I've mentioned before my fondness for O'Brian's 20 book Aubrey/Maturin series. I've read the books multiple time and listened to them on CD read by the amazing Patrick Tull more times than you would believe. An O'Brian book is my default listening in the car at any time.
But don't take my word for it. In a cover-story in The New York Times Book Review published on January 6, 1991, Richard Snow called the Aubrey-Maturin books "the best historical novels ever written. On every page Mr. O'Brian reminds us with subtle artistry of the most important of all historical lessons: that times change but people don't, that the griefs and follies and victories of the men and women who were here before us are in fact the maps of our own lives."
And in a Washington Post article published August 2, 1992, Ken Ringle wrote, "The Aubrey/Maturin series far beyond any episodic chronicle, ebbs and flows with the timeless tide of character and the human heart."
It's as if the close observation of human nature, the dry wit, and the elegant prose of Jane Austen had gone to sea during the Napoleonic Wars and I find something new to admire with every re-reading/listening/watching.
Need I add, highly recommended?
(Book cover illustration and sea battle painting by the renowned marine artist Geoff Hunt)