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Patrick Tull reads the Aubrey/Maturin novels far better than anyone else. Buy the whole series with his voices, to bring alive each character with subtlety and vigor.
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“And jealous now of me, you gods, because I befriend a man, one I saved as he straddled the keel alone, when Zeus had blasted and shattered his swift ship with a bright lightning bolt, out on the wine-dark sea.”
—Homer, The Odyssey, Book V
So, "wine-dark sea" (or "oínopa pónton") is a phrase used quite a bit by Homer. And Homer was quite an author I guess. And he did some pretty damn good writing about boats and stuff. So, it is only natural that Patrick O'Brian would eventually get around to using the "Wine-Dark Sea" image in one of his books. In Book 16 to be specific. This book is actually book 4, of a 5-novel circumnavigation of the globe sieries within his greater 20 book (21 if you count his last unfinished novel) Aubrey-Maturin series. There is some nice sailing, and the wine-dark sea section happens to appear at a point when some volcanic activity is happening nearby (which given the location of most of Homer's sea stories, also ties the mysterious wine-dark colors together).
Anyway, there was some interesting sections dealing with South American politics, and Andes hiking. Some of my favorite new characters are the two little girls rescued from a South Asian island that was decimated with small-pox. They have attached themselves to Dr. Maturin and become a lovely feature on the Surprise. I'm starting to get that feeling one gets towards the last couple days of an amazing vacation. You still enjoy the country, beach, mountains, etc., but there is a sense of impending dread that this all will end too soon. One day, I'll reach to the table next to my bed and there won't be a new O'Brian novel to read. I'm already sad.
6 of 8 people found this review helpful