Desolation Island

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9780007255870: Desolation Island

Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin tales are widely acknowledged to be the greatest series of historical novels ever written. Now these evocative stories are being re-issued in paperback by Harper Perennial with stunning new jackets. Commissioned to rescue Governor Bligh of Bounty fame, Captain Jack Aubrey and his friend and surgeon, Stephen Maturin, sail the Leopard to Australia with a hold full of convicts. Among them is a beautiful and dangerous spy -- and a treacherous disease which decimates the crew. The ingredients of a wonderfully powerful and dramatic O'Brian novel are heightened by descriptive writing of rare quality. Nowhere in contemporary prose have the majesty and terror of the sea been more effectively rendered than in the thrilling chase through an Antarctic storm in which Jack's ship, under-manned and out-gunned, is the quarry not the hunter.

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Review:

Captain Bligh (yes, the guy from the Bounty) needs to be rescued, and the Royal Navy has the perfect man for the job: Captain Jack Aubrey. With his friend and cloak-and-dagger expert Stephen Maturin in tow, Aubrey sets off for Australia. Several factors, including an attractive spy and a small-scale epidemic, conspire to change his plans, and before long his frigate is being pursued into Antarctic waters by a Dutch man-of-war. Five installments into the series, the Aubrey-Maturin story remains (to quote The Observer) "the best thing afloat since Horatio Hornblower."

From the Inside Flap:

Read by Tim Pigott-Smith
Three cassettes, Approx. 5 hours

The 5th novel in Patrick O'Brian's hugely successful Aubrey/Maturin Series

Commissioned to rescue Governor Bligh of Bounty fame, Captain Jack  Aubrey and his friend and surgeon Stephen Maturin sail the Leopard to Australia with a hold full of convicts.  Among them is a beautiful and dangerous spy--and a treacherous disease that decimates the crew.  With a Dutch man-of-war to windward, the under-manned, out-gunned Leopard sails for her life into the freezing waters of the Antarctic where, in mountainous seas, the Duthman closes...

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