The fourteenth novel in the classic Aubrey-Maturin series finds Aubrey and Maturin shipwrecked, harassed by pirates and then in the brutal penal colonies of New South Wales. Patrick O'Brian is regarded by many as the greatest living historical novelist writing in English. In 'The Nutmeg of Consolation', Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin begin ...Read MoreThe fourteenth novel in the classic Aubrey-Maturin series finds Aubrey and Maturin shipwrecked, harassed by pirates and then in the brutal penal colonies of New South Wales. Patrick O'Brian is regarded by many as the greatest living historical novelist writing in English. In 'The Nutmeg of Consolation', Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin begin stranded on an uninhabited island in the Dutch East Indies, attacked by ferocious Malay pirates. They contrive their escape, but after a stay in Batavia and a change of ship, they are caught up in a night chase in the fiercely tidal waters and then embroiled in the much more insidious conflicts of the terrifying penal settlements of New South Wales. It is one of O'Brian's most accomplished and gripping books.Read Less
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Publishers Weekly, 1991-06-28 Readers will welcome the reappearance here of elegant Stephen Maturin, one hero of O'Brian's excellent 19th-century seafarer series. Maturin is a ship's doctor, naturalist, spy, musician, ex-opium eater and, we're reminded here, terrific swordsman. His ``brother'' is Capt. Jack Aubrey, RN, MP, popular hero for his success against Napoleon, less introspective but as subtly drawn as Maturin and as avid a musician. Last seen in The Thirteen-Gun Salute the two were shipwrecked on a barren isle in the South China Sea. After a bitter fight with Dyaks and Malays they reach Batavia, where Governor Raffles gives Aubrey the eponymic Dutch sloop (``a tight, sweet, newly-coppered, broad-buttocked litle ship, a solace to any man's heart'') to continue his circumnavigation of the globe. As usual the chief joys are in the details of the food, drink and clothes of the era, with those of the rain forests, kangaroos and platypuses added here. On the other hand, early Sydney's squalor is matched by its brutality. (Sept.)
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