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3.6 out of 5 stars
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon July 7, 2004
Dean King's "Harbors and High Seas" is a good atlas chronicling the exploits of Captain "Lucky Jack" Jack Aubrey and ship's surgeon Dr. Stephen Maturin from the fateful meeting in "Master and Commander" through "The Commodore". The maps - which are drawn by William Clipson - are a fine guide tracing the major routes undertaken by Aubrey's ships (and Maturin's personal espionage missions on behalf of the British government) across the globe. Each chapter corresponds with the O'Brian novel, without giving away much with regards to plot (though the maps themselves offer quite a few spoilers). Admittedly this is a bit expensive to acquire - though hopefully the paperback edition will be much less expensive - but may nonetheless be regarded as an important companion to the O'Brian novels which any diehard fan of Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin may wish to possess.
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on January 28, 2004
Harbors is a good effort to try and geographically place events in the Aubrey/Maturin series. For the number of pages, however, I would have wanted more maps and less exposition by Mr King. And while he does not give away plot points in his book summaries, the maps themselves necessarily identify major battles or meetings; beware of spoilers!
The maps themselves are rather basic, but in their favor Mr King does place as well as possible fictitious places as well as actual.
If you find a good deal, then by all means add it to your collection. It's not a bad book, and until a better version is published (which is doubtful) it does an adaquate job.
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on December 18, 2003
My hat goes off to Dean King for Harbours. It is an excellent book that is extremely helpful when navigating Patrick O'Brian's novels. Keep them coming Dean!
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on May 1, 2003
This is a good but not great volume. It's full of useful information, but if you purchase and read it before reading all the books, you'll end up knowing how they all end. The only way to proceed is to read each chapter as you finish each book. I found myself covering some of the maps with my hands so I couldn't see where this or that ship gets sunk or engaged.
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on July 2, 2001
I am very disappointed with Dean King's efforts here. Where is this great prodigy of maps that the book seems to promise? Much of the book is taken up with summaries of PO'B's novels. If I want to know what happened in the books I will read them, I don't need to pay 21 American dollars for that. And most of the content that is not summary is written descriptions entitled 'Here and There'. Can Mr. King possibly think his accounts will succeed in enabling we hopeless lubbers to comprehend intricate harbors and locations where the great O'Brian's have not? In the Post Captain chapter, do we find a map of Chaulieu where Aubrey fights the Polychrest until she sinks under him? No we do not. This book should be filled cover to cover with detailed charts and maps. It falls far and sadly short of expectations. I urge anyone not having been duped into purchasing it already to refrain from doing so.
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on November 15, 2000
It's a great book and the maps are a huge help in following the details of the stories, as well as for general reference of the period. However, I would give it five stars if it were in hardback. Too many of the charts and maps are split down the middle and the soft cover type of binding used (it is called a "perfect binding" in bookbinder's jargon, although it really isn't) makes the center portion of the split maps and charts quite impossible to read. This is extremely frustrating
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on September 21, 2000
If you're like most Americans, you have trouble finding London on an unlabeled map, let alone Pula Prabang. Dean King's book will give you the lowdown on each and every historical locale our two heroes visit.
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