Desolation Island (Aubrey/Maturin Novels #5) (Paperback)

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Other Books in Series

This is book number 5 in the Aubrey/Maturin Novels series.

Description


"The relationship [between Aubrey and Maturin]...is about the best thing afloat....For Conradian power of description and sheer excitement there is nothing in naval fiction to beat the stern chase as the outgunned Leopard staggers through mountain waves in icy latitudes to escape the Dutch seventy-four." —Stephen Vaughan, Observer


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 undermanned, outgunned Leopard sails for her life into the freezing waters of the Antarctic, where, in mountain seas, the Dutchman closes.



About the Author


Patrick O'Brian's acclaimed Aubrey/Maturin series of historical novels has been described as "a masterpiece" (David Mamet, New York Times), "addictively readable" (Patrick T. Reardon, Chicago Tribune), and "the best historical novels ever written" (Richard Snow, New York Times Book Review), which "should have been on those lists of the greatest novels of the 20th century" (George Will).

Set in the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars, O'Brian's twenty-volume series centers on the enduring friendship between naval officer Jack Aubrey and physician (and spy) Stephen Maturin. The Far Side of the World, the tenth book in the series, was adapted into a 2003 film directed by Peter Weir and starring Russell Crowe and Paul Bettany. The film was nominated for ten Oscars, including Best Picture. The books are now available in hardcover, paperback, and e-book format.

In addition to the Aubrey/Maturin novels, Patrick O'Brian wrote several books including the novels Testimonies, The Golden Ocean, and The Unknown Shore, as well as biographies of Joseph Banks and Picasso. He translated many works from French into English, among them the novels and memoirs of Simone de Beauvoir, the first volume of Jean Lacouture's biography of Charles de Gaulle, and famed fugitive Henri Cherriere's memoir Papillon. O'Brian died in January 2000.

Praise For…


I haven’t read novels [in the past ten years] except for all of the Patrick O’Brian series. It was, unfortunately, like tripping on heroin. I started on those books and couldn’t stop.
— E. O. Wilson

Good history, fascinating erudition, espionage, romance, fever in the hold, a wreck in lost latitudes, and an action at sea that for sheer descriptive power can match anything in sea fiction.
— Christopher Wordsworth

I have been enthralled since reading Master and Commander. Now, having just finished Desolation Island, I find myself curiously anxious to slow down. True, nine volumes await me, but what I have read is so rich and splendid that I need to ponder and digest.

— Robert Massie

The best historical novels ever written... On every page Mr. O’Brian reminds us with subtle artistry of the most important of all historical lessons: that times change but people don’t, that the griefs and follies and victories of the men and women who were here before us are in fact the maps of our own lives.
— Richard Snow

It has been something of a shock to find myself—an inveterate reader of girl books—obsessed with Patrick O’Brian’s Napoleonic-era historical novels... What keeps me hooked are the evolving relationships between Jack and Stephen and the women they love.
— Tamar Lewin

I devoured Patrick O’Brian’s 20-volume masterpiece as if it had been so many tots of Jamaica grog.
— Christopher Hitchens

I fell in love with his writing straightaway, at first with Master and Commander. It wasn’t primarily the Nelson and Napoleonic period, more the human relationships. …And of course having characters isolated in the middle of the goddamn sea gives more scope. …It’s about friendship, camaraderie. Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin always remind me a bit of Mick and me.

— Keith Richards

[O’Brian’s] Aubrey-Maturin series, 20 novels of the Royal Navy in the Napoleonic Wars, is a masterpiece. It will outlive most of today’s putative literary gems as Sherlock Holmes has outlived Bulwer-Lytton, as Mark Twain has outlived Charles Reade.
— David Mamet

The Aubrey-Maturin series… far beyond any episodic chronicle, ebbs and flows with the timeless tide of character and the human heart.
— Ken Ringle

O’Brian’s Aubrey-Maturin volumes actually constitute a single 6,443-page novel, one that should have been on those lists of the greatest novels of the 20th century.
— George Will

Gripping and vivid… a whole, solidly living world for the imagination to inhabit.
— A. S. Byatt

There is not a writer alive whose work I value over his.
— Stephen Becker

Patrick O’Brian is unquestionably the Homer of the Napoleonic wars.
— James Hamilton-Paterson


Product Details
ISBN: 9780393308129
ISBN-10: 039330812X
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: August 17th, 1991
Pages: 352
Language: English
Series: Aubrey/Maturin Novels

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