I chose this version because I wanted the unabridged version. Even though the sample revealed a narrator whose style seemed unsuitable, I went ahead and bought it, hoping I would get used to him.
The narration is languid and supercilious, more suited perhaps to a children's fable or a drawing room romance than a tale of adventure at sea. As the book begins, Hornblower and his wife are made to sound like a pair of lifeless, whining old fuddy-duddies. What happens after that, I couldn't say: I couldn't bear to listen to the whole first chapter.
- sigh -
It's back to the printed word for this one. I hope Mr. Coster was not given the opportunity to drown any more Hornblower titles with his dreary narration.
I'm a huge fan of C.S. Forester's Hornblower series - I have them all in print, and was working my way through the audible version in series order. It was going swimmingly!
Then they changed Narrators. Disaster. Mr Coster's tone reminds me of someone reading a bedtime story - it is soft, even, and the volume lowers steadily throughout the sentence. Imagine "he parried the blow, then hacked and hacked again, fighting for his life" being read in the same tone as "lullaby, and good nite..."
I'm sure his melodic drone is great for some stories (Copperfield?), just not this one.
The story is good but the reader is so phlegmatic that I had to stop. He makes me sleepy.
Plot. Love the series.
Different reader. This one reads like a bedtime story. No excitement.
He did everything right, Mr. Coster butchered it in his reading.
It wasn't the book it was the reader.
I'm sure there are books Mr. Coster has read that he did a fine job with, This wasn't one of them.
I am sure that Mr. Coster is an excellent performer. he certainly has a trained voice. however, after listening the the previous books by Mr. Rodska, it was a surprise and it took me almost to the end of the second book to get used to the very slow cadance in his p e r f o r m a n c e ...
escape from the turkish bay
no. i will not take up deep sea diving any time soon..
This is my second time through the Hornblower series. The first time was when you had to rent cassettes, listen to them and return them by mail.
A lot of people complain about the narrator, but I have heard a lot worse. Some of the British accent narrators seem to be very condescending and the pronunciations of certain words are hard to take for a long book. (Like the narration in the some of the John LeCarre series of books,or most of the books by Winston Churchill.)
Partially throughout the first time through the series, I kept thinking that there was something very familiar about the Hornblower character. Then I heard that Gene Roddenberry, when he was creating the first Star Trek TV show, told his writers to think of Captain Kirk as a, "Space going Horatio Hornblower." He brings his ship and crew through seemingly impossible situations to the glory of his country and his King.
When I was through with the Hornblower series, I was hungry for more, so I tried, "Master and Commander" of the Aubrey Maturin series of books by Patrick O'Brian, and found it boring and unreadable.
This is the first performance by Nicolas Coster I've listened to, and I was cringing as I reluctantly continued. I found myself hoping the story would end, so I could move on to one of the other books narrated by Christian Rodska. Hopefully Mr. Rodska will record this book and there will be a better Unabridged option.
Mr. Coster's performance is slurred as if he were imitating a drunkard, his voices are indistinguishable from each other, and he attempts to deliver emotion by speaking more loudly or softly. It is more like listening to someone relating a story they have heard, rather than a story they are narrating.
My advice is to avoid this recording and wait for better material, or purchase the abridged version.
This is the last Nicolas Coster performance that I will spend my time to listen.
The story of Hornblower and Atropos has as good a plot and story as any of the others, but the narrator was a constant irritation. The previous narrators enhanced the enjoyment of listening to the book, but Nicolas Coster seemed bored when he did this. Throughout the book he would lapse into a practical whisper that would totally detract from the book.
Probably not. Oration seldom matches the power of imagination as one reads
Escaping from the Turks
All of the scenes describing how it was aboard a ship of war set in the time. I appreciated the descriptions of how a ship was navigated and handled in the time period of the book.
Hornblower is my obvious choice. Understanding how a seagoing man of that age thought and was able to assemble the knowledge and courage it took to command a ship of the time is fascinating. In today's wold of electronics including GPS it is hard to imagine how it was done in the past and a book like this gives a glimpse of what it was like.
The story was great but the oration itself could have used some improvement in cadence, volume, intonation, and pitch in comparison to the previous books presented in this series.
Better Nararator and probably the edited version....first time ever to get bogged down in details
made the first 3 hours only 1
He put me to sleep....like maybe he read that softly to his grandkids
The story held up well the last 6 hrs ...... if you could stay awake
If this had been my first C. S. Forester it would have probably been my last