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The Hundred Days is the 19th (and, we are told, the penultimate) installment of O'Brian's epic. Like many of its predecessors, it features a fairly swashbuckling plot, complete with cannon fire, exotic disguises, and Aubrey's suspenseful, slow-motion pursuit of an Algerian xebek. Yet it never turns into a mere exercise in Hornblowerism. Partly this is due to O'Brian's delicate touch with character--the relationship between extroverted Aubrey and introverted Maturin has deepened with each book, and even Aubrey's reunion with his childhood companion Queenie Keith is full of novelistic nuance: "They sat smiling at one another. An odd pair: handsome creatures both, but they might have been of the same sex or neither." Nor does the author focus too exclusively on his dynamic duo. Indeed, The Hundred Days is very much a chronicle of a floating community, which Maturin describes as "his own village, his own ship's company, that complex entity so much more easily sensed than described: part of his natural habitat."
Finally, O'Brian shows his usual expertise in balancing the great events with the most minuscule ones. Other authors have written about battles at sea, and still others have recorded the rapid rise and fall of Napoleon's fortunes after his escape from confinement. But who else would give equal time--and an equal charge of delight--to Maturin's discovery of an anomalous nuthatch? --James Marcus --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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
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'Brien 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