O'Brian to please himself in the first instance, and thereafter to please those readers who may share his delight in precision of language, odd lands and colors, a humane respect for such old-fashioned sentiments as friendship and honor. Like Aubrey and Maturin playing Mozart duets beneath a Pacific moon, he works elegant variations on the tradition of the seafaring adventure story.” (Thomas Flanagan - New York Times Book Review)
“The best historical novels ever written… On every page Mr. O’Brian reminds us with subtle artistry of the most important of all historical lessons: that times change but people don’t, that the griefs and follies and victories of the men and women who were here before us are in fact the maps of our own lives.” (Richard Snow - New York Times Book Review)
Top Customer Reviews
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).Read more ›
O'Brian's novel is an intelligent, fascinating look at British naval life during the Napoleanic wars. The author quickly draws readers into the world of seamanship and His Majesty's Navy, filling the pages with rich images and jargon that bring a bygone era back to life with less flash but more substance. Book and movie are both enjoyable and absorbing; still, readers will find very little resemblance here, as the movie draws very few scenes and plot twists from O'Brian's text.
Characters, on the other hand, are better developed in these pages, and there are more of them to boot. Relationships aboard ship are more fully explored and there are even a few women -- a handful of officer's wives -- among the passengers. Subplots dealing with international intrigue, shipboard romance and murder (that were dropped entirely from the movie script) kept my interest level high. There is plenty of humor, too, providing the occasional elbow jab in the ribs and hearty chuckle.
The novel can be slow-moving at times; it seems an endless wait before HMS Surprise and her crew even leave port!Read more ›
For readers of the series, this is one of the stronger additions to the sequence. Instead of taking the Surprise back to England where she is to be sold or perhaps broken up, Jack is summoned to go out in search of the U.S.S. Norfolk, an American ship sent out to harrass British whaling ships in the Pacific. Although things go well at first, it turns out to be an almost doomed voyage, with one catastrophe after another taking place. None of the misfortunes dooms the mission, but neither do they allow anything to go smoothly. The only thing that saves the mission is that the Norfolk ends up having even less luck than the Surprise.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A fantastic naval tale. Following the enemy into the Pacific, great adventures and mountainous storms. A thrilling read that is spell binding.Published 3 months ago by Mike Heys
Someone earlier in these reviews pointed out that reading the Aubrey-Maturin series was like reading one (single) very long novel, and I think that's true. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
What can I say... I'm a fan.
O'Brian has woven a very complete tapestry of characters and their lives. Read more
Yet another spellbinding sea sag from Patrick O'Brian!! I love them all.Published 6 months ago by Dr. Jane L. Teare