❰Read❯ ➪ The Mauritius Command Author Patrick O'Brian – Uroturk.info

The Mauritius Command Brilliant and tense I love the way O Brian uses the texture of his prose to manipulate tension without feeling like he s manipulating tension. 9 10 Still the best nautical adventure I ve read in years, although this volume is slightly diferrent than the first three books The change comes from a shift in focus from the developing friendship between Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin, including their romantic entanglements on shore, to a greater portion of the book dedicated to actual naval battles Until now the plot was basically Jack climbing slowly the ladder of command in the Navy, receiving a new ship, forging a battle ready crew and engaging in one or two battles with the French or Spanish adversaries In the Mauritius mission, Jack Aubrey is temporarily advanced to the rank of squadron admiral and sent to take away from the French their bases in the Indian Ocean the islands of Reunion and Mauritius, used to send raiders to plunder the rich commercial vessels returning from India So Jack has less time to work on his own crew, and must coordinate the actions of several ships at once, playing to the strengths of each subordinate captain and trying to compensate for their weaknesses The mission is swinging from early success to almost catastrophic failure due to factors out of Jack Aubrey direct control, offering to the reader than the usual share of bloody ship to ship broadside carnage What I found astounding in the lecture is how close the author kept to the historical events of the attack on the islands, as described in a wikipedia article I found The characterization is excellent, as usual for O Brian, and I am also getting accustomed to the cryptic names of ship parts and maneuvres I thought Stephen Maturin played a discreet role than usual here, but still my favorite passages in the novel were a couple of extracts from his private journal where he is analyzing the character of his friend and of fellow captains.I wish I could include some quotes and details about the sailing, the observations of nature and the secondary characters, but I accidentally erased both the book and my bookmarks from my reader I hope I will do a better job with he next book in the series. Captain Jack Aubrey Is Ashore On Half Pay Without A Command Until Stephen Maturin Arrives With Secret Orders For Aubrey To Take A Frigate To The Cape Of Good Hope Under A Commodore S Pennant, There To Mount An Expedition Against The French Held Islands Of Mauritius And La R Union But The Difficulties Of Carrying Out His Orders Are Compounded By Two Of His Own Captains Lord Clonfert, A Pleasure Seeking Dilettante, And Captain Corbett, Whose Severity Pushes His Crew To The Verge Of Mutiny You cannot blame the bull because the frog burst the bull has no comprehension of the affairPatrick O Brian, The Mauritius CommandThis is my fourth Aubrey Maturin novel obviously and I have yet to read one that I wasn t completely in love with There is just too much to love about O Brian s writing his knowledge, his wit, his humor, his details, his affection for all his characters, his various digressions Some of my favorites in this book Dr Maturin s discussion with Mr Farquhar and Mr Prote on the poetics of law Dr Maturin and William McAdam s discussions about medicine and mermaids Manatees and dugongs Commodore Aubrey and Dr Maturin s discussions about his temporary assignment as Commodore Food Dr Maturin the Naturalist s pursuit of eggs, drawings of aardvarks, etc Dr Maturin s thoughts on Aubrey s character, surveyed against Captain Corbett, Lord Clonfert, Captain Pym, etc Dr Maturin s addiction to Laudanum compared with McAdam s issue with alcohol Commodore Aubrey s explanations of figures of speech in the Navy e.g the devil the general horror of war, even triumph, shown by Dr MaturinMany of the best lines and best observations are made by Dr Maturin, which is by design It isn t that Captain Commodore Aubrey is without wit, intelligence, or even genius, but he is a man of action The brilliance of the design of these books is with these two you get the action and the observer It isn t that simple and often O Brian will reverse the roles or combine the two for perspective, but it still is a useful structure for a long narrative This novel came out in 1977 and I m still convinced that there was some deeply secret relationship between Patrick O Brian and Gene Roddenberry It might be the universe delivering a weird twin, but there is something similar in the way these stories seem to fit the mood and temperature of Star Trek I even get a Captain Kirk vibe from Jack Aubrey and a Leonard Bones McCoy vibe from Stephen Maturin with a bit of Spock thrown in as well Since the first MC book came out in 1969 and Star Trek first came out in 1966, it is a hard sell to say that one really influenced the other, but both were being created over the same time Anyway, I love thinking there is some secret back and forth between these two pioneers of 20th Century maritime fiction. I thought I would be enjoying these as I progressed through the series, but alas I am tired of the language and finding that it s no longer fun for me to try to work out what each sentence means. I m bumping my rating of this up to five stars from four after my reread Damn this is a fine addition to the Aubrey Maturin series There is genuine comfort in reading this book, and I think some of that comfort stems from Patrick O Brian s comfort with his characters O Brian knows his men intimately by this fourth book, and he is able to let them live on their own, confident, it seems to me, that they will take him where they need to go.In this case, they take him to the Mauritius campaign of 1809 1811 Jack Aubrey stands in for real life Commodore Josias Rowley, captaining HMS Boadicea, while Stephen is busy fomenting unrest on the islands Apparently The Mauritius Command follows the true campaign faithfully, which makes for a fascinating experience for those who love historical novels, but the real interest for me is as always the characters Whether reading or rereading about the family of men, Jack s brothers and friends and followers, I ve grown to love as they live and work, or reading about the pathetically narcissistic Lord Clonfert and the fatally brutal Captain Corbett who may have met his maker from un friendly fire during a pitched battle with the French , it is a reading experience I am able to fully immerse myself in O Brian s is a world I don t ever want to set aside.I believe in O Brian s fictional men, which makes me believe that O Brian s take on the real men that surround them is equally plausible, and I want to be part of that group, eating plum duff and hauling to and boarding the enemy vessel and waiting for news from home The closest I will ever come is O Brian s books, but at least I have them. All the main characters, Aubrey and Maturin included, faded into the background of The Mauritius Command, becoming a kind of landscape upon which the drama of Lord Clonfert played out His was the story that most captured my attention this time through.Clonfert begins the tale as the captain of HMS Otter He is a vain man A handsome man who cuts a dashing figure in his finery He has developed some bravery after a shaky beginning to his career , is a capital seaman and has the loyalty of his men He is also an unabashed liar when it comes to his accomplishments even suggesting he was present at the killing of a unicorn, using a Narwhal tusk as his evidence , but his vanity quickly undermines his spirit when he s thrust into the shadow of his former shipmate, now commanding officer, Commodore Jack Aubrey.Clonfert is eventually made Post Captain by the man he sees as his nemesis and is given the frigate HMS N r ide as his command He eventually loses his ship and half his face in a poorly executed action, and once he realizes that Jack Aubrey will again return him to command, after the Mauritius Campaign has reached its successful conclusion, he takes his own life in his convalescent bed It s not a tragic death It s rather pathetic, actually O Brian s expression of Clonfert s fall, however, is touching and strikes at a truth I ve witnessed amongst many of those who find themselves in competition with one another Quite often, the successful person, the bull in an analogy of Stephen Maturin s, has no idea that the less successful person, the frog in the same analogy, envies him, hates him, or obsesses over him in any way So the bull steps on the frog without ever noticing, and as Dr Maturin suggests, how can the bull be blamed How, indeed I never want to be a frog, but I fear that there is a bit of that beast in me despite my desire It is something for which I must be wary I should probably be wary of being the bull too Wariness may just be the most benevolent policy I just took a second listen to The Mauritius Command, and Simon Vance s performance held up very well I know many adore Patrick Tull, and perhaps I would too if I ever had a chance to hear his work, but I have listened to four of the novels now having read them all first with Simon doing the narrating, and I feel like my brain has settled in on his rhythms He s become the voice of these men for me He s never been my favourite narrator of fiction I most recently listened to his Dr No, James Bond , but I have enjoyed his Egyptology readings His voice just seems to suit the historically driven tales Maybe it is the pomposity he can achieve with his voice I dunno I do know I liked it, though Again. In previous books Mr O Brian has several times told us that he uses real ships and real battles for his fictional accounts It s well known that he went to great lengths to make his stories ring with authenticity, reading the original logbooks of the vessels involved and the private papers of survivors In this the fourth episode of his Aubrey Maturin series, he takes this method to the extreme his whole book, not only one or two battles, is based on a historical campaign, making for some very dramatic reading.The triumphs and setbacks of a little known campaign against the French in the Indian Ocean form the basis for the action of this tale Aubrey receives command of a squadron and has to find ways to overcome the odds Two flawed captains he has under him make for interesting character studies We find O Brian s wit and humor throughout, from the somewhat less than idyllic scene of Aubrey at home at the beginning, a fish out of water, through the vicissitudes of the campaign together with Maturin, to a typical O Brian ending He so often winds up his stories on a kind of anticipatory note, leading us into the next book and leaving us with a longing to see how the story will continue. I do enter upon my rereadings of Patrick O Brian books with an open mind I am willing to give fewer than five stars to each book before I read it However, at some point, sweeping down upon the blaggardly French under a great press of sail, foreboding the ruin of a tragically flawed officer, or smiling at Aubrey s sweet simplicity, it becomes impossible not to give it every star at my command Mauritius Command is a particularly cohesive volume, united in purpose than most, comprising as it does one fictionalized campaign of the Napoleonic Wars An intimidating military and political undertaking, requiring Maturin s cunning, Aubrey s nautical genius, and something in which Aubrey has never been tested facility for high command Note upon rereadingO Brian s dry humor has some of its purest moments of expression in this volume. A delight as usual to dive into this 4th in the wonderfully addictive series about the British navy during the Napoleanic Wars I gave myself the treat of coming back to this, which stands out as one of the best in the set of 16 that I read most of the distant past Half or of the pleasure comes from partaking in the special friendship between boyish and brave Captain Jack Aubrey and the intellectual surgeon and spy, Stephen Maturin The other reward lies in O Brian s portrayal of the special community that exists among the sailors aboard these floating extensions of the British empire Of course, the quest of taking virtuous naval action against the forces of Bonaparte s tyranny is part of the hedonic equation, a chance to experience a adult version of the heroic adventure tales of Hornblower that sustained my youth Here Aubrey has the mission to take a small squadron to face the marauding French frigates which are devastating the trade of England with India around Cape Horn The series of engagements covered in this tale involve a wonderful chess match of shifting odds which recapitulate the actual history of how the islands of Mauritius and Reunion off the east African coast were wrested from the French in 1805 Unlike the cat and mouse play between individual ships and commanders in previous books in the series, this one puts Jack in the position of leader of a campaign As a commodore, his challenge is to harness and inspire his captains, each with a different set of strengths and weaknesses He also has to coordinate with British army forces and local militia and judiciously risk Stephen to on intelligence gathering trips ashore Much of the narrative comes from Stephen s reflections, which provides a fascinating perspective on the manners and morals of the time, critical views on British imperialism, and much comparing and contrasting of Aubrey with other officers As usual, he is frustrated in his hunger to satisfy his naturalist avocation in exploring the flora and fauna of this remote geography Still, we get to share his ecstasies over experiencing his first aardvark and manatee His ruminations on human nature and medicine provide a satisfying backdrop to the story And, as usual, the interludes of music and of humorous banter with Jack are icing on the cake For example, at one point Stephen asks Jack whether he can learn anything useful from distant observation of the French shipsOf course, said Jack a little impatiently What a fellow you are, Stephen Any sailor can tell a great deal from the way another sailor sets his jib, or goes about, or flashes out his stuns ls, just as you can tell a great deal about a doctor from the way he whipped off a leg Always this whipping off of a leg It is my belief that for you people the whole noble art of medicine is summed up in the whipping off of a leg

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