Blue at the Mizzen (Aubrey / Maturin)

4.38 avg rating
( 6,052 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780393048445: Blue at the Mizzen (Aubrey / Maturin)
View all copies of this ISBN edition:
 
 

"The old master has us again in the palm of his hand."―Los Angeles Times (a Best Book of 1999)

Napoleon has been defeated at Waterloo, and the ensuing peace brings with it both the desertion of nearly half of Captain Aubrey's crew and the sudden dimming of Aubrey's career prospects in a peacetime navy. When the Surprise is nearly sunk on her way to South America―where Aubrey and Stephen Maturin are to help Chile assert her independence from Spain―the delay occasioned by repairs reaps a harvest of strange consequences.

The South American expedition is a desperate affair; and in the end Jack's bold initiative to strike at the vastly superior Spanish fleet precipitates a spectacular naval action that will determine both Chile's fate and his own.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Review:

Almost three decades after commencing his maritime epic with Master and Commander, Patrick O'Brian is still at it. The 20th episode, Blue at the Mizzen, is another swashbuckling adventure on the high seas, complete with romantic escapades from smoggy London to Sierra Leone, diplomacy, espionage, the intricacies of warfare, and imperial brinksmanship. As always, these events are bound up in the ongoing friendship between two officers of the Royal Navy. Jack Aubrey is the naval captain, bold yet compassionate, innovative yet cautious, as fearless in war as he is bumbling in affairs of the heart and household. His boon companion Stephen Maturin is the ship's surgeon--and additionally a spy for the British government, a wealthy Catalonian aristocrat, a doting Irish father, and an avid naturalist.

That may sound like a lot to keep track of. However, it's not necessary to carry around a scorecard or ship's roster while reading Blue at the Mizzen. The ostensible issue is whether Jack will finally be promoted to Admiral of the Blue. But long before he hears any word from the Napoleonic era's equivalent of Personnel, he loses half his crew to desertion, his ship undergoes a disastrous collision, and the entire company comes close to perishing in the ice-choked seas off Cape Horn. Meanwhile, the widowed Maturin issues a surprising proposal of marriage to a beautiful, mud-bespattered fellow naturalist while trekking through an African mangrove swamp. (The two lovebirds happen to be searching for a rare variant of Caprimulgus longipennis, the long-tailed nightjar, which they hope to surprise in full mating plumage.)

Still, this is hardly a plot-driven novel. O'Brian takes time to get anywhere, and invariably enjoys the journey more than the arrival. So even as we get constant hints of the climax to come--Jack's spectacular naval action on behalf of the infant Republic of Chile--we don't mind hearing about the nuances of shipboard existence or the secret life of the white-faced tree duck. We're treated, for example, to this snippet about managed care, circa 1816:

Poll, Maggie and a horse-leech from the starboard watch have been administering enemas to the many, many cases of gross surfeit that have now replaced the frostbites, torsions, and debility of the recent past, the very recent past. Strong, fresh, seal-meat has not its equal for upsetting the seaman's metabolism: he is much better kept on biscuits, Essex cheese, and a very little well-seethed salt pork--kept on short commons.
And we're grateful! We can only hope that the elderly author will favor us with at least one more novel, so that his avid followers can avoid their own form of short commons. Life without Aubrey and Maturin would be a deprivation indeed. --Andrew Himes

From the Publisher:

6 1.5-hour cassettes

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780393321074: Blue at the Mizzen (Vol. Book 20) (Aubrey/Maturin Novels)

Featured Edition

ISBN 10: 039332107X ISBN 13: 9780393321074
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company, 2000
Softcover

9780002259590: Blue At the Mizzen Uk

Harper..., 1999
Hardcover

9780786220472: Blue at the Mizzen

Thornd..., 2000
Softcover

9780006513780: Blue at the Mizzen

Harper..., 2003
Softcover

9780786220465: Blue at the Mizzen

Thornd..., 2000
Hardcover

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

Stock Image

1.

O'Brian, Patrick
Published by W. W. Norton & Company (1999)
ISBN 10: 0393048446 ISBN 13: 9780393048445
New Hardcover Quantity available: 1
Seller:
GlassFrogBooks
(Hawthorne, CA, U.S.A.)

Book Description W. W. Norton & Company, 1999. Condition: New. A+ Customer service! Satisfaction Guaranteed! Book is in NEW condition. Seller Inventory # 0393048446-2-1

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 11.82
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds
Seller Image

2.

O'Brian, Patrick
Published by W. W. Norton & Co., New York (1999)
ISBN 10: 0393048446 ISBN 13: 9780393048445
New Hardcover First Edition Quantity available: 1
Seller:

Book Description W. W. Norton & Co., New York, 1999. Hardcover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. First American Edition. No Flaws or Blemishes; Gift Quality. Dust Jacket in new clear protective Mylar sleeve. ------------- Napoleon has been defeated at Waterloo, and the ensuing peace brings with it both the desertion of nearly half of Captain Aubrey's crew and the sudden dimming of Aubrey's career prospects in a peacetime navy. When the Surprise is nearly sunk on her way to South America?where Aubrey and Stephen Maturin are to help Chile assert her independence from Spain?the delay occasioned by repairs reaps a harvest of strange consequences. Seller Inventory # 012009

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 14.95
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds
Stock Image

3.

O'Brian, Patrick
Published by W. W. Norton & Company (1999)
ISBN 10: 0393048446 ISBN 13: 9780393048445
New Hardcover Quantity available: 1
Seller:
Sequitur Books
(Boonsboro, MD, U.S.A.)

Book Description W. W. Norton & Company, 1999. Hardcover. Condition: New. Hardcover and dust jacket. Good binding and cover. Clean, unmarked pages. Seller Inventory # 2009150119

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 10.99
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 4.00
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds
Stock Image

4.

O'Brian, Patrick
Published by W. W. Norton & Company (1999)
ISBN 10: 0393048446 ISBN 13: 9780393048445
New Hardcover Quantity available: 10
Seller:
booksXpress
(Freehold, NJ, U.S.A.)

Book Description W. W. Norton & Company, 1999. Hardcover. Condition: new. Seller Inventory # 9780393048445

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 18.59
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds
Stock Image

5.

Patrick O'Brian
Published by WW Norton & Co, United States (1999)
ISBN 10: 0393048446 ISBN 13: 9780393048445
New Hardcover Quantity available: 10
Seller:
Book Depository International
(London, United Kingdom)

Book Description WW Norton & Co, United States, 1999. Hardback. Condition: New. American. Language: English. Brand new Book. Napoleon has been defeated at Waterloo, and the ensuing peace brings with it both the desertion of nearly half of Captain Aubrey's crew and the sudden dimming of Aubrey's career prospects in a peacetime navy. When the Surprise is nearly sunk on her way to South America-where Aubrey and Stephen Maturin are to help Chile assert her independence from Spain-the delay occasioned by repairs reaps a harvest of strange consequences. The South American expedition is a desperate affair; and in the end Jack's bold initiative to strike at the vastly superior Spanish fleet precipitates a spectacular naval action that will determine both Chile's fate and his own. Seller Inventory # BZV9780393048445

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 24.96
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds
Stock Image

6.

Patrick O'Brian
Published by WW Norton & Co, United States (1999)
ISBN 10: 0393048446 ISBN 13: 9780393048445
New Hardcover Quantity available: 10
Seller:
Book Depository hard to find
(London, United Kingdom)

Book Description WW Norton & Co, United States, 1999. Hardback. Condition: New. American. Language: English. Brand new Book. Napoleon has been defeated at Waterloo, and the ensuing peace brings with it both the desertion of nearly half of Captain Aubrey's crew and the sudden dimming of Aubrey's career prospects in a peacetime navy. When the Surprise is nearly sunk on her way to South America-where Aubrey and Stephen Maturin are to help Chile assert her independence from Spain-the delay occasioned by repairs reaps a harvest of strange consequences. The South American expedition is a desperate affair; and in the end Jack's bold initiative to strike at the vastly superior Spanish fleet precipitates a spectacular naval action that will determine both Chile's fate and his own. Seller Inventory # BZV9780393048445

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 26.13
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds
Stock Image

7.

O'Brian, Patrick
Published by W. W. Norton & Company (1999)
ISBN 10: 0393048446 ISBN 13: 9780393048445
New Hardcover Quantity available: 1
Seller:
Irish Booksellers
(Portland, ME, U.S.A.)

Book Description W. W. Norton & Company, 1999. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0393048446

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 15.28
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 17.77
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds
Stock Image

8.

O'Brian, Patrick
ISBN 10: 0393048446 ISBN 13: 9780393048445
New Quantity available: 1
Seller:
SZ Global
(OTTAWA, ON, Canada)

Book Description Condition: New. The excitement of the Aubrey/Maturin series soars to new heights in this volume, as Jack, again the daring frigate commander of old, stakes all on a desperate solo night raid against the might of the Spanish viceroy in Peru. Seller Inventory # 9780393048445

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 28.99
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 15.00
From Canada to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds
Stock Image

9.

O'Brian, Patrick
Published by W. W. Norton & Company (1999)
ISBN 10: 0393048446 ISBN 13: 9780393048445
New Hardcover Quantity available: 1
Seller:
BennettBooksLtd
(San Diego, CA, U.S.A.)

Book Description W. W. Norton & Company, 1999. Condition: New. New. Seller Inventory # M-0393048446

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 59.79
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 4.95
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds
Stock Image

10.

O'Brian, Patrick
ISBN 10: 0393048446 ISBN 13: 9780393048445
New Quantity available: 1
Seller:
BennettBooksLtd
(San Diego, CA, U.S.A.)

Book Description Condition: New. New. Seller Inventory # S-0393048446

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 59.79
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 4.95
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds