The Commodore (Vol. Book 17) (Aubrey/Maturin Novels)

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9780393037609: The Commodore (Vol. Book 17) (Aubrey/Maturin Novels)
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The seventeenth novel in the best-selling Aubrey/Maturin series of naval tales, which the New York Times Book Review has described as "the best historical novels ever written."

Having survived a long and desperate adventure in the Great South Sea, Captain Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin return to England to very different circumstances. For Jack it is a happy homecoming, at least initially, but for Stephen it is disastrous: his little daughter appears to be autistic, incapable of speech or contact, while his wife, Diana, unable to bear this situation, has disappeared, her house being looked after by the widowed Clarissa Oakes.

Much of The Commodore takes place on land, in sitting rooms and in drafty castles, but the roar of the great guns is never far from our hearing. Aubrey and Maturin are sent on a bizarre decoy mission to the fever-ridden lagoons of the Gulf of Guinea to suppress the slave trade. But their ultimate destination is Ireland, where the French are mounting an invasion that will test Aubrey's seamanship and Maturin's resourcefulness as a secret intelligence agent.

The subtle interweaving of these disparate themes is an achievement of pure storytelling by one of our greatest living novelists.

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Review:

After several installments of gallivanting around the South Seas, Aubrey and Maturin return home to England, where the surgeon-cum-intelligence-agent discovers that his wife has disappeared. As if such a domestic crisis weren't enough, the intrepid pair are also dispatched to the Gulf of Guinea (to suppress the slave trade) and to Ireland (to rebuff an impending French invasion.) O'Brian's stunning range, coupled with his mind-bending command of minutiae, explain why James Hamilton-Paterson has called him "the Homer of the Napoleonic Wars."

From the Publisher:

Hodder Headline Audiobooks presents abridged readings of some of the finest in drama, classic literature, popular fiction, poetry, children’s stories, and religious and inspirational works. Among Hodder Headline’s outstanding cast of readers and performers are Juliet Stevenson, Anna Massey, Simon Callow, Stephen Fry, and Dame Judi Dench. Each set of cassettes is attractively packaged and shrink-wrapped.

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