Synopses & Reviews
A British whaler has been captured by an ambitious chief in the sandwich islands at French instigation, and Captain Aubrey, R. N., Is dispatched with the to restore order. But stowed away in the cable-tier is an escaped female convict. To the officers, Clarissa Harvill is an object of awkward courtliness and dangerous jealousies. Aubrey himself is won over and indeed strongly attracted to this woman who will not speak of her past. But only Aubrey's friend, Dr. Stephen Maturin, can fathom Clarissa's secrets: her crime, her personality, and a clue identifying a highly placed English spy in the pay of Napoleon's intelligence service. In a thrilling finale, Patrick O'Brian delivers all the excitement his many readers expect: Aubrey and the crew of the impose a brutal upon the islanders in a pitched battle against a band of headhunting cannibals.
"What lifts into the highest ranks of fiction is what it shares with the rest of its author's writing: page after page of unmistakably original insights into the mysteries of the world." Boston Globe
"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
This splendid installment in O'Brian's widely acclaimed series of Aubrey-Maturin novels is in equal parts mystery, adventure, and psychological drama. A British whaler has been captured by an ambitious chief in the Friendly Isles (Tonga) at French instigation, and Captain Aubrey of the Royal Navy is dispatched with the Surprise to restore order.
The fifteenth installment in Patrick O'Brian's widely claimed series of Aubrey/Maturin novels is in equal parts mystery, adventure, and psychological drama.
About the Author
Patrick O'Brian's acclaimed Aubrey/Maturin series of historical novels has been described as "a masterpiece" (David Mamet, New York Times), "addictively readable" (Patrick T. Reardon, Chicago Tribune), and "the best historical novels ever written" (Richard Snow, New York Times Book Review), which "should have been on those lists of the greatest novels of the 20th century" (George Will).Set in the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars, O'Brian's twenty-volume series centers on the enduring friendship between naval officer Jack Aubrey and physician (and spy) Stephen Maturin. The Far Side of the World, the tenth book in the series, was adapted into a 2003 film directed by Peter Weir and starring Russell Crowe and Paul Bettany. The film was nominated for ten Oscars, including Best Picture. The books are now available in hardcover, paperback, and e-book format.In addition to the Aubrey/Maturin novels, Patrick O'Brian wrote several books including the novels Testimonies, The Golden Ocean, and The Unknown Shore, as well as biographies of Joseph Banks and Picasso. He translated many works from French into English, among them the novels and memoirs of Simone de Beauvoir, the first volume of Jean Lacouture's biography of Charles de Gaulle, and famed fugitive Henri Cherrière's memoir Papillon. O'Brian died in January 2000.