Master and Commander, Paperback Book
5 out of 5 (3 ratings)


Set sail for the read of your life ...Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin tales are widely acknowledged to be the greatest series of historical novels ever written.Master and Commander is the first of Patrick O'Brian's now famous Aubrey/Maturin novels, regarded by many as the greatest series of historical novels ever written.

It establishes the friendship between Captain Jack Aubrey RN and Stephen Maturin, who becomes his secretive ship's surgeon and an intelligence agent.

It contains all the action and excitement which could possibly be hoped for in a historical novel, but it also displays the qualities which have put O'Brian far ahead of any of his competitors: his depiction of the detail of life aboard a Nelsonic man-of-war, of weapons, food, conversation and ambience, of the landscape and of the sea.

O'Brian's portrayal of each of these is faultless and the sense of period throughout is acute.

His power of characterisation is above all masterly.This brilliant historical novel marked the debut of a writer who grew into one of our greatest novelists ever, the author of what Alan Judd, writing in the Sunday Times, has described as `the most significant extended story since Anthony Powell's A Dance to the Music of Time'.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 448 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Historical adventure
  • ISBN: 9780006499152

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Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.

Review by

heavy going as am not a sailor and lots of archaic and sailing terms but listened to it (and the rest in series) on audio books and is enthralling

Review by

This is a delightful book, easy-to-read but with stacks of delicious nautical details from the time of Nelson's navy. It combines a swift moving plot with brilliant insights into the two main characters - Jack Aubrey and Steven Maturin - and kept me entranced until the gripping finale. Having read the first in the series, I must now get the next!

Review by

I read this book on a recommendation from a friend and am very glad that I did. This was a thoroughly engrossing book and while being detailed and accurate, a lack of understanding about boats, ships and all matters nautical on my part didn't prevent my enjoyment of the book or my ability to follow the action.In one of the many masterstrokes of characterisation, O'Brian makes Stephen Maturin an utterly non-naval person also, enabling the ship and all it's sails, masts and associated business to be described without it feeling as though the audience are being talked down to.The characters are the best part of the books, the detail we are given, even on the most lowly of the crew, enables us to be drawn into this alien world. From what my friend had told me I knew I would like Aubrey and Maturin, but I would never have guessed how much.And it's not just them, it's the rest of the crew and the people in Gibralta and the other places they visit.If historical and/or naval fiction is your thing, or you're just looking for a rollicking good read, I heartily recommend this book.

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