Norton shipped the 19th book in the acclaimed Aubrey/Maturin saga, The Hundred Days, the last week of September. With a 100,000-copy first printing, the book quickly became a bestseller at independents across the country and made it onto all the national chain lists, too. It was Patrick O'Brian's Internet debut as well -- Norton made the first chapter of the book available in advance of publication to all Internet booksellers in mid-September. The author did not tour for this book but he did grant a one-on-one interview with James Marcus of and held a real-time online chat with barnesandnoble. com, hosted by Richard Snow, the editor-in-chief of American Heritage Magazine. (It was his spectacular 1991 front-page New York Times Book Review essay about O'Brian that helped bring the author serious and wide-reaching attention in this country -- "best historical novels ever written," was just one of many accolades he received). O'Brian stayed at his home in France and answered questions posed by Snow on behalf of many online participants worldwide and the conversation was simultaneously transcribed onto the Web site.