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The Hundred Days [Hardcover]

3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars an utter disappointment Jan. 8 2000
Format:Hardcover
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 series should have ended with the previous volume, a gem, #18, "The Yellow Admiral," which nicely ties up a number of plot threads, leaving us to imagine a happy future for our favorite characters. "The Hundred Days" is both unnecesssary and bad. I am not the only Aubrey fan I know who was left wondering whether O'Brian was in fact the author -- it reads like someone trying to imitate O'Brian's style, and failing badly. Abandoning his beloved slow match in favor of the flint lock is just one of several things that Jack does that are completely out of character. In the subsequent and final volume, #20, "Blue at the Mizzen," little better than this one, O'Brian attempts to backtrack and have Aubrey compensate for the most glaring one of these lapses, but it's too little and too late.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a weird collection... May 31 2002
Format:Hardcover
A couple of years later and I stroll in and see such a weird collection of remarks! It seems that people either love this installment or absolutely loathe it. By my rating, you can see that I enjoyed it immensely. I think that O'Brian lived up to his reputation as a sophisticated storyteller. Yes, Diana's death is a mere mention - but the author creates such a deeply painful upset that feels very real - we grieve with Stephen from the shock - and if we are open to it, we appreciate the story even more. And yes, Bonden's demise is equally jarring, but that's life at sea (especially during that time). My one critique of O'Brian - there should have been more death among Aubrey's and Maturin's closest friends and followers - that is, if history were followed more closely. So - to the naysayers I say -"you are heard, but you do not speak for everybody." I love this book as I love the entire series.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Beating the Deadline Dec 16 1999
Format:Paperback
I, as countless others, noticed within pages that this book did not have the heft, color, culture or beauty of the past entries. It felt like the OUTLINE of a possible book, with none of the nuances and flourishes filled in. A pale watercolor against the previous Rembrandts. And let's lose a vital character like Diana OFFSTAGE, as if she were a minor character, a footnote when really she balanced and made whole the Maturin we came to know. His tempestuous love affair made an otherwise dour, eccentric character come into his own; a character arc that paid off handsomely. Aubrey and the good doctor go through the motions as if ghosts of voyages past. They play music, engage in intrigue, visit (in a glancing manner) foreign exotic ports, and eat their toasted cheese -- but it's a vessel that's altogether too unseaworthy for the journey. Either the prolific author's powers have waned at this late stage, or he was trying to beat the deadline (he's 85 after all) and finish the saga with a round number; 20 (Blue Mizzen's out now). That's a cruel assessment, but his fault entirely for writing so beautifully of a time past that we came to expect that level of excellence, or more to the point, crave and need it like a good serving of plum duff and spotted dog. May his high standards unfurl and send us sailing at 12 knots and above on the next peregrination. For now, I'll take a bolus and bit of laudanum to ease the pain and curl up in my hammock while awaiting another installment.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Two Books in One Dec 13 1999
Format:Hardcover
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 happened". The first half of the book is exceptionally poor, with almost no use of nautical terms, repetitive expressions (surely there is another word that will do in place of "said"), and lack of historical flavor. The second half is much better and, although not up to the best of previous volumes in this series, approaches The Yellow Admiral, for example, in style and plot.
Is this just my imagination? Perhaps. Maybe I got used to the "new" O'Brien by page 100 and was able to get over my initial shock. Still, what is the reason for killing off Diana and Bonden? I can see that a literary purpose might be served by the former (but it is never realised), but Bonden! I wonder if there could be something about the author's health (he is no longer young, more's the pity), production schedules, or ? which caused The Hundred Days to fall so short of the mark.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Two Books in One Dec 13 1999
Format:Hardcover
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 happened". The first half of the book is exceptionally poor, with almost no use of nautical terms, repetitive expressions (surely there is another word that will do in place of "said"), and lack of historical flavor. The second half is much better and, although not up to the best of previous volumes in this series, approaches The Yellow Admiral, for example, in style and plot.
Is this just my imagination? Perhaps. Maybe I got used to the "new" O'Brien by page 100 and was able to get over the shock of the start. And what is the reason for killing off Diana and Bonden? I can see that a literary purpose might be served by the former (but it is never realised), but Bonden! I wonder if there could be something about the author's health (he is no longer young, more's the pity), production schedules, or ? which caused the apparent inconsistency within The Hundred Days.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok Historical Fiction
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 more
Published on Sept. 3 2012 by Murray
1.0 out of 5 stars No Hornblower
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining as always
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 more
Published on March 4 2000
2.0 out of 5 stars Scrub
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 more
Published on Feb. 3 2000 by Pluma Seeker
4.0 out of 5 stars Making what one can of the end...
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 more
Published on Jan. 12 2000 by Perry Clark
4.0 out of 5 stars Another really good O'Brian novel.
I finished reading "The Hundred Days", number nineteen in Patrick O'Brian's "The Aubrey-Mautrin Novels" series. Another excellent novel. Read more
Published on Jan. 5 2000
3.0 out of 5 stars A Fainter Smell of Sea Air
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 more
Published on Dec 14 1999
3.0 out of 5 stars O'Brian becalmed
THE HUNDRED DAYS is the 20th in O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin series. New readers are likely to be disappointed, as character development in earlier novels is essential to appreciating... Read more
Published on Sept. 6 1999
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