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NEWS
November 30, 1999 | JOHN BALZAR, TIMES STAFF WRITER
They came to celebrate the past: not the aloof, musty, once-removed yesteryear of textbooks. But the right-here, close-up, living, breathing, gunpowder-smelling, tall-ships and high-seas, upon-my-honor past of novelist Patrick O'Brian. At the New York Yacht Club, itself a citadel for things venerated, Walter Cronkite, William F. Buckley Jr., retired U.S. Navy Vice Adm. George W. Emery, and more the 100 of the Eastern Seaboard's establishment came.
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ENTERTAINMENT
July 14, 2007 | Anthony Day, Special to The Times
IN reissuing Patrick O'Brian's 1954 novel "The Road to Samarcand," the late British author's publishers remind us of the secret of his success. He knew how to tell a story. Maybe it's a talent special to those islands off the northwest coast of the European continent, watered by Atlantic mist and three major and a few minor supple languages. Maybe it's a way of passing the long, damp seasons.
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NEWS
June 30, 1995
Re "An Eye for Detail that Commands a Sea of Respect" (June 2): When a colleague first introduced me to the Jack Aubrey/Stephen Maturin novels of Patrick O'Brian, he offhandedly remarked that I needn't read them in any particular order. After the first one, he said, I will have become accustomed to the pitch of the language and would be able to embark upon my journey, hopping from one book to another with no particular destination in mind. Ah, but he was wrong. The beauty of these novels is in the relationship between their protagonists--and this relationship develops historically.
BOOKS
October 31, 2004 | John Balzar, John Balzar is a Times staff writer who interviewed Patrick O'Brian shortly before his death.
Sixty-FIVE manuscript pages were all that Patrick O'Brian got on paper for his last novel. He died in January 2000 with the breezes of his powerful imagination just beginning to propel him on another far-off adventure in his epic serial of life in the Age of Sail. On the left-hand pages of "21" is the typescript of this short beginning of the novel. On the right-hand pages, the first draft is photographically reproduced in the author's own difficult penmanship.
NEWS
January 6, 1994 | PAUL D. COLFORD, Paul D. Colford is a columnist for Newsday.
For Patrick O'Brian, the writer of sea tales, this was the year his ship came in. After years of being treasured by a so-called O'Brian underground of fans, the obscure novelist appeared to break through on a surge of critical praise generated by the recent "The Wine-Dark Sea," his 16th novel set in the swashbuckling British Navy of the 19th Century.
NEWS
January 8, 2000 | JOHN BALZAR, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The graceful and contrarian British novelist Patrick O'Brian, who surprised the literary world--and himself--by luring legions of readers away from the onslaught of the Information Age and back to the slower epoch of sailing ships and discovery, has died. A pathfinder who defied trend by resurrecting the long-ago form of the serial novel, O'Brian turned 85 just a month ago. His London agent and New York publisher said the writer took ill in Dublin on Saturday and died Sunday in a hospital.
NEWS
April 27, 2000 | JOHN BALZAR, TIMES STAFF WRITER and $27.50, 375 pages, illustrated
A monster. A coward. Conceited, supercilious, arrogant, a hypocrite, self-delusional. Heartless. With these words, the Sunday Times of London recently fired another stabbing broadside at the just-deceased British novelist Patrick O'Brian. On his home soil, the once-obscure, then celebrated O'Brian has not been treated kindly--not in the final two years leading up to his death in Dublin in January and not in the weeks since.
BOOKS
April 4, 1993 | Frank Stewart, Stewart's most recent book is "A World Between Waves," natural - history essays on the Hawaiian Islands. He is also editor of Manoa: A Pacific Journal of International Writing
When Captain James Cook returned from his first great circumnavigation of the globe in 1771, the British public was wild with admiration. We have forgotten, though, that public adoration at the time was not for James Cook at all but for his young naturalist passenger, Joseph Banks. As quickly as the Endeavor docked, Cook was shunted aside and forgotten in the excitement. The expedition was popularly referred to as "Mr.
BOOKS
January 2, 1994 | JOHN BALZAR, John Balzar is a Times staff writer
Ned Ludd is said to have been an apprentice stocking maker in England 175 years ago. In a fit one day he grabbed a hammer and smashed his newly invented knitting frame to pieces. They called him a half-wit, though you can decide for yourself if this is a fair characterization of the man whose name came to symbolize the idea that technological advancement is not necessarily or always for the good.
BOOKS
January 2, 1994 | Thomas McGonigle, Thomas McGonigle is the author two novels, "The Corpse Dream of N. Petkov" and "Going to Patchogue."
Questions are being asked as "Testimonies" opens. Something terrible must have happened. Questions do not get asked when something good has happened. Does one believe the testimony that is given? Well, that depends on the telling, on the sense of veracity that the author creates within the voice of the character.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 16, 2003 | John Balzar, Times Staff Writer
The movie "Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World" brings all of today's thunder and breathlessness to adventures of the early 19th century. The novel from which it was drawn, of course, does not -- not in design, not in effect, not by leagues. But what we have here, Patrick O'Brian fans, is less jarring a collision of visions than might be expected. Books or movie? That's not apt to get you far this time.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 4, 2002 | KEN RINGLE, WASHINGTON POST
Fox Studios Baja sits beside one of Mexico's dirtiest, most litter-strewn roadways, about 25 miles south of the U.S. border. Across the street teeters a phalanx of thrown-together shacks crowded with rusting lawn ornaments and terra-cotta palm pots. Within the guarded studio gate, a 20-foot-tall inflatable monkey wobbles astride the replica turret blown from the replica battleship Arizona in Fox's cinematic version of "Pearl Harbor," which was filmed here.
NEWS
April 27, 2000 | JOHN BALZAR, TIMES STAFF WRITER and $27.50, 375 pages, illustrated
A monster. A coward. Conceited, supercilious, arrogant, a hypocrite, self-delusional. Heartless. With these words, the Sunday Times of London recently fired another stabbing broadside at the just-deceased British novelist Patrick O'Brian. On his home soil, the once-obscure, then celebrated O'Brian has not been treated kindly--not in the final two years leading up to his death in Dublin in January and not in the weeks since.
BOOKS
April 23, 2000 | SUSAN SALTER REYNOLDS
What is the moral usefulness of fiction? What are its moral limits? When a writer creates incest and murder, what is he or she asking of us? That we judge and forgive him? That we watch him forgive himself? That we look at our own lives and play our actions out on a mental stage so hypothetical it may as well be fiction? In "The Blue Bedspread," sister and brother find solace in each other, find escape from their violent father. As they grow older, escape becomes sex.
NEWS
January 8, 2000 | JOHN BALZAR, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The graceful and contrarian British novelist Patrick O'Brian, who surprised the literary world--and himself--by luring legions of readers away from the onslaught of the Information Age and back to the slower epoch of sailing ships and discovery, has died. A pathfinder who defied trend by resurrecting the long-ago form of the serial novel, O'Brian turned 85 just a month ago. His London agent and New York publisher said the writer took ill in Dublin on Saturday and died Sunday in a hospital.
NEWS
November 30, 1999 | JOHN BALZAR, TIMES STAFF WRITER
They came to celebrate the past: not the aloof, musty, once-removed yesteryear of textbooks. But the right-here, close-up, living, breathing, gunpowder-smelling, tall-ships and high-seas, upon-my-honor past of novelist Patrick O'Brian. At the New York Yacht Club, itself a citadel for things venerated, Walter Cronkite, William F. Buckley Jr., retired U.S. Navy Vice Adm. George W. Emery, and more the 100 of the Eastern Seaboard's establishment came.
BOOKS
October 20, 1996 | John Balzar, John Balzar is a Times national correspondent and contributing writer to Book Review
This is Patrick O'Brian's 18th novel in the British seafaring adventures of Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin--that most improbably wonderful series of grown-up literary-historical flights of escapism. Here, in the year 1814, "The Yellow Admiral" refers not to a cowardice in battle but to an admiral without ships to command. No use dwelling on the plot, though. The no-longer secret is that plots of O'Brian's tales are like grapes to wine: pretty much essential, but not by themselves sublime.
BOOKS
October 31, 2004 | John Balzar, John Balzar is a Times staff writer who interviewed Patrick O'Brian shortly before his death.
Sixty-FIVE manuscript pages were all that Patrick O'Brian got on paper for his last novel. He died in January 2000 with the breezes of his powerful imagination just beginning to propel him on another far-off adventure in his epic serial of life in the Age of Sail. On the left-hand pages of "21" is the typescript of this short beginning of the novel. On the right-hand pages, the first draft is photographically reproduced in the author's own difficult penmanship.
NEWS
November 5, 1999 | ANTHONY DAY, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
The old master has us again in the palm of his hand. Patrick O'Brian, the octogenarian Anglo-Irish writer, has spun the 20th novel in his Aubrey/Maturin series, and a fine thing it is, gossamer in language, as always, and forceful in plot, character and action, as always. (And--perhaps--it is the final adventure for this globe-trotting duo, as rumors abound that this will be O'Brian's last novel.) The legion of his fans don't have to be told who O'Brian's characters are.
NEWS
October 9, 1998 | ANTHONY DAY, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Patrick O'Brian, the 84-year-old Anglo Irish writer, has already given us 18 books about the adventures of Capt. Jack Aubrey, his friend Stephen Maturin (Catalan, doctor, naturalist and spy) and of the Royal Navy in the heyday of its struggle against Napoleon. His 19th, "The Hundred Days," is certain to delight O'Brian's fans, for whom happiness is an unending stream of Aubrey-Maturin books. It may, though, puzzle those who have not yet entered the seductive world that O'Brian has created.
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