The Wine-Dark Sea by Patrick O'Brian

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The sixteenth volume in the Aubrey/Maturin series, and Patrick O'Brian's first bestseller in the United States.

At the outset of this adventure filled with disaster and delight, Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin pursue an American privateer through the Great South Sea. The strange color of the ocean reminds Stephen of Homer's famous description, and portends an underwater volcanic eruption that will create a new island overnight and leave an indelible impression on the reader's imagination.

Their ship, the Surprise, is now also a privateer, the better to escape diplomatic complications from Stephen's mission, which is to ignite the revolutionary tinder of South America. Jack will survive a desperate open boat journey and come face to face with his illegitimate black son; Stephen, caught up in the aftermath of his failed coup, will flee for his life into the high, frozen wastes of the Andes; and Patrick O'Brian's brilliantly detailed narrative will reunite them at last in a breathtaking chase through stormy seas and icebergs south of Cape Horn, where the hunters suddenly become the hunted.

About Patrick O'Brian

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Patrick O'Brian is the author of twenty volumes in the highly respected Aubrey/Maturin series of novels.
Published December 5, 2011 by W. W. Norton & Company. 339 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Westerns. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin—the amiable, music-loving heroes of O'Brian's wonderful sail-powered series (The Truelove, The Letter of Marque, The Far Side of the World, et al.)—follow orders into the midst of revolutionary South American politics.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of The Wine-Dark Sea

Publishers Weekly

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Though the Jack Aubrey-Stephen Maturin books can be profitably read separately, as fans know, together they read as one long, wonderful novel.

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Entertainment Weekly

As readers of O'Brian's 15 previous novels featuring Maturin and Aubrey know (they first appeared 23 years ago in Master and Commander), what draws you into these books is O'Brian's uncanny sense of period, place, nature, and creature.

Dec 03 1993 | Read Full Review of The Wine-Dark Sea


Here's Maturin, having dissected a frigate bird and made an astounding discovery: "The symphysis of the furcula coalesces with the carina and the upper end of each ramus with the caracoid, while in turn each caracoid coalesces with the proximal end of the scapula!"

Nov 08 1993 | Read Full Review of The Wine-Dark Sea

Book Geeks

O’Brian’s Aubrey-Maturin series is certainly the best historical fiction I have ever read, because the writing and the characterisation are so attuned, it seems to me, to the sensibilities of the environment and the period: the early 19th century, Jack Aubrey’s world of the Royal Navy, Stephen Ma...

Apr 01 2008 | Read Full Review of The Wine-Dark Sea

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