The Thirteen Gun Salute (Free E–pub) ¼ Patrick OBrian
Patrick OBrian Ý 0 SummaryGlad I bought the next two because this doesn t end at the end Scads of good fun as always Probably the most memorable art of this adventure was Stephen s trip to the Buddhist temple where men and beasts live together in harmony and Stephen basically gets to have the on shore naturalizing experience he is repeatedly denied while sailing with Jack Too good Also enemy dissectionWords Notesp 29 As usual Stephen is at the cutting edge of medical technology stocking laster of Paris for healing broken limbs in the oriental manner much favoured now by Dr Maturin Wikipedia has an extensive article on orthopedic casts and traces their origin in Western medicine to observations made in Turkey around 1800popliteal adj referring to the back of the knee 40plansheer n ossibly the same as lancer the underside of a cornice 61spirketting n I think this is the wooden lining around a Les Ténébreuses - Tome I - La Fin d'un monde port 61roborative adj restorative giving strength Karneval, Vol. 4 p 63sillery n Sillery is a region in France known for its wine 87 Bears I have borne sir and badgers said Mrs Broad her arms folded over a formal black silk dress It was only a very small bear said Stephen and long ago The Hiding Place p 112chilblains n ulceration of the extremities due to cold and humidity 149a true Job s muffler This verbal gaff of Jack s was completely lost on me Apparently Job s comforter is a hrase So much at 156Oh man this assage from 162 is way too good not to recount in full Jack is interviewing one of his midshipmen on his historical knowledge What do you know about the last American war Not very much sir except that the French and Spaniards joined in and were finely served out for doing so Very true Do you know how it began Yes sir It was about tea which they did not choose to The Elephants Journey pay duty on They called out No reproduction without copulation and tossed it into Boston harbour Jack frowned considered and said Well in any event they accomplished little or nothing at sea that bout Heassed on to the necessary allowance for dip and refraction to be made in working lunars matters with which he was deeply familiar but as he tuned his fiddle that evening he said Stephen what was the Americans cry in 1775 No representation no taxation Nothing about copulation Nothing at all At that Sklaven für Wutawia + Gauner mit der 'Goldenen Hand' period the mass of Americans were in favour of copulation So it could not have been No reproduction without copulation Why my dear that is the old naturalhilosopher s watchword as old as Aristotle and uite erroneous Do but consider how the hydra and her kind multiply without any sexual commerce of any sort Leeuenhoek roved it long ago but still the obstinate repeat the cry like so many arrots Well be damned to taxation in any case Shall we attack the andante murrain n infectious disease among cattle and sheep Changing Face of the Hero p 163p 189 describes a form of corporalunishment in Pulo Prabang in which a bag The Undisputed Greatest Writer of All Time: A Collection of Poetry partially filled withepper is StoryBranding: Creating Stand-Out Brands Through The Power of Story placed over the criminal s head and the victim s family then beats him with sticks A cursory search turned up no supporting evidence sadlybabirussa nresumably Babyrousa babyrousa a kind of wild It's A Wonderfully Sexy Life pig native to Indonesia 200colophony n another name for rosin Lignin Biodegradation p 211 kedgeree n a semi horrifying mixture of fish rice eggs curryarsely and curry Pure Chance powder eaten by who else Britons For breakfast It actually doesn t sound that bad as dinner but not first thing in the morning thanks 216past mark of mouth apparently means old and has some euine origin but what the actual mark might be I m not sure Any euestrians out there The Lady and the Lionheart p 233subjacent adj below 262frowsty adj stale musty 263crapulous adj irritable from having eaten or drunk too much 263colcannon n Irish dish of mashed spuds and cabbage or kale Maybe I ll make some this week 270pugil n same as a inch as in the uantity Schilder's Struggle for the Unity of the Church p 275garstrakes n the firstlanks of wood adjacent to the keel of the ship A (kinda) Country Christmas p 275comminatory adj warning orunishing 288castramentation n ossibly a misspelling of castrametation so aptly defined by Jack himself as the learned word for setting up tents and so on 307and music shall untune the sky This beautiful excerpt is from Dryden s Song for St Cecilia s Day the full text of which and an interesting description can be found at Harpers 35 starsIn this volume a number of significant changes occur in the lives of our two heroes some of them behind the scenes as with Stephen s discovery that Diana is regnant with his child that he assumes will be a daughter as well as the fact that National Geographic Kids Almanac 2020 poor Padeen now addicted to laudanum has been convicted of theft and battery and was thus transported to theenal colony in Australia Others make up a direct art of the lot the most important of which is likely the fact that Aubrey is restored to the Navy List Why Is It Always About You?: The Seven Deadly Sins of Narcissism primarily so that he and Maturin can undertake a mission to transport an envoy to the sultanate of Pulo Prabang in the South China Sea In order to avoid someolitical complications the Surprise under the command of Tom Pullings is sent on to Aubrey s Gods and fighting men: the story of the Tuatha de Danaan and of the Fianna of Ireland, arranged and put into English by Lady Gregory previous mission to safeguard British interests in South America while Jack Stephen areut on board Aubrey s new command the HMS Diane which
had been captured by Aubrey the French in the reviousbeen captured by Aubrey from the French in the revious The Envoy to the Sultan of Pulo Prabang Edward Fox roves to be an initially affable character though both Aubrey and Maturin sense something not uite right about him Upon arriving at the tropical aradise of Pulo Prabang Stephen becomes enmeshed in the local Everyone Loves Clowns and Other Tales political and intelligence arenas as the British detachment attempts to outmaneuver their French counterparts who hope to use the alliance to disrupt British trading in the area Another surprise appears when it is discovered that the British traitors Ledward and Wray who had been responsible for Aubrey s downfall areart of the French delegation Shenanigans ensue and complications arise as Maturin discovers an influential lever in the Sultan s court under the sway of the French and the truth behind his initial fears regarding Fox s stability and dependability become and apparentAt long last however Stephen is given something of a reprieve at least as far as his inclinations as a naturalist go when he is afforded the opportunity to spend an extended The Elements of Computing Systems: Building a Modern Computer from First Principles period studying the flora and fauna of the island s holy valley of Kumai arotected enclave in the crater of a volcano Added to this is the opportunity to erform several human dissections with a famous Dutch colleague who also appears to combine the trades of natural hilosopher with intelligence agent that roves to resolve several roblems in one fell swoopThe homeward journey is a tense one for Stephen and Jack Hoping to be able to make a rendezvous with the Surprise they are consistently forced to deal with a now insupportably Hitler's First War: Adolf Hitler, the Men of the List Regiment, and the First World War pompous Fox who expects all of his orders to be unuestioningly obeyed Add to this a typhoon that leaves them stranded on an island in uncharted seas and we once again end with one of O Brian s trademark cliffhangers After than a year s hiatus from my favorite maritime series all I can sigh is I love these stories Patrick O Brian may well be the most brilliant man to everut en to age This installment easily bears up to its Žemyn galva į Australiją predecessors with its subtle humor nuanced characters and balancedacing Can t wait for the next one for him Truth was what he could make others believe Patrick O Brian Thirteen Gun Salute What I meant was that if he could induce others to believe what he said then for him the statement acuired some degree of truth a reflection of their belief that it was true and this reflected truth might grow stronger with time and repetition until it became conviction indistinguishable from ordinary factual truth or very nearly so The Thriteen Gun Salute 188Certain O Brian novels just make me want to soak in them I slow down while reading just to float on the rose There is a oetry to his descriptions of sailing the natural world and music Thirteen books in I wonder if this was Último asalto purposeful O Brian continues toaint and sketch and detail on his two Fear (Tricycle Teachings protagonists I now consider Captain Aubrey and Dr Maturin to beerhaps two of the greatest characters ever O Brian uses these two men as archetypes of masculinity I ve covered this before But each book allows him to shade nuance deeper The thirteenth instalment of the Aubrey and Maturin chronicles is as delightful and compelling as the rest of this matchless series The I Only Say This Because I Love You: How the Way We Talk Can Make or Break Family Relationships Throughout Our Lives pair are sent on an urgent global mission introduced to annoying neweople and charming new animals menaced by forces meteorological and human yet their steadfast friendship remains the heart and soul of the narrative There is so much to appreciate in O Brian s elegant witty and endlessly humane writing At the start he sets the scene for the reader who read the last in the series a while back while subtly introducing the lot The customary verbal misunderstandings unctured Conta and Boehme Porcelain Identification and Value Guide pomposities andersonal eccentricities are all Rodeo Drive to Raja Bazaar present and correct yet O Brian makes them fresh and delightful every time Reading an AubreyMaturin novel always makes me laugh hold my breath at moments of tension and uite forget that I m not sailing the high seas in the early 19th century One of my favourite exchanges sums up the central relationship very welluite early in the morning Captain Aubrey stood tall and shadowy by Stephen s cot Are you awake he asked in a soft voice I am not said Stephen We are going ashore in the newinnace and I thought you might like to come too There may be a whole colony of nondescript boobies So there may how truly kind I shall be with you in a minute Of especial noteview spoiler Jack mishearing the name Fuggers complaints about bankers Stephen replacing his laudanum habit with chewing coca leaves Jack s snoring the Lisbon ilot s sales itch Killick s J.R.R. Tolkien perpetually grumpy remarks Jack and Stephen choosing taffeta together for their wives spleens the low ceilinged cutter captained by one of the tallest officers in the Navy Jack s uniform being too big the volubleatient that tired Stephen young Philip s attempt at running away to sea Jack carefully editing his adventures so that Sophie doesn t worry the unfortunate cuttlefish lagiarism amongst the youths a troop of grampuses Stephen rescribing Prophets Unarmed: Chinese Trotskyists in Revolution, War, Jail, and the Return from Limbo placebos the arrival in Java the three offic. The Thirteen Gun Salute opens with Jack Aubrey reinstated to his command and sailing on a secret mission with a handicked crew most of them shipmates from the adventures and lucrative voyages of earlier yearsPatrick O'Brian's resou. Ials whose company is a trial cannon fireworks Stephen s magical field trip up the steps an encounter with rhinos spy machinations the urser warning Stephen about the brothel Jack s amusement at Stephen staying in a brothel Fox s failed babysitting Stephen wearing scarlet doctoral robes Jack s remarks upon Ganymede the importance of coffee Stephen being mistaken for an orang utan Jack and Stephen always missing one another whenever seperated for a very short time What a rattle you are to be sure Stephen hating to be woken up early the villain of the The Humanist Interpretation of Hieroglyphs in the Allegorical Studies of the Renaissance: With a Focus on the Triumphal Arch of Maximilian I piece being dissected Jack and Stephen ducking out of an unseemly dinnerarty the mizzen topgallant staysail that Stephen likens to a tablecloth Jack calling Stephen Dr Humorous Droll the boat s crew responding to Stephen s clueless remark about it the royal salute a sudden very dramatic storm What was that A landslide my dear and the dramatic conclusion marooned hide spoiler Now that Aubrey is restored to the King s Navy once he s off on another mission this time to Malaysia His The Reproductive Bargain: Deciphering the Enigma of Japanese Capitalism particular friend DrStephen Maturin is along to spy on the French s forces in Malaysia view spoilerThe diplomatic mission goes well not least because Maturin disgraces and then kills the leading French diplomats Thislot line is one of those masterful strokes that O Brian is so excellent at For the first half of the book Maturin and Fox often Your Life Still Counts: How God Uses Your Past to Create a Beautiful Future practice their long distance shooting asart of a friendly competition Later Maturin befriends an anatomist and has amusingly detached conversations with him Maturin stays in a brothel and watches the French All of these minor little background moments come together in one stunning scene when Maturin turns up on the anatomist s doorstop with an unnamed body with a Piers Plowman: A New Translation of the B-Text precise bullet hole and they dispassionately dissect it It s stunning and cold On the way home the ship is wrecked on uncharted reefs and the crew is stranded on a small island hide spoiler Out of all of O Brian s AubreyMaturin series up to thisoint The Thirtheen Gun Salute gets further away from the sea battles and life aboard ship to really delve into the interior of a new and exciting frontier in the eyes of the characters as set in a The War against Animals pre Planet Earth world andaints a not always Fantasy Noir. Übernatürliche Mordfälle prettyicture of diplomacy in the Far East as it was some 200 years ago O Brian describes Maturin s romp into the countryside in such flowing and absorbing detail that it reads as vividly as watching any of those fancy nature rograms David Attenborough makesThere are no naval battles in this the thirteenth episode of the saga I mention it because that is such a big draw for many who read these kinds of books However this is Patrick O Brian we re talking about so all the rest that makes up this book is well worth the reading because the reading makes you feel as if you re living it You get the sense of an early 19th century voyage around the globe You feel the tension of a diplomatic mission that may sway the war one way or another in this art of the world You climb the 1000 steps to the ancient Buddhist temple where it shouldn t be on an island in Muslim Malaysia and there you connect on a Diari personal level with an orangutan It s all amazingly detailed But action No this one s not filled with action That being said our courageous hero Captain Aubrey is still busy He has a ship to run while contending with an envoy whose inflating sense of self may threaten everything Intelligence agent naturalist and ship s surgeon Dr Maturin takes center stage for much of The Thirteen Gun Salute It is aart of his character arc that culminates in a satisfactory if somewhat devious finish of a storyline that has been going on and on for book after revious book This is a gorgeous and subtle iece of fiction that can be enjoyed by fans beyond the actionadventure genre that one would assume it is If you re new to the series A Long the Krommerun: Selected Papers from the Utrecht James Joyce Symposium perhaps don t start with this book but otherwise this is highly recommendedMy review of book 12 The Letter of Marue My review of book 14 The Nutmeg of Consolation 910 Bonden said Jack Aubrey to his coxswain tell the Doctor that if he is at leisure there is something to be seen on deck The Doctor was at leisure the cello on which he had beenractising gave a last deep boom and he ran up the companion ladder an expectant look on his face The Lancelot point of interest is the last glimpse of the home shore of England as the Surprise sets sail once for distant seas eager to explore beyond that horizon endlessossibilities even now in spite of their late and inauspicious start Captain Jack Aubrey still suspended from the Admiralty lists over unjust accusations of fraud and doctor Stephen Maturin on a secret mission to undermine the French efforts in South America have commissioned the former warship as a letter of marue a form of government sponsored Scorch piracy Much as I enjoyed the series of shorebound events in the series the ocean is the natural element for the two friends and for their crew and not unlike them I too felt refreshed and excited to leave the safe harbour in search of tropical storms enemy shipsirates natural hilosophy and some light classical music in the evenings Even if I heard it all before during what is already a twelve volume long epic journey the start of
a new voyage feels as exciting as the very first glimpse I had of Aubrey andnew voyage feels as exciting as the very first glimpse I had of Aubrey and on the Malta station in Master and Commander Briefly because this is not for me the most important aspect of the series the title is a reference to the rigid maritime custom of firing up the ship s guns in honor of the King s representative the Crown by roxy and entitled to a thirteen gun salute Surprisingly the ship is not the Surprise but the bigger and newly captured from the French Diane who sails on a very urgent mission to Pulo Prabang an independent Sultanate in the South China Sea Aubrey and Maturin are asked to leave their own ship in the hands of the second in command the capable Mr Pullings and take a certain Mr Fox as King s Envoy to the Sultan in Malaya to counteract a French mission to arm the locals against the East India merchant company It is a long voyage with Tempers Frayed By The frayed by the Marrane Et Marronne: La Co-Ecriture Reversible D Andre Et de Simone Schwarz-Bart personality of Fox by an almost tragic incident off Tristan da Cunha by severe storms and icebergs in the Southern latitudes until finally like aage taken out of Joseph Conrad they arrive among those spice islands that lure sailors like the mermaids of antiuity with their This Deleuzian Century perfumed lush tropical shores Once at the Sultan s Court Stephen has his hands full counteracting two British traitors working for the French and guiding Mr Fox through the labyrinth of Eastern corruption and secrecy while Jack tries to get the Diane ready for both enemy action and typhoon season All interesting in the general convincing note of the rest of theast episodes but the name of the game is not war or I spy but Joy This is the actual secret ingredient that makes me come back to the series as if I sample one of my favorite dishes Both Aubrey and Maturin are consummate Women's Romantic Theatre and Drama: History, Agency, and Performativity professionals but what makes them truly special is the fact that both are engaged in doing what they love most in the world sailing andor studying the natural world This is what makes each day in their company special even if it is often the drudge of ship routine for weeks on end until it is interrupted by theassing of a rare species of albatross or by the sunrise shining on one of the topmost sails or by a new experiment with chemical Tell Me What You Want powders toroduce coloured smoke from the ship guns Here s Jack in a moment of relaxation It had always appeared to Jack Aubrey ever since he was a little boy that one of the Water in Social Imagination: From Technological Optimism to Contemporary Environmentalism purest joys in the world was sailing a small well conceived weatherly boat theurest form of sailing too with the sheet alive in one s hand the tiller uivering under the crook of one s knee and the boat s instant response to the movement of either and to the roll and the breeze and here s Stephen coming down from a visit to an ancient Buddhist temple hidden in a volcanic crater in Malaya Kumai was nearer Paradise than anything I am likely to see again in this life or next I cannot bless my fate enough for having been allowed it I communed with orang utangs they held me by the hand I saw the tarsier immeasurable wealth The merit of Patrick O Brian rests not so much in the accurate historical details from the Napoleonic Wars but in this sharing of timeless Sagwitch: Shoshone Chieftain, Mormon Elder, 1822-1887 passion this enchantment with the world we live in not in denial but in acceptance of the hardships and dangers that are also an inherentart of it This sharing is not always without hiccups given the fact that not every reader would be as assionate about maritime terms as Aubrey or O Brian but at least you can ut a brave face on and continue sailing A sense of humour sure helps with the journey They went forward and some of the hands in the waist nodded and smiled significantly The Doctor was going to be stunned amazed taken aback all standing There said Jack Le rendez-vous pointing upward About the topsailyard right up against the trestletrees Have you ever seen that before The thing like a tableclothulled out at one corner asked Stephen who could be sadly disappointing on occasion Well it is a mizzen topgallant staysail said Jack who had expected little You can tell your grandchildren you saw one Our modern world is Molotov Mouths: Explosive New Writing poorer for lack of a mizzen topgallant staysail or aair of rhinoceros running through Malaya jungle Even bit art characters that you think the author ut in only for decorative All Our Trials: Prisons, Policing, and the Feminist Fight to End Violence purposes and then totally forgot about them like the troop of redcoats billeted on board ship are allowed their share of the joy in a job well done and in their esoteric specialized knowledge Castramentation sir said Welby beaming with decent triumph it was rare that a soldier could triumph aboard a man of war And there is to it than might be supposed Which brings me to aoint I have Discovering Our Past California Edition: Medieval And Early Modern Times probably made before about the series but I like to reiterate sanity is often a uestion of our ability to see ourselves through the eyes of others Jack and Stephen are both capable of it and of having a good laugh at their own expense On the other hand Mr Fox the King s Envoy is consumed by his own bloated social standing Hisortrait is so sharp so insightful. Rcefulness is a sure warrant that things will not turn out as his readers or his characters expect Twists and turns sub In This Land: The Purple Book, Volume Four plots echoes from theast these are the only certainties in this astonishing roman fleuve Distant waters exotic. That the 2020 reader will be forced to draw arallels between Envoy Fox and certain demagogue Cybercrime and Digital Forensics: An Introduction politicians of our age What I meant was that if he could induce others to believe what he said then for him the statement acuired some degree of truth a reflection of their belief that it was true and this reflected truth might grow stronger with time and repetition until it became conviction indistinguishable from ordinary factual truth or very nearly so Edward Fox is not only struck by a case of the sudden onset of folie de grandeur he is also unable to consider anything else beyond his own narrow selfishness it was no very ungenerous reflection to suppose that this was because he meant to arrogate all the merit to himself The best weapon against sucheople is ridicule and refusing to stoop down to their level deploying some of that critical thinking and sense of humour that I remarked on earlier The laughter is an integral art of the series as much as ship engagements olitics and storms Some of the jokes are subtle yet so subversive that I found myself going back to the setup to enjoy the The Meaning of Difference: American Constructions of Race, Sex and Gender, Social Class, Sexual Orientation, and Disability punchline better Jack he said as they walked along the rim of the crater to aoint where they could hail the ship did you reflect upon Ganymede at all Yes said Jack I was up with him all last night and should be this night were it not for the Sultan s visit tomorrow Such an endearing little One Small Step: An Anthology of Discoveries pale golden body as heeeps out he is easily my favourite But I shall still have him almost all night once the Sultan is done with Shall you though said Stephen looking at his friend s leased well fed face rather florid than usual from the Sultan s wine and after a ause Brother can we be talking of the same thing On the island of Pulo Prabang Stephen meets another natural hilosopher named Van Buren and their conversation is literally eppered with droll repartees some of which were to good to let Birds pass without at least a nod By the way there was aython in your lane Reticulatus I suppose or How glad I am you are a night bird he said sitting down heavily I should have been in a sad way else My brothel is shut You must take off your clothes said van Buren looking at him with close attention or An English spleen at last An English spleen the most famous of them all And as fresh a cadaver as ever I have had the Tales from the Ballpark Tales from the Ballpark Tales from the Ballpark: More of the Greatest True Baseball Stories Ever Told More of the Greatest True Baseball Stories Ever Told More of the Greatest True Baseball Stories Ever Told pleasure of opening I am infinitely obliged to you colleague Death was caused by this bullet wound I see a rifle bullet How curious There s no way these innuendos are other than deliberate a tool to lighten the mood and engage with the audience but in the case of O Brian they are also obliue references to majorlot developments some of which are taking Isocrates I (The Oratory of Classical Greece, vol. 4) place off screen and only deduced from context This isarticularly effective in the case of Maturin whose secret Robot Programming: A Practical Guide to Behavior-Based Robotics persona as a master spy is rarely described inlain terms but made convincing when the reader has the Perfect Phrases for Writing Company Announcements: Hundreds of Ready-to-Use Phrases for Powerful Internal and External Communications pleasure of decoding the clues for himselfI made examples of the jokes that about the general high uality of therose and dialogue responsible for the series genuine flavour even in a greater Versailles percent than the technical details about sailing andolitical strategy I robably said enough about style in revious reviews and it s clear enough that O Brian is well capable of delivering on this front as alwaysAs a conclusion of my review I would like to observe that a new reader might even consider starting with this here novel no 13 as it is the first in a self contained journey that will continue to circumnavigate the The Mystery of the Two-Toed Pigeon planet that is if Aubrey and Maturing manage to escape the direerils of being stranded on a savage unknown reef in the final Rack Ruin pages of this here book At someoint O Brian decided this series would go on indefinitely The structure of some of the books then became odd There are some that don t end they just stop There s an obvious on going unresolved Espenlaub plot but tough luck you re gonna hafta wait for the next volume to get a resolution This is one of them It ends with a cliff hanger which some don t and for some reason it s easier to handle then when a book just stops apparently arbitrarilySo thirteen books in and it s getting harder to find non repetitive things for Aubrey and Maturin to do with each volume yet O Brianulls it off again Making Maturin not just a hysician but an intelligence officer was a stroke of genius in this regard It offers a much greater range of ossible and lausible adventures than regular Royal Navy work couldand so we are off to the Pacific on a diplomatic mission with clandestine additional motivations The best most delightful art of this volume is an almost complete aside from the main lot however Maturin indulges his interest in natural history by visiting a volcanic island where Orangutans aboundBack to the cliff hanger I have not had so urgent a desire to read the next in this series since robably somewhere in the first five volumes I think I overdosed for a while and I also think the uality varies somewhat between volumes in this series but this one is the best since the tenth at least The thirteenth of 20
In This Marvellous Seriesthis marvellous series GR blurb explains the lot and a review from Wikipedia about the towering achievement of the book and the series follows after Read one and you should be hookedGR In length the series is uniue in uality and there is not a weak link in the chain it cannot but be ranked with the best of twentieth century historical novels T J Binyon IndependentCaptain Jack Aubrey sets sail for the South China Sea with a new lease on life Following his dismissal from the Royal Navy a false accusation he has earned reinstatement through his daring exploits as a privateer brilliantly chronicled in The Letter of Marue Now he is to shepherd Stephen Maturin his friend ship s surgeon brilliantly chronicled in The Letter of Marue Now he is to shepherd Stephen Maturin his friend ship s surgeon sometimes intelligence agent on a diplomatic mission to revent links between Bonaparte and the Malay Racial Theories In Context princes which wouldut English merchant shipping at riskThe journey of the Diane encompasses a great and satisfying diversity of adventures Maturin climbs the Thousand Steps of the sacred crater of the orangutans a killer typhoon catches Aubrey and his crew trying to work the Diane off a reef and in the barbaric court of Pulo Prabang a classic duel of intelligence agents unfolds the French envoys well entrenched in the Sultan s good graces against the savage cunning of Stephen MaturinFrom Wiki The uneven The Queen I pace of re issues in the US is noted by Kirkus Reviews who listed this thirteenth novel in the Aubrey Maturin series after their own reviews of two books much earlier in the series HMS Surprise and The Mauritius Command third and fourth in the series respectively Dr Stephen Maturin is described as an intellectual counterpoint to Jack shysical Cigarette Kisses presence2 After a nod to the story they conclude that the ultimate appeal of the AubreyMaturin adventures lies in O Brian s delicious old fashionedrose the wonderfully complex sentences that capture the feel of the sea and the culture of the great warships all the while sketching with apparent accuracy and truth the early 19th century world2Publishers Weekly notes that Aubrey is once again a captain in the Royal Navy and even a rotten borough MP4 Maturin s stay in the valley where he blissfully encounters and studies a variety of tame exotic beasts is called charming4 They mention that the author s writing style has been compared to that of Jane Austen and raise the wit of guests at the dinners in country house London ship s mess sultan s alace Buddhist monastery4Thomas Flanagan writing in the New York Times Books was leased to have discovered the series of novels by virtue of an essay by Richard Snow who roundly and with olemical extravagance declared them to be the best historical novels ever written Not uite Gutsy Girls: Young Women Who Dare perhaps adding that delayed appreciation of the series of novels is not exclusively American The British critic Peter Wishart has described the neglect of Patrick O Brian as a literary wonder of the age as baffling as the Inca inability to invent the wheel Why all the fuss3 The writing style structure andlot are remarked favorably including many incidents of The Thirteen Gun Salute The novels display a dazzling receptiveness to language an understanding of Organizations As Knowledge Systems period speech so entire that it never needs toreen itself although here and there it does There is a recklessness with Little Scarlet (Easy Rawlins plot that is intentionally subversive of the genre Climactic scenes are deliberately thrown away revealed in casual conversation The narrativeauses to digress on orangutans in Borneo the cuisine of Portugal a Mozart uartet The twists of lot are swift drastic on occasion comic on occasion grotesue in this novel Maturin s way of dealing with two English traitors at the Malay court of Pulo Prabang draws casually and lethally on his knowledge of zoology and his skill as an anatomist3 Flanagan concludes that It is a leasure to read a contemporary historical novel written not by machine but by hand3Regarding the re issue of the entire series after Never Sweeter publisher W W Norton became interested for the US market Richard Snow wrote in 1991 that he had read the novels from Master and Commander to Desolation Island from Americanublishers twenty years earlier O Brian s ortrayal of life aboard a sailing ship is vivid and authoritative and O Brian resented the lost arcana of that hard ressed cruel courageous world with an immediacy that makes its workings both comprehensible and fascinating1 He noted too that behind the humor behind the storms and the broadside duels loomed something larger the shape and texture of a whole era1 As strong as the historical detail was Snow remarked that in the end it is the serious exploration of human character that gives the books their greatest ower and he also referred to the Steam Heat poetry of the writing saying that O Brian manages to express with the grace and economy ofoetry familiar things that somehow never get written down as when he carefully details the rueful steps by which Stephen Maturin falls out of love1 At this time of the re issues of the novels by W W Norton in the US Snow recommended that a reader start with the first and keep reading to the last one then You will have read what I continue to believe are the best historical novels ever written1. Scenes flora and fauna to satisfy Aubrey's old friend Stephen Maturin's innocent curiosity as well as scope for his cloak and dagger work enrich its flow The ending of the book leaves the reader than usually impatient for its success.