Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Book Preview: The Unfinished Twenty-First Novel in the Aubrey/Maturin Series

Great Scott, what a cruel tease this may turn out to be.

W.W. Norton this month is publishing the start of what would have been the 21st Aubrey/Maturin novel. Called simply "21", the book is three chapters left unfinished on Patrick O'Brian's desk at the time of his death. In 144 pages, it begins the next chapter of the series, with newly promoted Aubrey, now a Rear Admiral of the Blue, under orders to sail to the South Africa station.

I know I shouldn't, that it will not do justice to what O'Brian may have been able to do with the material had he lived longer, but I will likely buy it, and read it, simply because of the great pleasure I have had from the Aubrey/Maturin books over the years.

For the uninitiated, the first novel in this series was Master and Commander, which leant its name and some of its substance to the movie starring Russell Crowe. If you haven't delved into this set of books, start here. Read. Repeat.

By the way, I note that this is being published along with a new collection of the full series. Who pulled Matt's name in the Mahaffie family Christmas drawing?

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