Percival Keene

  • by Frederick Marryat
  • Narrated by William Sutherland
  • 14 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Captain Frederick Marryat of the Royal Navy well knew both the thunder of the broadside and the laughter of the gun room. Here he brings us a gripping tale "over which", said Charles Dickens on its first publication, "I have been chuckling, and grinning, and clenching my fists, and becoming warlike." The adventures of the mischievous young midshipman Percival Keene begin when he learns that the demanding Captain Delmar, a member of the wealthy and titled De Versely family, is actually his natural father. Stung by his father's refusal to acknowledge him, Keene sets about to win his father's love and acceptance and gain the family fortune. To do so, he survives shipwreck and capture by murderous pirates, fights duels of honor with his fellow officers, and battles against the French. Percival Keene is a thrilling ride through the exciting naval world of the Napoleonic wars.


What the Critics Say

"[Marryat] set[s] us in the midst of ships and men and sea and sky all vivid, credible, authentic." (Virginia Woolf)
"[Marryat's] adventures are enthralling; the rapidity of his action fascinates....His greatness is undeniable." (Joseph Conrad)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

brief comment

Slightly slow start as the listener gets used to the language of a different era but the plot is very good and the story drags you along well worth listening to
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- Ian

This is a real treat

Even since I finished listening to "21 - The Final Unfinished Voyage Of Jack Aubrey" I've been looking for books to fill the void left in my life when I finished the Aubrey/Maturin series. The Hornblower books are okay. I just finished one called "Kydd" by contemporary author Julien Stockwin and found it flat and dull.

Then I listened to "Percival Keene" by Frederick Marryat. While O'Brian combined naval life with the style of Jane Austen (he even gave his hero her initials), Marryat seemed to be combining naval action with Charles Dickens.

But a little research tells me that Marryat precedes Dickens. Marryat was actually a post captain in the Royal Navy around the time of Aubry and served under Lord Cochrane, the man Aubrey is patterned after.

Percival Keene is full of colorful characters and humor as well as action. William Sutherland, the book's narrator does a terrific job. It's definitely worth a listen. Marryat's books may even help fill the void left by finishing O'Brien's cannon.

I sincerely hope Audible.Com posts more of Marryat's seagoing adventures.
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- Casey "Hi! I'm Casey Keller, semi-retired TV writer, avid cyclist, husband and father. I'm also a guy who devours audio books."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-29-2006
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.