Patrick O'Brian, one of our greatest contemporary novelists, is the author of the acclaimed Aubrey/Maturin tales and the biographer of Joseph Banks and Picasso. His first novel, Testimonies, and his Collected Short Stories were recently republished by HarperCollins. In 1995, he was the first recipient of the Heywood Hill Prize for a lifetime's contribution to literature. In the same year he was awarded the CBE. In 1997 he was awarded an honorary doctorate of letters by Trinity College, Dublin. He died in January 2000 at the age of 85.
Originally published in 1979, this sixth book in O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin series opens in the Dutch East Indies, where Jack Aubrey learns that he has been given the command of one of the Royal Navy's finest frigates. He has only to return to England to assume his commission, but, along the way, he and his friend Stephen Maturin encounter a series of misfortunes, not the least of which is the outbreak of the War of 1812. For the first time, Jack wages war on America. This book should appeal greatly to American listeners, for it not only provides a fascinating perspective on the little-known conflict, it also offers an intimate look at the USS Constitution (Old Ironsides) in action as well as Jack and Stephen's international intrigues in Boston. Fortune of War is fully up to the high standards of the best of O'Brian's books and makes for fine listening. Narrator John Lee, who puts in a strong performance, is equally adept at both British and American accents. Recommended for most collections. Kent Rasmussen, Thousand Oaks, CA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
'...full of the energy that comes from a writer having struck a vein... Patrick O'Brian is unquestionably the Homer of the Napoleonic wars.' James Hamilton- Paterson 'You are in for the treat of your lives. Thank God for Patrick O'Brian: his genius illuminates the literature of the English language, and lightens the lives of those who read him.' Kevin Myers, Irish Times 'In a highly competitive field it goes straight to the top. A real first-rater.' Mary Renault 'I never enjoyed a novel about the sea more. It is not only that the author describes the handling of a ship of 1800 with an accuracy that is as comprehensible as it is detailed, a remarkable feat in itself. Mr O'Brian's three chief characters are drawn with no less depth of sympathy than the vessels he describes, a rare achievement save in the greatest writers of this genre. It deserves the widest readership.' Irish Times