The Nutmeg of Consolation (Aubrey/Maturin Novels #14) (Paperback)
"[The series shows] a joy in language that jumps from every page…You're in for a wonderful voyage." —Cutler Durkee, People
Shipwrecked on a remote island in the Dutch East Indies, Captain Aubrey, surgeon and secret intelligence agent Stephen Maturin, and the crew of the Diane fashion a schooner from the wreck. A vicious attack by Malay pirates is repulsed, but the makeshift vessel burns, and they are truly marooned. Their escape from this predicament is one that only the whimsy and ingenuity of Patrick O'Brian—or Stephen Maturin—could devise.
In command now of a new ship, the Nutmeg, Aubrey pursues his interrupted mission. The dreadful penal colony in New South Wales, harrowingly described, is the backdrop to a diplomatic crisis provoked by Maturin's Irish temper, and to a near-fatal encounter with the wildlife of the Australian outback.
— E. O. Wilson - Boston Globe
Brings [O'Brian's] achievement to a new height....Such is O'Brian's power to possess the imagination that I found I was living in his world as much as my own, wanting to know what happens next. That is the real test. Any contemporary novelist should recognize in Patrick O'Brian a Master of the Art.
— Alan Judd - Sunday Telegraph [London]
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