Master and Commander

Master and Commander

Book - 1990
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Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin form a friendship in the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars. Life aboard a man-of-war in Nelson's navy is described.
Publisher: New York : W.W. Norton, 1990
Copyright Date: ©1970
ISBN: 9780393307054
0393307050
9780393325171
0393325172
Characteristics: 459 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm

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t
TheeAvebury
Jun 06, 2017

The opening salvo of the Aubrey-Maturin epic, in which the surgeon introduces himself to the captain by driving an elbow into his ribs during a chamber-music recital. Fortunately for millions of readers, the two quickly make up. Then they commence one of the great literary voyages of our century, set against an immaculately-detailed backdrop of the Napoleonic wars. This is the place to start--and in all likelihood, you won't be able to stop.

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D_Kyle
May 08, 2017

The Aubrey-Maturin novels of Patrick O'Brian begin with Master and Commander (the series is loosely represented in the movie version starring Russell Crowe), and follow the exploits of Royal Navy captain, "Lucky" Jack Aubrey and his particular friend, a surgeon, naturalist and spy, Stephen Maturin, as the Napoleonic Wars threaten Britain and her allies. Filled with intrigue and couched in prose Jane Austen could have written, they are meticulously researched and filled with dry humor and exciting battles. Some people I know have complained that O'Brian spends too much time explaining the trim of the sails, but it's easy to overlook this flaw for such wonderful storytelling. This first story details the first meeting and voyage of Aubrey and Maturin and a bold sea battle as Aubrey's smaller, outgunned ship, Sophie, takes on a foe much larger than herself, and Aubrey narrowly escapes court-martial. For those who enjoy it, there are 20 other books in the cannon, as well as Harbors and High Seas, a geographical companion to the series, and Lobscouse and Spotted Dog, a gastronomical companion, written by fans. Highly recommend!

i
InsJavert
Dec 02, 2016

An enjoyable very fun book. I would highly recommend this book (and possibly the series) anytime you are looking for something new to read. But let me qualify and get myself into tons of trouble with the female persuasion. This is a mans book, not that it contains debauchery, sex, brutality, or the like. In fact it is the complete opposite. The long and short of it, this is a story about being a man, one's honor and integrity, truth, regard and protection for all, etc. Captain Aubrey, in light of his short comings, would be a very fair model ant young man would not be lacking in inspiration and role modeling.

The premise of the story takes place during the Napoleonic war. Capt. Aubrey has his first command on small vessel and along with his new friend, Ships Surgeon Maturin, who together battle the challenges of the sea, the enemy, the politics and traditions of the British navy, as well as discipling and maintaining a crew.

Three are a lot of nautical terms that at times get a little complicated, but as a whole, a very well written book. The characters are real, believable, and engaging. The story line and plot is also engaging, adventurous, real. There were times I could almost feel the cold sea spray in my face.

I would put this book as far as story telling along the lines of "Tom Sawyer" or an adult level of the "Hardy Boys". Self reliance, manhood, honesty and integrity, are fully intertwined throughout the whole story. A lot of meat and sound principles the reader can be inspired by.

I am not sure if I will ever get around to reading the whole series of 15 books, but I do know that when I am looking for something to read, this series offers a very good filler for the interim.

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Enna_W
May 27, 2016

This is a wonderfully warm book to read. Just get through the initial avalanche of naval terms and I promise it's a funny, fascinating, and touching story.

2
21269008044626
Jul 23, 2012

When you first read this novel, you may be put off by the navel termonology. Don't let that stop you. I have read the entire series four times. It's trully amazing how OBrian can transport the reader into a believable world of 19th century sealife. But what's more, is the way he draws you into the personal lives of the complex charectors and uses a fine wit to make the stories even more entertaining. An absolute must for any history lover.

g
gingerco
Jun 27, 2012

One of the best contemporary authors in the English language, God bless the old gentleman.

z
zlboj
May 09, 2012

This is more like a time machine portal- an entry to a world that teems with vivid characters, exciting exploits and beauty. The entire series is over 6,000 pages long-but I was ready to begin again when I finished it the first time. A true epic, I would go so far as to say this is one of best books/series ever written. Nothing but superlatives can describe it.

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wallyb
Nov 20, 2011

My friend John has been recommending this series to me for a few years - he's read it through 3 times now - and I finally had a chance to pick it up and read it, uninterrupted. O'Brian throws the reader into the Napoleonic era, and between the two main characters, Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin. Their friendship grows interestingly over the course of the book, and all the characters are precisely drawn and completely believable. For those of us who don't know seafaring terms, there is a companion book for all that; if you don't want to find that, just read through and you'll pick up on the plot. Great historical novel, with solid characters and setting.

hermlou Apr 15, 2011

The British navy in the time of Lord Nelson was strictly run, with the captain having complete control. Jack Aubrey is promoted to captain and runs the ship Sophie. We learn about discipline, food, and the surgeon's ways of treating wounds. Despite the detailed drawing of a ship's sails at the beginning of the book, the author used other terms not on the drawing. I was quite lost as to the action during the battle scenes.The men are more humanly drawn than the characters of Hornblower's books, and it is entertaining to read about the captain and surgeon playing classical music in their free time.

debwalker Sep 29, 2010

For the Guys: This is the first title in a compelling series about life in the Royal Navy during the war with France, late 18th into early 19th century. Lots of guts and glory, colourful language, moments of tragegy and humour, and fascinating characters. And so well written. Evokes a time, not unlike WW II, when a whole generation put their lives on the line and lived through amazing adventures.

For the girls, this is the flip side of Jane Austen's world - life under sail in His Majesty's Navy, in constant danger, horrific battles and tragic deaths - the world of Jane's brothers and Captain Wentworth. Fascinating.

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eddymerckx
Jul 22, 2013

eddymerckx thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 35 and 99

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