Patrick O'Brian's The Nutmeg of Consolation is a weird book. It is really two stories, that of how Aubrey and Maturin and the crew get off their deserted island and back to civilization and then the trials and tribulations of that civilization's worst, the penal colony of Australia in Botany Bay. Nothing against Australia, the conditions of the English prisoners and how the military and landowners hurt the aboriginal peoples are what is so awful. There's a bit of fighting but there is more interpersonal conflict in this book. Maturin gets himself in trouble; did you know the male platypus has a stinger? Had no clue myself. I feel like the guys have been on this same adventure for a while now but in reality this is only the second book in this voyage. overall, a 5 from me.


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