Summary

Wrongfully arrested following the Monmouth rebellion of 1685, Peter Blood, country physician and former soldier, escapes the hangman's noose only to be exiled to the tropical colonies. Sold into slavery to a cruel plantation owner, his moral fortitude and medical ability soon earn him the favour of the island's governor and the attentions of Arabella, his master's niece. When the town is attacked by marauding Spanish buccaneers, Blood springs to the rescue, and with a motley yet loyal band of shipmate’s escapes to begin a life of noble piracy and adventure on the Caribbean seas.
A classic swashbuckling tale of piracy, romance and redemption, Captain Blood stands as one the greatest adventure novels of the 20th century. Author, Rafael Sabatini (29 April 1875 – 13 February 1950) was an Italian/English author of romance and adventure novels. He was a prolific writer and produced a new book almost every year, maintaining a great deal of popularity throughout his career, but the titles that secured his reputation were Scaramouche and the Captain Blood novels. He died on 13 February 1950 in Switzerland.
©1922 Rafael Sabatini (P)2013 Audible Ltd
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Critic reviews

"One wonders if there is another storyteller so adroit at filling his pages with intrigue and counter-intrigue, with danger threaded with romance, with a background of lavish colour, of silks and velvets, of swords and jewels" ( Daily Telegraph)
"Sabatini's stories abound with drama and melodrama, action and excitement and brilliant colour, as well as minute period detail. No writer, not Scott, nor Dumas, nor Stevenson, has brought the past to life more vividly or accurately" (George Macdonald Fraser)
"Mr. Sabatini is both a wonderfully fertile creator of exciting fiction and a stylist of distinction." ( Punch)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Customer on 03-03-16

A fantastic listen

What did you like most about Captain Blood?

Captain Blood was a joy to listen to. A real swashbuckling adventure set in the 17th century.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Not only is the narrative full of excitement, the character of Captain Peter Blood also has real interest.

Have you listened to any of Michael Maloney’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Michael Maloney's narration is absolutely fantastic! Perfect pace and accents. My first experience of Michael Maloney narrating an audio book was with Sebastian Faulk's Engleby. It was amazing: pacy, witty and compelling. Michael's performance in Captain Blood is equally gripping.

Any additional comments?

I'd never heard of Captain Blood until I came across it by accident. It was written in 1922 by Rafael Sabatini, who wrote The Sea Hawk and Scaramouche. These books were also made into adventure films starring Errol Flynn.

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4 out of 5 stars
By Karen Croan on 08-04-14

Great fun

What made the experience of listening to Captain Blood the most enjoyable?

I loved this story, it has adventure, romance and an excellent feel for the period as Sabatini was an eminent historian. It also has one of the most intelligent and erudite action heroes.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Captain Blood?

My favourite moments are those where he demonstrates his strength of character and his ability to read people and lead them in any endeavour. The ship battle scenes are exciting and very well described.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

While I liked the narrators voice I felt he hammed up some of the reading a little too much which made it veer inappropriately into the comical at a couple of points. He regrettably made Captain Blood sound so like Terry Wogan I was glad there was not too much dialogue in the story.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes! I like to listen to books while I walk and this one definitely encouraged longer and more frequent walks.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Mark S. Traub on 18-04-14

Swashbuckling at its Finest

What did you love best about Captain Blood?

The depth and breadth of the character. Though he's made to become a pirate, he has wonderful feelings and talents that make him a superb hero.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Captain Blood?

The trial in England is truly dramatic and heartbreaking.

What about Michael Maloney’s performance did you like?

Maloney's performance is key to the quality of the audiobook. He masters the accents of the Irish, English, Spanish and French characters beautifully, and his dramatic reading on the part of the villains (there are several) made the piece really work.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

That's something I don't think I could do with any book.

Any additional comments?

One must always realize that a book written close to a hundred years ago, though it was enlightened for its time, still contains the prejudices endemic to the time. A warning to people who love everything politically correct.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Vicky on 03-01-18

Avast, From the Bahamas to the Windward Isles...

Avast, From the Bahamas to the Windward Isles, from New Providence to Trinidad.

Pirates everywhere will enjoy this story, and the ending is very well done. 

The odyssey of Captain Blood takes us through most of the West Indies in such a clear fashion that it was easy to pinpoint my location at all times on Google Earth. The journey takes you, “from the Bahamas to the Windward Isles, from New Providence to Trinidad.” It ends with a great battle on the coastal town of Cartagena, and then Port Royal in Jamaica.

Just who is Captain Blood? In the words of Rafael Sabatini:
"He was, when all is said, an escaped slave, an outlaw in his own land and a homeless outcast in any other. There remained the sea, which is free to all, and particularly alluring to those who feel themselves at war with humanity."

Like the Golden Age of Piracy itself, Rafael Sabatini uses dramatic flourishes in the language of the book, never overdoing description, and scattering it judiciously only where needed and appreciated, yet creating a beauty of words that any reader can love.  

But, aye it’s quite a bit more than just pretty words mate. The book is brimming with the geography of politics, racism, & slavery in the West Indies. It begins with a failed rebellion over the English throne, involving an “illigetimate” son, The Duke of Monmouth James Scott. When the rebellion goes sour, the protagonist Dr. James Blood goes to prison despite the fact he did not participate in the rebellion, having only administered aid to a wounded rebel regardless of politics. And it ends with the ouster of King James for William of Orange.


The tale makes many comments on the act of aligning God on the sides of politics. And, it lays bare the national and racial prejudices of a Europe: England, Spain, and France, hell-bent on colonial pillaging. Yes, in this book you are reminded that the most trustworthy pirates are often those on the high seas, while the piratical politicians are the real villains.

Though the action in this classic takes place in the late 17th Century, it was written in the early 20th Century. I have to say the narration on Audible is most outstandingly performed by Michael Maloney! It was an incredible job of pronunciation and voices he did!

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