Synopses & Reviews
Now a major motion picture production, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
, starring Russell Crowe and director by Peter Weir (Witness
, The Truman Show
Jack Aubrey, a brilliant and fearless captain in Nelson's navy, accepts a mission that will test his abilities to the limit: he is to set sail immediately for Cape Horn, to intercept a powerful frigate intent on wreaking havoc among British whalers. Aubrey's beloved ship, HMS Surprise, is up to the task, but many of her sailors are untried. Aubrey's confidant, ship's surgeon Stephen Maturin, has orders of his own in the world of secret intelligence. As the Surprise and her crew draw closer to the enemy, their journey grows ever more dangerous: murder, shipwreck, and a desperate rescue attempt await them in the far reaches of the Pacific.
"Gripping and vivid..." A. S. Byatt
"A world of enchanting fictional surfaces." John Bayley, New York Review of Books
"Taken together the novels are a brilliant achievement. They display staggering erudition on almost all aspects of eighteenth-century life, with impeccable period detail. In addition, O'Brian has a gift for the comic that Forester lacks." T. J. Binyon, Times Literary Supplement
"Like Aubrey and Maturin playing Mozart duets beneath a Pacific moon, [O'Brian] works elegant variations on the tradition of the seafaring adventure story." Thomas Flanagan, New York Times Book Review
"O'Brian is not that hard a taste to acquire...but he is very tough to shake." John Ferguson, Boston Globe
"O'Brian is better than anybody at historical fiction." Neil Paulson, Denver Post
"Vividly detailed nineteenth century settings and dramatic tension punctuated with flashes of wry humor make O'Brian's nautical adventure a splendid treat." Publishers Weekly
The War of 1812 continues, and Jack Aubrey sets course for Cape Horn on a mission after his own heart: intercepting a powerful American frigate outward bound to play havoc with the British whaling trade. Little do he and Maturin know that disaster awaits them in the Great South Sea: typhoons, shipwrecks, murder, and criminal insanity.
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.