THE MUCH ANTICIPATED, NEW AUBREY/MATURIN NOVEL. 'You are in for the treat of your lives. Thank God for Patrick O'Brian: his genius illuminates the literature of the English language, and lightens the lives of those who read him.' KEVIN MYERS, Irish Times 'If we had only two or three of Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin series, we would count ...
THE MUCH ANTICIPATED, NEW AUBREY/MATURIN NOVEL. 'You are in for the treat of your lives. Thank God for Patrick O'Brian: his genius illuminates the literature of the English language, and lightens the lives of those who read him.' KEVIN MYERS, Irish Times 'If we had only two or three of Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin series, we would count ourselves lucky; with six or seven the author would be safely among the greats of historical fiction...This is great writing by an undiminished talent. Now on to Volume Twenty, and the liberation of Chile.' WILLIAM WALDEGRAVE, Literary Review This is the twentieth book in Patrick O'Brian's highly acclaimed, bestselling series chronicling the adventures of lucky Jack Aubrey and his best friend Stephen Maturin, part ship's doctor, part secret agent. The novel's stirring action follows on from that of The Hundred Days. Napoleon's hundred days of freedom and his renewed threat to Europe have ended at Waterloo and Aubrey has finally, as the title suggests, become a blue level admiral. He and Maturin have -- at last -- set sail on their much postponed mission to Chile. Vivid with the salty tang of life at sea, O'Brian's writing is as powerful as ever whether he writes of naval hierarchies, night-actions or the most celebrated fictional friendship since that of Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson. Blue at the Mizzen also brings alive the sights and sounds of revolutionary South America in a story as exciting as any O'Brian has written.
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Patrick O'Briens nearly lifetime dedication to depicting the Royal Navy of Napoleonic times kept getting better and better with each novel. This book was the last of this line and it provided the reader with excitement and adventure in full measure as well
providing his characters Aubrey and Maturin with ample rewards including an Admirals rank for Aubrey.
These characters will sail on and on but unlike the Flying Dutchman they will attain more and more glory
Jul 5, 2009
If the series had to end, and it did, then there was no finer, more satisfying way, than with Blue at the Mizzen.
Jack and Stephen accomplish their missions with extraordinary precision. The pair is now mature, and little effort is wasted in accomplishing their goals, or bringing the reader to a thrilling conclusion. The two function as a single unit, whose purpose is the defeat of England's enemies.
Jack is left in shreds for Stephen to sew back together, and the result is a matured, wiser man, who is ready to assume the role of Admiral. Jack has helped train the next generation, and they will take over the decks of fighting ships from Jack and his generation. All move on, but the English Navy remains.
Publishers Weekly, 1999-10-11 With bittersweet pleasure, readers may deem this 20th?and possibly final?installment in O'Brian's highly regarded series featuring Capt. Jack Aubrey of the English Royal Navy and Stephen Maturin, ship's doctor, the best of the lot. Post-Waterloo, the frigate Surprise sets sail to South America as a "hydrographical vessel," ostensibly to survey the Straits of Magellan and Chile's southern coast. In fact, Jack and Stephen are to offer help to the Chilean rebels trying to break free from Spain. On their way down the coast of West Africa, romance blossoms for both men. Jack's liaison (with his cousin, Isobel, in Gibraltar) is brief, but widower Stephen's passion for Christine Wood, a naturalist who has been his correspondent for some time, turns serious in Sierra Leone. The doctor's correspondence with Christine begins with accounts of his explorations in Africa and South America, referencing, say, an "anomalous nuthatch" or the "etymology of doldrum," but they're quite wonderful love letters, functioning as a chorus to the action. Once in Chile, despite the conflict between opposing rebel camps, Jack leads a successful raid on a treasure fort in Valdivia, followed by the seizure of a Peruvian frigate to be turned over to the Chilean rebels, triumphs that reap him a just reward; at that point, readers will learn the title's significance. Throughout, familiar characters abound and entertain, especially the amusingly nasty steward, Killick, and Stephen's "loblolly girl" (nurse), Poll Skeeping. And finally, there is Horatio Hanson, bastard son of a nobleman, who comes on board as a midshipman, a dashing young foil for the ship's elders. O'Brian has rightfully been compared to Jane Austen, but one wonders if even she would have done justice to "those extraordinary hollow dwellings, sometimes as beautiful as they were comfortless." To use one of Stephen's favorite expressions, "What joy!" Agent, Georges Borchardt. (Nov.) FYI: Over three million copies of the books in the Aubrey/Maturin series have been sold. O'Brian will make two mid-November appearances in New York, one already sold out. (Nov.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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