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In this, actor Robert Hardy's fourth reading from Patrick O'Brian's celebrated historical novels, series heroes Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin are in very different circumstances from when we first meet them. In Master and Commander, the first of the series, Aubrey is young and full of himself, and through Hardy's performance we can practically hear Aubrey's puffed-out chest. But in The Hundred Days, Aubrey is a commodore, famous throughout the British Empire for his naval exploits, and Hardy reflects the confidence that comes with those accomplishments. Meanwhile, his best friend, surgeon-spy Stephen Maturin, is wasting away as the audiocassette opens, in deep mourning for his recently deceased wife. But soon enough, both are pulled into great adventure again--in this case, Napoleon's final campaign--and the fate of the Empire rests on their ability to stop the fitting out of a new French fleet and to keep a shipment of gold from reaching a mercenary army. (Running time: three hours, two cassettes) --Lou Schuler --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The Aubrey-Maturin series (The Commodore, etc.) nears the two dozen mark the way it began, with colorful historical background, smooth plotting, marvelous characters and great style. The title refers to Napoleon's escape from Elba and brief return to power. Capt. Jack Aubrey must stop a Moorish galley, loaded with gold for Napoleon's mercenaries, from making its delivery. The action takes us into two seas and one ocean and continues nearly nonstop until the climax in the Atlantic. We're quickly reacquainted with the two heroes: handsome sea dog Jack Aubrey, by now a national hero, and Dr. Stephen Maturin, Basque-Irish ship's doctor, naturalist, English spy and hopelessly incompetent seaman. Nothing stays the same, alas: Jack has gained weight almost to obesity, and Stephen is desolated by the death of his dashing, beautiful wife?but they're still the best of friends, each often knowing what the other is thinking. The prose moves between the maritime sublime and the Austenish bon mot ("a man generally disliked is hardly apt to lavish good food and wine on those who despise him, and Ward's dinners were execrable"). There are some favorite old characters, notably Aubrey's steward, Preserved Killick: "ill-faced, ill-tempered, meagre, atrabilious, shrewish" and thoroughly amusing. Chief among entertaining newcomers is Dr. Amos Jacob, a Cainite Jew ("they derive their descent from the Kenites, who themselves have Abel's brother Cain as their common ancestor"), who comes from a family of jewel merchants and has an encyclopedic grasp of Hebrew, Arabic and Turkish languages (and politics). Jacob is as expert as Stephen at spying and even more of a landlubber. O'Brian continues to unroll a splendid Turkish rug of a saga, and if it seems unlikely that the sedentary Stephen would hunt lions in the Atlas mountains (with the Dey of Algiers!), O'Brian brings off even this narrative feat with aplomb.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
The novel is about the adventures of a Royal Navy sea captain during the Napoleonic wars. The protagonist Jack Audrey and his side kick Dr. Read morePublished on Sept. 3 2012 by MS
I have read all the volumes of Hornblower last year and decided to give O'brien a try. I don't know if all his books are like this but this is a joke compared to Forrester.Published on March 20 2000 by T. H. Plat
I love great historical fiction and O'Brian's Napoleonic era novels, although not as timely as more recently set novels like the Civil War's "Cold Mountain" or WWII's... Read morePublished on March 4 2000
About a third of the way through I thought, "O'Brian has died and they're having someone ghost-write this!" Stephen and Jack are mere caricatures. Read morePublished on Feb. 3 2000 by Pluma Seeker
While some of the reviews here have lambasted "The Hundred Days", after taking a step back and looking at it on its own rather than in the spot light pointed at his... Read morePublished on Jan. 12 2000 by Perry Clark
Don't read this book. If I could, I would give it zero stars. O'Brian's series of Aubrey/Maturin novels are among the greatest works of historical fiction ever written, but the... Read morePublished on Jan. 8 2000 by Buck Bauer
I finished reading "The Hundred Days", number nineteen in Patrick O'Brian's "The Aubrey-Mautrin Novels" series. Another excellent novel. Read morePublished on Jan. 5 2000
As a dyed-in-the-wool Aubrey/Maturin devotée, and after devouring the first eighteen installments in this magnificent saga, I was quite disappointed in "The Hundred... Read morePublished on Dec 14 1999
Much of what other disappointed O'Brian fans have said about The Hundred Days is certainly true, but I think I noticed something unusual which may be a clue to "what... Read morePublished on Dec 13 1999 by David M Gottlieb