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It's with great sadness that I finished '21' the final, unfinished adventure of Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin in the Master And Commander Series. I think of all audio books, the UNABRIDGED versions of these must be considered the gold standard.
Let's begin with the books themselves. If you've never read one, these are the adventures of two best friends, Captain John "Lucky Jack" Aubry and Stephen Maturin, M.D. during the Napoleonic wars. Each book is filled with adventure, comedy, romance, intrigue and history. The characters are drawn wonderfully, consistent enough to create comedy in their reactions, but inconsistent enough to ring true as humans. The details of nautical life are amazing. Author Patrick O'Brian's ear for dialog, dialects and nautical idioms was beyond brilliant.
Then there is Patrick Tull, the British actor who brings these books to life on tape or MP3. Mr. Tull is that rare book reader who actually reflects on every word he reads. Each character has their own voice and dialect, not an easy thing to pull off over a span of twenty-one books. Even the female characters and love scenes, often a pitfall for even the best narrators, are pulled of wonderfully.
Do yourself a great favor. Download the UNABRIDGED version of Master And Commander as read by Mr. Tull. See why so many people have followed this series from its beginning. See why we feel so sad that there won't be a twenty-second book. This is as good as audio books can get.
41 of 41 people found this review helpful
I have read and listened to all of the Jack Aubrey books including Number 21:"The Final Unfinished Voyge..."
All without a doubt are the finest books I have ever had the pleasure of reading (listening to). But listening to the Patrick Tull versions are an even greater experence.
"Number 21" is an excellent albeit sad ending to the series and a tribute to Patrick O'Brian. The final voyage leaves you not with an unfinished book but with the picture of Admrial of the Blue Aubrey, Dr Matrine, Patrick Tull and Patrick O'Brian all sailing off to more adventures. You know that the "Suprise" will be back and that the wine will flow with Killick's "cheerful" commintary.
I would and have recommend the entire series to anyone that is interested in living history with no holds barred and all sails set and "with the wind abaft the beam." It is predigious.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful