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By John E. McIntyre and John E. McIntyre,Sun Staff | March 5, 2000
In 1967, after death had permanently decommissioned C. S. Forester, author of the Horatio Hornblower novels and proprietor of a maritime industry in his own right, a publisher approached an obscure British author named Patrick O'Brian with the suggestion that the public might appreciate another novel about the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic wars. When O'Brian died in January, his novels about Jack Aubrey, a British naval officer, and Stephen Maturin, his ship's surgeon and intimate friend, amateur naturalist and spy, extended to 20 volumes with sales of 3 million copies, subsidiary publications and fans numbered by cohorts and legions.
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By Anthony Day and Anthony Day,Los Angeles Times | July 22, 2007
The Road to Samarcand An Adventure By Patrick O'Brian W.W. Norton / 270 pages / $25.95 In reissuing Patrick O'Brian's 1954 novel The Road to Samarcand, the late British author's publishers remind us of the secret of his success. He knew how to tell a story. Maybe it's a talent special to those islands off the northwest coast of the European continent, watered by Atlantic mist and three major and a few minor supple languages. Maybe it's a way of passing the long, damp seasons. More likely, as the anthropologists tell us, storytelling is a device to make some sense of multiple perceptions that, taken individually, produce childhood confusion.
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FEATURES
By John E. McIntyre and John E. McIntyre,SUN STAFF | January 8, 2000
Thirty-one years ago, Patrick O'Brian brought out a historical novel, "Master and Commander," that introduced Jack Aubrey, an officer in the Royal Navy of the Nelson era, and his ship's surgeon, Stephen Maturin. When O'Brian died Sunday in Dublin at the age of 85, his Aubrey-Maturin novels had grown into a series of 20 volumes and, according to his publishers, had sold more than 2 million copies. In 1995, he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire. To have made such a success with a series of historical novels is a stunning accomplishment in publishing, but O'Brian's achievement goes well beyond sales.
ENTERTAINMENT
By John E. McIntyre and John E. McIntyre,Sun Staff | March 5, 2000
In 1967, after death had permanently decommissioned C. S. Forester, author of the Horatio Hornblower novels and proprietor of a maritime industry in his own right, a publisher approached an obscure British author named Patrick O'Brian with the suggestion that the public might appreciate another novel about the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic wars. When O'Brian died in January, his novels about Jack Aubrey, a British naval officer, and Stephen Maturin, his ship's surgeon and intimate friend, amateur naturalist and spy, extended to 20 volumes with sales of 3 million copies, subsidiary publications and fans numbered by cohorts and legions.
FEATURES
By Michael Kenney and Michael Kenney,BOSTON GLOBE | August 23, 1998
There's a naval engagement looming this summer, a ship-to-ship duel straight from the days of fighting sail. But it will be fought out in bookstores rather than on the high seas, and the combatants will be flinging sagas at one another rather than cannonballs.Up to windward there's publisher W.W. Norton with author Patrick O'Brian on the quarter-deck, ready for the late-summer publication of "The Hundred Days," the 19th title in his series featuring Capt. Jack Aubrey and seagoing companion Stephen Maturin.
FEATURES
By Harry Wessel and Harry Wessel,Knight Ridder/Tribune | November 1, 1998
"The Hundred Days," by Patrick O'Brian. Norton. 288 pages. $24. Just the arrival of "The Hundred Days," the 19th book in the Aubrey-Maturin series, is unadulterated joy for fans of Patrick O'Brian. It's been nearly two years since O'Brian's last entry, "The Yellow Admiral," and the octagenarian's loyal readers feared the series might be at its end.It's not. In fact, a 20th book is promised for the long-running, high-brow buddy adventure that follows sea captain Jack Aubrey and naval surgeon/spy Stephen Maturin during the Napoleonic Wars of the early 19th century.
ENTERTAINMENT
By John E. McIntyre and John E. McIntyre,Sun Staff | October 31, 1999
"Blue at the Mizzen," by Patrick O'Brian. W.W. Norton. 262 pages. $24.It amazed Samuel Johnson that 18th-century criminals would choose the Royal Navy instead of prison. "No man," he said, "will be a sailor who has contrivance enough to get himself into a jail; for being in a ship is being in a jail, with the chance of being drowned."In our time readers in a multitude, most of whom would share Johnson's view of the crowding, stench, putrefying food, exhausting labor and physical danger of a wooden man-of-war, many of whom cannot distinguish a taffrail from a topgallant, have immersed themselves in the Aubrey/Maturin books by Patrick O'Brian.
NEWS
By A.J. Sherman and A.J. Sherman,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | October 20, 1996
"The Yellow Admiral," by Patrick O'Brian. Norton. 262 pages. $24In Patrick O'Brian's brilliant evocation of naval warfare in the Napoleonic era, a riveting adventure series comprising thus far 18 novels, a "yellow" admiral was not a naval officer guilty of cowardice, but one almost equally unfortunate, a redundant captain of the Royal Navy promoted to rear admiral and simultaneously retired, without ever serving his higher rank at sea.Being "yellowed" was to fall victim to the British Admiralty's cruel dilemma: too many captains, too few ships, and the danger confronting all military establishments, a sudden outbreak of peace.
NEWS
By Anthony Day and Anthony Day,Los Angeles Times | July 22, 2007
The Road to Samarcand An Adventure By Patrick O'Brian W.W. Norton / 270 pages / $25.95 In reissuing Patrick O'Brian's 1954 novel The Road to Samarcand, the late British author's publishers remind us of the secret of his success. He knew how to tell a story. Maybe it's a talent special to those islands off the northwest coast of the European continent, watered by Atlantic mist and three major and a few minor supple languages. Maybe it's a way of passing the long, damp seasons. More likely, as the anthropologists tell us, storytelling is a device to make some sense of multiple perceptions that, taken individually, produce childhood confusion.
NEWS
By Paul West and Paul West,SUN STAFF | November 12, 1995
"Men-of-War: Life in Nelson's Navy," by Patrick O'Brian. W. W. Norton. Illustrated. 96 pages. $23 Patrick O'Brian is a first-rate literary phenom. His racket? Highly acclaimed historical novels that are also terrific page-turners. O'Brian spins a cracking good yarn, and he's a superb action writer. Best of all, the critics have proclaimed his work to be Literature. So you can feel virtuous while you mainline this stuff.Those not yet addicted shouldn't be put off by the subject matter: life in Britain's Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars.
FEATURES
By John E. McIntyre and John E. McIntyre,SUN STAFF | January 8, 2000
Thirty-one years ago, Patrick O'Brian brought out a historical novel, "Master and Commander," that introduced Jack Aubrey, an officer in the Royal Navy of the Nelson era, and his ship's surgeon, Stephen Maturin. When O'Brian died Sunday in Dublin at the age of 85, his Aubrey-Maturin novels had grown into a series of 20 volumes and, according to his publishers, had sold more than 2 million copies. In 1995, he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire. To have made such a success with a series of historical novels is a stunning accomplishment in publishing, but O'Brian's achievement goes well beyond sales.
ENTERTAINMENT
By John E. McIntyre and John E. McIntyre,Sun Staff | October 31, 1999
"Blue at the Mizzen," by Patrick O'Brian. W.W. Norton. 262 pages. $24.It amazed Samuel Johnson that 18th-century criminals would choose the Royal Navy instead of prison. "No man," he said, "will be a sailor who has contrivance enough to get himself into a jail; for being in a ship is being in a jail, with the chance of being drowned."In our time readers in a multitude, most of whom would share Johnson's view of the crowding, stench, putrefying food, exhausting labor and physical danger of a wooden man-of-war, many of whom cannot distinguish a taffrail from a topgallant, have immersed themselves in the Aubrey/Maturin books by Patrick O'Brian.
FEATURES
By Harry Wessel and Harry Wessel,Knight Ridder/Tribune | November 1, 1998
"The Hundred Days," by Patrick O'Brian. Norton. 288 pages. $24. Just the arrival of "The Hundred Days," the 19th book in the Aubrey-Maturin series, is unadulterated joy for fans of Patrick O'Brian. It's been nearly two years since O'Brian's last entry, "The Yellow Admiral," and the octagenarian's loyal readers feared the series might be at its end.It's not. In fact, a 20th book is promised for the long-running, high-brow buddy adventure that follows sea captain Jack Aubrey and naval surgeon/spy Stephen Maturin during the Napoleonic Wars of the early 19th century.
FEATURES
By Michael Kenney and Michael Kenney,BOSTON GLOBE | August 23, 1998
There's a naval engagement looming this summer, a ship-to-ship duel straight from the days of fighting sail. But it will be fought out in bookstores rather than on the high seas, and the combatants will be flinging sagas at one another rather than cannonballs.Up to windward there's publisher W.W. Norton with author Patrick O'Brian on the quarter-deck, ready for the late-summer publication of "The Hundred Days," the 19th title in his series featuring Capt. Jack Aubrey and seagoing companion Stephen Maturin.
NEWS
By A.J. Sherman and A.J. Sherman,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | October 20, 1996
"The Yellow Admiral," by Patrick O'Brian. Norton. 262 pages. $24In Patrick O'Brian's brilliant evocation of naval warfare in the Napoleonic era, a riveting adventure series comprising thus far 18 novels, a "yellow" admiral was not a naval officer guilty of cowardice, but one almost equally unfortunate, a redundant captain of the Royal Navy promoted to rear admiral and simultaneously retired, without ever serving his higher rank at sea.Being "yellowed" was to fall victim to the British Admiralty's cruel dilemma: too many captains, too few ships, and the danger confronting all military establishments, a sudden outbreak of peace.
NEWS
By Paul West and Paul West,SUN STAFF | November 12, 1995
"Men-of-War: Life in Nelson's Navy," by Patrick O'Brian. W. W. Norton. Illustrated. 96 pages. $23 Patrick O'Brian is a first-rate literary phenom. His racket? Highly acclaimed historical novels that are also terrific page-turners. O'Brian spins a cracking good yarn, and he's a superb action writer. Best of all, the critics have proclaimed his work to be Literature. So you can feel virtuous while you mainline this stuff.Those not yet addicted shouldn't be put off by the subject matter: life in Britain's Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars.
NEWS
By Terry Teachout and Terry Teachout,Special to The Sun | April 9, 1995
"The Commodore," by Patrick O'Brian. 282 pages. New York: W. W. Norton. $22.50For fans of Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin sea stories, the business end of this review comes up front: "The Commodore," published last year in England, is now out in the United States. Two or three nagging questions are finally answered in "The Commodore" (including the identity of the limping traitor), and a brand-new loose end is left dangling, "Perils of Pauline"-style, in the very last line. Buy it at once.
FEATURES
By Patrick A. McGuire and Patrick A. McGuire,Staff Writer | November 19, 1993
Perhaps it's the way Patrick O'Brian defines his novels about ships and the men who sailed them during the age of Napoleon that explains the almost religious devotion of his fans."
NEWS
By Terry Teachout and Terry Teachout,Special to The Sun | April 9, 1995
"The Commodore," by Patrick O'Brian. 282 pages. New York: W. W. Norton. $22.50For fans of Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin sea stories, the business end of this review comes up front: "The Commodore," published last year in England, is now out in the United States. Two or three nagging questions are finally answered in "The Commodore" (including the identity of the limping traitor), and a brand-new loose end is left dangling, "Perils of Pauline"-style, in the very last line. Buy it at once.
FEATURES
By Patrick A. McGuire and Patrick A. McGuire,Staff Writer | November 19, 1993
Perhaps it's the way Patrick O'Brian defines his novels about ships and the men who sailed them during the age of Napoleon that explains the almost religious devotion of his fans."
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