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The Yellow Admiral

Aubrey/Maturin Novels

Patrick O'Brian (Author)

 

"There are those already planning this afternoon's trip to the bookstore. Their only reaction is: Thank god, Patrick O'Brian is still writing. To you, I say, not a moment to lose."—John Balzar, Los Angeles Times

Life ashore may once again be the undoing of Jack Aubrey in The Yellow Admiral, Patrick O'Brian's best-selling novel and eighteenth volume in the Aubrey/Maturin series. Aubrey, now a considerable though impoverished landowner, has dimmed his prospects at the Admiralty by his erratic voting as a Member of Parliament; he is feuding with his neighbor, a man with strong Navy connections who wants to enclose the common land between their estates; he is on even worse terms with his wife, Sophie, whose mother has ferreted out a most damaging trove of old personal letters. Even Jack's exploits at sea turn sour: in the storm waters off Brest he captures a French privateer laden with gold and ivory, but this at the expense of missing a signal and deserting his post. Worst of all, in the spring of 1814, peace breaks out, and this feeds into Jack's private fears for his career.

Fortunately, Jack is not left to his own devices. Stephen Maturin returns from a mission in France with the news that the Chileans, to secure their independence, require a navy, and the service of English officers. Jack is savoring this apparent reprieve for his career, as well as Sophie's forgiveness, when he receives an urgent dispatch ordering him to Gibraltar: Napoleon has escaped from Elba.

Book Details

  • Paperback
  • September 1997
  • ISBN 978-0-393-31704-6
  • 5.6 × 8.3 in / 320 pages
  • Volume(s): Book 18
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide excluding Canada and the British Commonwealth.

Other Formats

  1. Book CoverThe Yellow Admiral

    Hardcover

    Volume(s): Book 18

Endorsements & Reviews

“The experience of reading O'Brian is that of gracious acceptance at one of the banquets of life's feast. . . . It's hard not to find him irresistible.” — Commonweal

“I haven’t read novels [in the past ten years] except for all of the Patrick O’Brian series. It was, unfortunately, like tripping on heroin. I started on those books and couldn’t stop.” — E. O. Wilson, Boston Globe

“Starred Review. O'Brian is at the top of his elegant form here. He offers a wealth of sly humor . . . some sly set pieces . . . characters who are palpably real and, as always, lapidary prose. This is splendid storytelling from a true master.” — Publishers Weekly

“Aubrey and Maturin are the most enjoyable literary companions since Holmes and Watson.” — Detroit Free Press

“If there were 17 more novels, I'd start today.” — Donald Graham, Wall Street Journal

“Taken as a whole, the Aubrey/Maturin novels are by a long shot the best things of their kind, so much better than the competition that comparisons long ago ceased to be relevant: they are uniquely excellent.” — New York Times Book Review

“The best historical novels ever written… On every page Mr. O’Brian reminds us with subtle artistry of the most important of all historical lessons: that times change but people don’t, that the griefs and follies and victories of the men and women who were here before us are in fact the maps of our own lives.” — Richard Snow, New York Times Book Review

“It has been something of a shock to find myself—an inveterate reader of girl books—obsessed with Patrick O’Brian’s Napoleonic-era historical novels… What keeps me hooked are the evolving relationships between Jack and Stephen and the women they love.” — Tamar Lewin, New York Times

“I devoured Patrick O’Brian’s 20-volume masterpiece as if it had been so many tots of Jamaica grog.” — Christopher Hitchens, Slate

“I fell in love with his writing straightaway, at first with Master and Commander. It wasn’t primarily the Nelson and Napoleonic period, more the human relationships. …And of course having characters isolated in the middle of the goddamn sea gives more scope. …It’s about friendship, camaraderie. Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin always remind me a bit of Mick and me.” — Keith Richards

“[O’Brian’s] Aubrey-Maturin series, 20 novels of the Royal Navy in the Napoleonic Wars, is a masterpiece. It will outlive most of today’s putative literary gems as Sherlock Holmes has outlived Bulwer-Lytton, as Mark Twain has outlived Charles Reade.” — David Mamet, New York Times

“The Aubrey-Maturin series… far beyond any episodic chronicle, ebbs and flows with the timeless tide of character and the human heart.” — Ken Ringle, Washington Post

“O’Brian’s Aubrey-Maturin volumes actually constitute a single 6,443-page novel, one that should have been on those lists of the greatest novels of the 20th century.” — George Will

“Gripping and vivid… a whole, solidly living world for the imagination to inhabit.” — A. S. Byatt

“There is not a writer alive whose work I value over his.” — Stephen Becker, Chicago Sun-Times

“Patrick O’Brian is unquestionably the Homer of the Napoleonic wars.” — James Hamilton-Paterson, New Republic

Also by Patrick O'Brian All

  1. Book Cover21: The Final Unfinished Voyage of Jack Aubrey

    Paperback

    Volume(s): Book 21

  2. Book CoverBlue at the Mizzen

    Paperback

    Volume(s): Book 20

  3. Book CoverA Book of Voyages

    Hardcover

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