Read The Nutmeg of Consolation by Patrick O'Brian Online

the-nutmeg-of-consolation

‘If it’s blood, I must put it in cold water this directly minute,’ said Killick, who knew perfectly well that it was blood.Shipwrecked on an island in the Dutch East Indies, the last of whose animals have almost been hunted to extinction by the hungry seamen and – worst of all – with grog and tobacco nearly finished, Captain Aubrey and his followers are still able to play‘If it’s blood, I must put it in cold water this directly minute,’ said Killick, who knew perfectly well that it was blood.Shipwrecked on an island in the Dutch East Indies, the last of whose animals have almost been hunted to extinction by the hungry seamen and – worst of all – with grog and tobacco nearly finished, Captain Aubrey and his followers are still able to play a rousing game of cricket on the beach. A desperate battle with Malay pirates follows, but then, thanks to a sly ruse by Stephen, they are unexpectedly rescued. After the good fortune of being given a new 20-gun ship, The Nutmeg of Consolation, the crew are reunited at sea with their shipmates on the beloved Surprise, and the real trouble begins. In the prison colony of New South Wales, the appalling treatment of convicts means that Stephen decides he must rescue his erstwhile servant Padeen – lying in hospital after suffering 200 lashes, and condemned to a still more brutal fate. Stephen’s determination to aid his escape brings him into a painful conflict with Jack that threatens their friendship.For this book O’Brian researched extensively the early history of Australia, and without ever losing his wit and sense of humour, his deep humanity and sympathy for those who suffered there pervades every page. O’Brian makes a profound acknowledgement to the help given to him by Robert Hughes’s history, The Fatal Shore, published in a Folio Society edition in 1998....

Title : The Nutmeg of Consolation
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 16153934
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 312 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Nutmeg of Consolation Reviews

  • Darwin8u
    2019-03-04 10:21

    “I read novels with the utmost pertinacity. I look upon them - I look upon good novels - as a very valuable part of literature, conveying more exact and finely-distinguished knowledge of the human heart and mind than almost any other, with greater breadth and depth and fewer constraints.” ― Patrick O'Brian, The Nutmeg of Consolation For action, this book is a bit light. There is a bit of fighting when the crew of the shipwrecked HMS Diane are trying to building a schooner. Tobacco and alcohol might soon run out and the ship is nearing St. Famine's day (not marked by a famine of food, but smokes and booze). Things might get rough. After losing a few members heading off an attack of some local pirates, they eventually chase down a French ship. I won't give those details away. However, after that, the book ends up in Australia (New South Wales) where Dr. Maturin contemplates happiness, money, family and addition. He also confronts the harsh conditions in New South Wales, where everything has been degraded by the penal colony economy. It might have been a 3-star (the first?) book, if not for the beautiful musings of Stephen throughout. I really do love these novels.

  • Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.)
    2019-03-09 12:19

    This, the 14th volume in Patrick O'Brian's brilliant Aubrey-Maturin canon, is one of my absolute favorites of the twenty completed novels in this wonderful Napoleonic wars seafaring series. "The Nutmeg of Consolation" is a page-turner from page one on. We join Captain Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin in the East Indies as they are rescued from a deserted island, acquire the beautifully Dutch-built small frigate the Nutmeg of Consolation, fight a running sea-battle with the much larger French frigate Cornelie, meet up with all of their chums aboard HMS Surprise, and then visit the penal colony of New South Wales in Australia. The action at sea and ashore is tense and engaging; as well as being full of the wonders of science and nature that Stephen and his friend Martin explore on the islands they visit and in the Australian outback. This is a terrific book, and oh so cleverly plotted and written. All of the 'Aubrey-Maturin' novels are superb; and this particular episode just happens to be, in my opinion, one of the 'crown jewels' in the series. I unhesitatingly recommend this novel,as well as the entire series.

  • Renee M
    2019-03-21 07:19

    The one with the lady pirate, the cannibals, Australia, and the platypus. A very Stephen-centric novel, but without the spying and intrigue. Lots of interesting info about the New South Wales section of Australia, and a creepy new fact about the cuddly platypus.

  • Craig
    2019-03-13 09:45

    SPOILERS BELOW.This particular edition to the series may well have been entitled "When Maturin, Cannibals and Platypuses Attack." This (and the previous book in the series) is rather meandering and doesn't seem to have much in the way of a concrete objective in terms of where the author wanted to take the characters, but it's Patrick O'Brain, so who cares? His descriptive detail, the viewpoints of the characters, (mostly and seemingly increasingly from Maturin), the vast knowledge of contemporary technology, proceedings, and customs, as well as just the feeling of having been taken back in time, does more than enough to compel one to read this series. As the saying goes, it's the journey, not the destination, which is just as well, because when O'Brian brings his books to a close, he doesn't do so by gently closing the door so much as yanking out the plug. May he rest in peace.

  • K.M. Weiland
    2019-03-12 09:25

    A little slower and little more self-indulgent than some of the previous entries, but a delight from start to finish, as always. The early part, on the island, put me in mind of Far Side of the World (only better than what we find in that installment), and the return to India (which was very enjoyable in the previous book) and the exploration of Australia was lovely. Not too many sea battles here, but it’s perhaps funnier than any of the previous books. Wonderful to finally get back to the Surprise, but I must say that I hold a special place in my heart for the Nutmeg, and I hope we haven’t seen the last of her.

  • Ron
    2019-02-25 06:30

    Great historical fiction, only passingly good fiction. A fun read, nonetheless.The usual suspects maneuvered around the western Pacific to touch on as many real--or realistic--situations as possible. Some sub-plots better developed than others, but surely the Aubery-Maturin true believers will love it all.O'Brian resisted the temptation to leave us hanging from another cliff.

  • purplechick
    2019-02-28 08:28

    Every one of my Patrick O'Brian reviews are the same: I love these books! I think the best bit of this one is them being shipwrecked (again!) and having to find a way out of it. This kind of thing really makes you realize how little ability modern people have with their hands. I know that *I* couldn't build a ship from scratch using the materials from a wrecked one plus whatever was available on a desert island. How about you?I'll be sad when I come to the end of the series. But wait, that means I can start again from the beginning right?

  • Amy VanGundy
    2019-03-03 06:30

    This is honest-to-God one of my favorite authors/series. I love this books. They are tremendously well researched. It's ridiculous to compare these to any other "historical fiction" that I am aware of. You would think they had been written when the events within them actually occurred. Nutmeg of Consolation has Aubrey and Maturin recovering from a shipwreck on an island. They manage to get off the island with the help of a passing ship that came to collect birds nests which are used for "bird's nest soup". Hah. They manage to return to Batavia, modern-day Jakarta, and are given another ship by the governor. They then set off to intercept a French vessel that they encountered in a previous book. The chase is a good one, as they usually are, and after they successfully sink it, they continue on to New South Wales, or Botany Bay, which is Australia. The description of Australia as a penal colony, the politics that went on there, and the treatment of the prisioners is very interesting. Maturin has an unfortunate encounter with a platypus and the book ends on this strange incident, something that Patrick O'Brian has done on more than one occasion. But it's never the big plot items that I enjoy the most about these books. It's rather the small details that are always included about life on a British ship at this time, the interactions between the characters, the friendship between Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin, the extremely dry wit, and dailly life they live. I cannot recommend this more to friends, thoughg I admit they are probably not for everyone, but then rarely is there a book that is.

  • EJD Dignan
    2019-03-09 10:48

    Repeated from review of Book 1That Patrick O'Brian chose to place his characters on the sea in the not so distant past just raised the hurdle I had to leap to get to know this wonderful author.I had never been enamored with sea stories, didn't much care for European history, and yet was wonderfully taken with this series. The sea is a major character, but history is not greatly illuminated, almost a backdrop to the specific circumstance the characters find themselves in. Which perhaps reflects the author's view, while the wide sweep of Europe's history progresses, men are left to deal with far smaller local problems. And it is in men that O'Brian shines. O'Brian creates characters flawed enough to be human, without becoming base. Not the best of men, but rising to better as circumstance demands.And while the author leaves the great sweep of history largely aside, the detailed history of these men's lives, the sacrifices, the conditions of life at sea are truly fascinating.

  • Susan
    2019-02-26 11:27

    After taking a hiatus from the Jack Aubrey series from the last unsuccessful attempt (The Thirteen Gun Salute), I finally picked up this volume.You would think that this book wasn't that good considering the time it took me to read. Not so. Finding the time was the problem, but when I did I was completely immersed in this latest adventure. It was good to see the camaraderie between Jack and Stephen once again. I thought the story was interesting, though perhaps not quite as exciting as some of their other world-wide excursions, but still, it flowed along at a good pace.All in all the story entertained, pleased and endorsed what I already knew - I love these books! :)

  • Jocelyn
    2019-03-18 14:42

    Stephen's experience is life in a nutshell. You have a ship. Your ship is gone. You have money. Your money is gone. You have shipmates. Your shipmates have been killed. You have a nice supply of coca leaves. Then you don't. But you find a new ship. You make more money. You get new shipmates. So many major life changes in just a few short weeks.What remains constant: Friendship. Devotion to his professional goals. The mission he has sworn to carry out. (Marriage isn't included in this list, because although Stephen is still married, his relationship with his wife has never been exactly stable.)

  • Gilly McGillicuddy
    2019-03-23 12:44

    What I wrote in LJ while I was reading it:Warning: I'm a fangirl and a slasher.____O'Brian's nodding off again.Wee midshipmen who die a violent death and then later demand dinners from other wee midshipmen?Nutmeg p. 40"Your clerk was killed in the charge; so was little Harper."p. 65'Pray, how many officers survived?''All but the purser, the clerk and one midshipman, though Fielding will limp the days of his life, and Bennett, a master's mate, is still in a very precarious state, while little Reade lost an arm.''That little curly-headed boy?''No. The little curly-headed boy was killed.'p. 110-111[Miller] took his meals up there in a handkerchief, and always the telescope Reade had given him, saying, 'It is no use to a one-armed cove, you know; but you shall treat Harper and me to a bowl of punch when we reach Botany Bay.'Inconsistencies! Oh fie, Mr O'Brian.____NoC is such a homecoming book. It's insane how much I missed the Surprise after what's essentially only a relatively short time spent aboard the Diane and the Nutmeg. And seeing Tom again! I'd missed Tom like nothing else. And Martin!When those ships popped up on the horizon, I knew one of them would have to have been the Surprise. And she was! she was! Well met, Tom, indeed. I would have squealed if I wasn't in public.'There she is!' he cried. 'I should have recognised her anywhere. What joy!''Yes, indeed,' said Jack. 'And I am so glad you came before we had to clew up the crossjack. You may never see another.''Pray point it out,' said Stephen.'Why it is this sail just above our heads, set on the crossjack yard,' said Jack.'A very handsome sail too, upon my word: ornamental to the last degree. How she comes along, the brave boat! Huzzay! Huzzay! There is Martin in front of the thing - I forget its name. I shall wave my hankerchief.'The squee, it overwhelms! And the mention of how all the seamen "put nearly all their welcome into their handshake". ^____^One of my absolute favourite bits:'You may recall that the last time we had the happiness of walking in the Brazilian forest I was bitten by an owl-faced night-ape.''Certainly I do. How you bled!''This time I was bitten by a tapir, and bled even more.'Oh Lord, I love them too much for words.Where I'm at now Martin keeps steadily refusing Stephen's dinner invitations and Jack's getting jealous of how much time M and S are spending together. Poor Jack *pets*. I don't think Stephen's very much aware of it, though and anyway Jack's invited Martin over to the cabin for some music, so yay for good will... *hugs him some more*I wonder what's wrong with Martin, though.By the bye, Harper was alive one more time and then he disappeared so I don't know what to think now. So odd. *shakes head* And I've developed a soft spot for Reade. He's too cute for words.I'm still loving Killick more with every book.But I'm ready to go home now. We've picked up two little girls that Stephen's called Sarah and Emily, and they keep putting me in mind of Diana and how Stephen's a father by now. I just want to get back home and see it.___Nutmeg of Consolation.I cannot believe I have finally given up and started slashing Sir Joseph and Stephen. I really thought I would be able to resist."He had certainly signed [Diana's letter] S. Maturin, reserving the Stephen for Sir Joseph."So that makes for:Stephen/JackStephen/MartinStephen/Blaine And if [info]rosamundeb could have her way, Stephen/Bonden.Also, this letter? From Sir Joseph? Thank God for that man. I want to kiss him on both cheeks and call him every endearment in the world. Huzzah for disobedience! Not to mention the letter itself was awefully cute as well, especially signing it with just "Joseph". ^_^ My heart imploded.And of course another Maturinism before I forget:"If it had been a regular encounter I could scarcely have closed and dashed my hilt in his face, which brought him up with a round hitch."____Jacquesmoineau, I just read the Padeen bit. -_- I'm glad I had some sort of warning. My dear sweet Paddy. Yes, I cried.I've reached the last chapter of NoC and Stephen and Martin are being their cute naturalist selves again, but I have to be honest and say that the pervailing feeling at the moment is just one of intense homesickness. I'm so ready to finally go back to England, you have no idea.___Stayed up late last night to finish Nutmeg andOMG A DAUGHTER!!!!! Wish you joy, Stephen!And whoot for Padeen getting on board against Jack's will. Jack has no spine where his crew are concerned, the big softie. *loves them both*And DEFINITELY yay for Stephen having a pantsless conversation with Pullings. XD POB is on crack sometimes, I swear. And may I just say that the book ended with Jack and Stephen holding hands? Of course I may.And do I give a fig for starting every sentence with a conjunction? Of course I don't.Also, platypuses. Death by platypus, that can't be a very noble way to go. XDbut OMG OMG! Now I REALLY can't wait to get home!ETA: The article of the day on Wiki is about echidnas. How oddly appropriate.ETA2: It distresses me how close I'm getting to the end of this series. >.>

  • Julie Davis
    2019-03-06 09:22

    Patrick Tull, Jack Aubrey, and Stephen Maturin - my companions sailing through the seas of the Napoleonic Wars. This book was chock full of all the things that make great adventure, interspersed with some appreciation of the natural wonders of South Wales. If you're looking at a review for book 14, you already probably like the series. This one has only a few parts I found exciting, but I was content to go along for the ride in the other sections. I will say that much of the time a problem is introduced only to be solved very easily without effort on the part of the protagonist. I found this a bit lazy (and boring), hence the 4 stars instead of 5.

  • Dan Glover
    2019-03-09 07:41

    As with all the novels in this series (which might be considered one long novel), I loved this book. All the elements of a great novel are here, but there is one ingredient in the Aubrey/Maturin novels that is missing from so many other great works: a deeply developed, realistically represented, quirky friendship between two men. The friendship between Jack and Stephen makes all the other male friendships I can think of in famous literature seem caricatured or shallow or like a device through which the author is able to achieve something (like showcasing the brilliance of one character through the foil of the other - think Sherlock Holmes or even Father Brown). The only other friendship I can think of off hand that at times comes close to this one is that of Frodo and Sam. These are not novels of naval sea action or espionage or life in the era of the Napoleonic Wars or of natural history exploration. These stories contain all these elements. However, to their core, these are stories of a friendship.For me, reading an Aubrey/Maturin novel is like spending time with old familiar friends. They have their quirks but they only serve to endear, not annoy. The stories in the series are not completely evenly told. The earlier books have more of the action and commentary happening through periodic journal entries or letters home written by Jack or Stephen. The earlier books also seem to skip longer periods of time whereas the later ones tend more toward continuous narrative with each chapter and even each book picking up right where the last one left off. I imagine this is likely because O'Brian started his story in the midst of the Napoleonic Wars rather than near the beginning and realized he only had so much time to play with. However, I still have 2 complete and one partial novel left so I may yet be proved wrong.Can't recommend this series enough.

  • Bertport
    2019-03-27 13:35

    Delicious episode at the beginning in which the Marines, up until now a mere garnish in the story salad, act with energy and foresight to save the crew from complete annihilation. And a little coda shortly after, in which they make a colorful show of force to scare off more pirates. And I love this tidbit on page 91: "'He counted his chickens without reckoning his host,' said Stephen." Maturin uncharacteristically slips in a loving dig at Aubrey's ineptitude with proverbs, which Aubrey doesn't even notice - which he wouldn't, since he thinks he is skilful in that department. One of the long-running themes is Jack Aubrey's fine leadership. We are frequently reminded that his time"before the mast", that is, among the sailors as a sailor, gave him uncommon insight into the psychology of his crews. Here, we see him size up a couple youths in the course of a quick meeting, and put them before the mast, on probation as it were. If they do well enough, and he thinks they will, he will make them midshipmen again. Not only does this allow him to hire them safely, it also allows him to promote "a valuable young foremast-jack" in a way that eases the awkwardness of such promotions. (pp. 97-8) The two little girls Maturin rescues provide a nice bit of color, and the devastating portrait of penal Australia is memorable. Overall, though, I felt this volume to be less powerful than the ones before it. O'Brian is extending too much courtesy to newcomers by too frequently summarizing events from earlier volumes.

  • Chris Conrady
    2019-03-20 09:45

    It's amazing that 14 books into a series you can still have interesting and new adventures. Patrick O'Brian has done a wonderful job keeping things new. It seems like it would be easy for things to just be repetitive, but they are not. There is a lot going on in the world in the early 1800's and these novels are a great way to explore a vast many subjects. In nutmeg, the crew finds itself in a life or death battle with far east islanders - somewhere off the coast of Indonesia and ends up on the Eastern Shores of rough and tumble Australia, with two newly adopted ships mascots, found marooned after their island village was wiped out by small pox. There is a lot of tension on shore in Australia and not once, but twice, it's questionable whether or not Dr. Stephen Maturin will make it back to Ashgrove cottage and see his growing family. I can't stress enough how enjoyable these novels are. Each offers a wonderful mix of anatomy, nature, philosophy, war, world events, political and personal struggle and the state of things in the early 1800s

  • Siria
    2019-03-24 07:45

    This is so much more eventful than The Thirteen Gun Salute, much more action-filled and much more dramatic. To some extent, that's a disappointment because there's so much less time for the kind of small moments of character interplay that O' Brian does so well. On the other hand, it made for an incredibly engaging and satisfying novel which I finished very, very quickly, building smoothly to a great cliffhanger of an ending.I was delighted to see Padeen return, especially after a novel which was scattered throughout with some less than complimentary remarks about Ireland from a couple of the minor characters. I'm always delighted, too, with just how well O' Brian manages to take the rhythms and speech-patterns of Irish and translate them into English for those parts where Padeen is speaking to Stephen; especially since, as far as I know, O' Brian didn't have any Irish himself.As ever, I'm looking forward to the next volume; especially if it finally lets us meet Baby Maturin. I am so full of glee at the idea of Stephen being a dad

  • Karla
    2019-03-12 07:19

    Unfortunately this installment took too long to get moving. It wasn't until the last third that things started coming together and the plot got moving. Naturally it ends on an abrupt sort of cliffie with half-resolution (Stephen's poisonous encounter with a male platypus). I won't rest easy about the fate of Stephen's ex-loblolly Padeen Colman until I start the next book in the series. The rescue attempt to get Padeen out of prison in New South Wales was the exciting, torturous final act the book needed to keep me listening.I also loved the two orphaned Melanesian island girls, Sarah and Emily, that were taken aboard ship from a village decimated by disease. They quickly adopted the rough talk and manners of the crew and would not be shuffled off into an orphanage on the far side of the world. Stephen's paternal attitude towards them fit in nicely with the news he finally gets about the birth of his daughter.It was satisfying by the end, but it took a long while to get there.

  • Bonnie
    2019-03-23 10:47

    Although I didn't enjoy Patrick Tull's narration nearly as much as that of Simon Vance in other books in this series, I still really liked the story and got used to Mr. Tull. Still, if you have the choice, go with Simon Vance is my recommendation. This story is more of a direct continuation of the previous book than some of the other books in the series. The previous book ("The Thirteen Gun Salute") kind of leaves the reader high and dry (along with Jack Aubrey et al) and leaves the reader with a feeling of urgency to go on to the next.As this book begins Aubrey and Maturin and their ship's company are left shipwrecked on a (fortunately) non-desert island. Before they make it off the island they encounter pirates and depletion of foodstuffs. Later in Australia Maturin enjoys encountering new species.

  • Julia
    2019-02-24 14:44

    This, the 14th novel in the British naval historical fiction series telling the stories of captain Jack Aubrey and physician/spy Stephen Maturin, may be my favorite so far in this engaging, erudite, albeit long series. I've given it 5 stars and as I think back on how deeply I've enjoyed this whole series, I am considering going back to my other reviews and changing them all from 4 to 5 stars. Anyway, this installment is chock-full of fabulousness-- shipwreck on a desert island, Malay pirates, bird's nest soup, enemy French warships, Australia. (Australia, by the way, comes off as a truly miserable place at this period in its history, with its population of prisoners and ill-treated Aboriginal people.)And whatever you do, beware the platypus.

  • Marko
    2019-03-02 06:29

    Patrick O'Brian continues as excellently as always. This story doesn't really have a dramatic arc of any sort and is simply a continuation of the voyage that started in the previous novel. But that does not mean that important issues are not handled: Captain Aubrey is shown to suffer from a condition that changes his behavior while Maturin struggles with his sense of responsibility for an old friend who is now suffering as a convict in Australia. The harshness of life and the evilness of men in a land that serves mostly as prison to westerners is very well described, down to the corruption of the aboriginals who show off their skills with boomerangs for shots of rum and drink themselves to death.In short, another gem from the master of (historical) fiction!

  • Larry
    2019-03-03 13:41

    I used to think that I just liked the exploits of Jack Aubrey and Steven Maturin but, in truth, I now believe that I enjoy the series because of the beautiful prose of Patrick O’Brian.This is the second installment of “The Thirteen Gun Salute” and starts with the ship’s crew on an island building a boat from the remnants of Jack’s command that was destroyed in a typhoon. Next they’re attached by Borneo head hunter pirates in a GREAT land battle! Then, there’s a GREAT accounting of Steven Maturin’s sword fight. Wow! I guess I do like the action.It’s also fascinating to read about the “settlement”, Sydney, Australia – at the time the penal colony was run by the British army.

  • Cole Schoolland
    2019-03-21 13:31

    Certainly one of the more geographically adventurous chapters in the series. There are so many events and so many places, it is hard to really focus on any one theme. This comes nearer to the tail end of a very long voyage that spans several books fought with much hardship. All of this hardship; the shipwreck, the marooning, the raiding Malay pirates, and the misery of Botany Bay juxtaposed against the happy sights and thoughts of home. I think it is best summed up by the very last line of text in which Stephen says to Jack, "I cannot tell you how ardently, how very ardently I look forward to going home."

  • Alex Sarll
    2019-03-13 09:46

    I forget who it was said that if Jane Austen had a brother who'd gone to sea, he might have written the Aubrey & Maturin books, but there's a lot in it. The waspish wit and the godawful social minefields are all here, but then so is so much more. There's also stuff which would never have been possible in a novel of the time, but which one feels sure is accurate, for O'Brian has that great gift - shared by Marguerite Yourcenar and precious few others - of writing historical novels which, without ever seeming artless, ring wholly true throughout.

  • Judy
    2019-03-17 12:27

    Just started the audio book - but I've been eager to finish the story arc started in The Thirteen Gun salute. Jack, Stephen and all my favorite crew are marooned on a desert island after a shipwreck - with important intelligence documents! I'll let you know if it holds up the standard or the previous series.I have now finished reading all the Aubrey/Maturin books in order TWICE!!! They have enriched my life so much by knowing so much real information about England's navy in Napoleonic times. So much of our western culture comes from those times and places.

  • Tao
    2019-03-01 13:27

    Another leg of the journey finished. Started in Batavia, Java, ended in Sydney, New South Wales. A shipwreck; a flight with pirates on Swallow-Nest island; a hitchhike on-board a Chinese junk, a new ship, a naval battle with a French frigate, Cornelie. Reunion with old HMHS Surprise; The turning fortune of Dr. Maturin. Well paced, lots of action, on land and sea. Language is precise, charming, and elegant. By now, I must be a seasoned sea dog, as Dr. Maturin described himself, :-)Delve in the next book, Truelove, right away.

  • Chris
    2019-03-10 12:45

    This one felt a bit thin to me. The ending sequence in Australia, in particular, featured Maturin wounding a man in a duel, then getting poisoned by a platypus. Yes, both are in character. No, neither advanced the plot or my understanding of the Doctor. It felt like a particularly excellent RPG plot more than one if the earlier books. Still enjoyable, but I think I'll take an extended break from these. Maybe I'm just inured to the formula after reading so many in such a relatively short time.

  • Wealhtheow
    2019-03-24 07:46

    The ship rats get into Stephen's coca leaves and become addicts! Ship wrecks! Jack and Stephen sail to Australia! Stephen thinks he's lost his fortune, and finds out that Diana has had a daughter! Lots of great character moments, and the writing when Stephen is contemplating his great happiness at the end of the book is truly lovely. It does kind of randomly end, though.

  • Josh
    2019-02-25 10:42

    Seemed a lot more human than some of the other books. Really enjoyed it.

  • Andreas Schmidt
    2019-03-26 07:35

    Noce moscata ...I fatti riprendono quelli in cui la Diane s'incaglia e lo scafo si apre come un guscio di noce, su un'isola in cui il dottor Maturin si rivela un totale inetto in questioni marinaresche, e l'equipaggio di naufraghi deve lavorare il doppio per evitare che compia terribili danni (le cime legate dal dottore devono essere controllate due volte, qualunque lavoro di fatica deve essere assistito) eppure si dimostra essere il cacciatore provetto, che assicura all'intero equipaggio il cibo con le ultime scimmie e cinghiali sull'isola mentre cercano di ricostruire uno scafo con i resti della Diane. Non manca l'ironia, in quello sterminio di cinghiali locali, che cercano di evitare la cattura e la conseguente frittura alla maniera europea. Due fatti salienti: approda con un praho una giovane donna bellissima, crudele e spietata, un pirata dayak alla testa di altri pirati malesi e dayak. Jack tenta di mercanteggiare per ottenere dei viveri, ma questi ritornano in forze con un praho e degli assalitori, e i naufraghi devono mettere in campo la loro esperienza tattica anche grazie all'esperienza e alla disciplina bellica della fanteria di marina. L'assalto di trecento pirati si trasforma in un assedio alla fortezza, in cui vengono tutti sterminati e il praho affondato; i naufraghi però perdono la nave che stanno allestendo, perché viene incendiata, e tanti tra i loro. La provvidenza manda un mercante cinese, i cui bambini giocano sull'isola, uno rimane ferito, e il dottore lo medica, riuscendo di fatto a far trasportare tutto l'equipaggio sulla giunca, che può fare scalo fino a Batavia, dove Jack Aubrey riesce a recuperare un altro scafo per il suo equipaggio. Tale nave da riarmare è la futura Nutmeg, dalla frase pronunciata dai dignitari francesi al cospetto del sultano di Pulo Prabang, "noce moscata di consolazione". Con la Nutmeg partono alla caccia della Cornélie, la nave che ha portato la spedizione francese, i cui comandanti sono caduti in disgrazia prima ancora di lasciare Pulo Prabang. La trovano, si cannoneggiano e s'inseguono. Nella finta fuga, la Nutmeg incappa nella cara vecchia Surprise e altre 4 navi, di cui una armata per la guerra di corsa e altre prede mercantili americane. Quando la Surprise ammaina i colori americani e fa sventolare i colori inglesi, risulta chiaro che l'equipaggio della Surprise, civili, per la guerra di corsa, comandati dall'intrepido giovane Tom Pullings, ha catturato prede americane, anziché essere catturata. La Cornélie cerca la fuga, la Surprise la insegue, ma a qualche miglio di distanza la nave francese affonda. L'eroico capitano facente funzioni francese, per altro figlio di un ammiraglio, amico di Aubrey e Maturin, l'ha condotta fino all'affondamento resistendo fino all'ultimo. Eliminata la nave francese, recuperati i naufraghi, la solita cena tra ufficiali di entrambi gli schieramenti e rotta per Botany Bay, ove si conclude la storia. Maturin è alla ricerca di Padeen, il suo fedele servitore che era stato deportato. Trovo la trama godibile come al solito, dopo i fatti con la Cornélie ha sostanzialmente un calo, risvegliato con il duello tra Maturin e un ufficiale inglese; dopodiché la trama scivola verso la conclusione senza molto altro degno di nota. Ormai sono affezionato alla Surprise e al suo equipaggio.