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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.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic | November 23, 2003
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World is becoming that new-millennium rarity, an adult blockbuster. In its opening weekend, it rang up numbers comparable to the youthful comedy smash Elf, but with an audience largely over the age of 25. (The estimate of over-25 viewers was an extraordinary 83 percent.) In weeks to come, it should lure younger audiences the way The Bridge on the River Kwai or Lawrence of Arabia did in their day: by putting across to adolescents the glamour and potency of thinking and acting like a grown-up.
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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.
FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | November 14, 2003
Aquatic elation? Oceanic exhilaration? Whatever you want to call it, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World gives audiences the opposite of seasickness. Like adventure readers of yore, adults will leave yearning to find a frigate and ship out. Contemporary kids who didn't devour Treasure Island in middle school and the Hornblower series in high school may be tempted, for the first time, to consume an old-fashioned swashbuckler or naval history, or at least leaf through a Tall Ships coffee-table book.
NEWS
By PETER A. JAY | November 28, 1993
Havre de Grace.--Recognition came to Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin rather late in their careers, but there's no doubt it's here today.The first meeting of the two, at a concert in Minorca at which they almost came to blows, occurred in the spring of 1800. It is described by their creator Patrick O'Brian in the novel ''Master and Commander,'' published in 1970. They became friends and JTC sailed the world together for the next 14 years, through the tumult of the Napoleonic wars.Novel after novel followed the first, chronicling the rise of Captain Aubrey's Royal Navy career and observing the Irish-born Dr. Maturin's adventures in medicine, natural history and espionage.
NEWS
By George F. Will | January 13, 2000
ABOARD THE HMS SURPRISE -- Which is where hundreds of thousands of contented readers are once again. A freshening Atlantic breeze has the ship's sails billowing. The deck is pitching, but agreeably. Stephen Maturin is anticipating a naturalist's delights at the next landfall. And Jack Aubrey, in command, is looking for excitement and advancement in the Royal Navy in the doldrums after the Napoleonic wars. It is difficult to describe to the uninitiated the frisson that Patrick O'Brian's readers feel when another installment in his Aubrey-Maturin novels appears.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic | November 23, 2003
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World is becoming that new-millennium rarity, an adult blockbuster. In its opening weekend, it rang up numbers comparable to the youthful comedy smash Elf, but with an audience largely over the age of 25. (The estimate of over-25 viewers was an extraordinary 83 percent.) In weeks to come, it should lure younger audiences the way The Bridge on the River Kwai or Lawrence of Arabia did in their day: by putting across to adolescents the glamour and potency of thinking and acting like a grown-up.
FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | November 14, 2003
Aquatic elation? Oceanic exhilaration? Whatever you want to call it, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World gives audiences the opposite of seasickness. Like adventure readers of yore, adults will leave yearning to find a frigate and ship out. Contemporary kids who didn't devour Treasure Island in middle school and the Hornblower series in high school may be tempted, for the first time, to consume an old-fashioned swashbuckler or naval history, or at least leaf through a Tall Ships coffee-table book.
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 George F. Will | January 13, 2000
ABOARD THE HMS SURPRISE -- Which is where hundreds of thousands of contented readers are once again. A freshening Atlantic breeze has the ship's sails billowing. The deck is pitching, but agreeably. Stephen Maturin is anticipating a naturalist's delights at the next landfall. And Jack Aubrey, in command, is looking for excitement and advancement in the Royal Navy in the doldrums after the Napoleonic wars. It is difficult to describe to the uninitiated the frisson that Patrick O'Brian's readers feel when another installment in his Aubrey-Maturin novels appears.
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.
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.
NEWS
By PETER A. JAY | November 28, 1993
Havre de Grace.--Recognition came to Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin rather late in their careers, but there's no doubt it's here today.The first meeting of the two, at a concert in Minorca at which they almost came to blows, occurred in the spring of 1800. It is described by their creator Patrick O'Brian in the novel ''Master and Commander,'' published in 1970. They became friends and JTC sailed the world together for the next 14 years, through the tumult of the Napoleonic wars.Novel after novel followed the first, chronicling the rise of Captain Aubrey's Royal Navy career and observing the Irish-born Dr. Maturin's adventures in medicine, natural history and espionage.
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.
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