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Book Note: Patrick O'Brian, The Thirteen Gun Salute (#2)

I read this book about 19-Oct-2010. I've read this book before. The book is copyright 1989. This note was last modified Tuesday, 06-May-2014 13:24:22 PDT.

This is book 13 of the "Aubrey-Maturin" series.

This note contains spoilers for the book.


We seem to have acquired an American trade paperback since I last read this, for some reason.

I keep thinking this book should relate to America. I suppose because of thirteen guns and thirteen colonies, or something. But in fact it isn't.

The title comes from the salute due a royal envoy. Fox does his job (with Steven's help), and they do get their treaty with the sultan, but Fox goes power-mad or something. In the end he's killed by a typhoon, trying to get the treaty back to Batavia while the ship's company is wrecked on an island. (Well, the ship found an uncharted reef, but luckily there was an island near it, and they transferred lots of stuff there.)

It's also book #13 in the series, which can't be a coincidence.

The way business is done around the sultan's court, with people bribing officials and such, is quite appalling. Also the method of execution eventually applied to the Sultan's favorite boy.

This book has Steven's lovely visit to Kumai, an old volcanic crater with an ancient Buddhist shrine. The animals have never been hunted, and Steven wanders among them, and makes friends with an orangutan.

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David Dyer-Bennet