In the wake of a humbling incident aboard a canal boat in the Cotswolds, young Captain Horatio Hornblower arrives in London to take command of the Atropos, a 22-gun sloop barely large enough to require a captain. Her first assignment under Hornblower's command is as flagship for the funeral procession of Lord Nelson.
Soon Atropos is part of the Mediterranean Fleet's harassment of Napoleon, recovering treasure that lies deep in Turkish waters and boldly challenging a Spanish frigate several times her size. At the center of each adventure is Hornblower, Forester's most inspired creation, whose blend of cautious preparation and spirited execution dazzles friend and foe alike.
(P)2009 Phoenix Audio
"A rousing tale of history, character, and adventure...For once Hornblower is the mouse Instead of the cat, but he makes that role fully as dramatic as the other." (Chicago Tribune)
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
I adore the Hornblower stories and excitedly listened to all of them. The others, performed by Christian Rodska, are magnificent. I couldn't turn them off. Unfortunately, Nicolas Coster has a slow, ponderous storytelling style that is completely out of sync with the adventures or Horatio Hornblower. He actually manages to make this story sound boring. And it's definitely not boring. Listen to the other Hornblowers and skip this one.
The book yes, but the audio book by Coster No. Coster does not capture the essential action of the series, and sounds as if he is reading un-enthusiastically from his high-sided armchair
Hornblower-no reason to dwell on that. The story is good
Boring boring with too much pompous accents from the crew in the lower deck. His accents just do not do it for me-they are so much the upper crust English stuffy accents and they are applied lazily and un-enthusisatically. I am going to avoid ever buying anything with Costers name on from now on!!I am tempted to revert back to reading the book myself!
absolutely, its a wonderfully told story with excitement as each page is turned. Easily understood and following the story line was very simple.
of course, Hornblower and all his crew.
I can't select just one they where all so colorful.
Again, Hornblower. I should like to discuss how in today's times I could get such a exciting job as he has now.
wonderful book. My first in the series but not my last.
I listen to hundreds of Audiobook narrators. I have my favorites but Nicholas Costner is not one. This is a good story but reading other reviews I see the narrator incites strong reactions both positive and negative. I fall in the later category. Coster's reading is described elsewhere here as that of "a vicar on valium". That is not far off in my opinion. This is the only Hornblower book not narrated by Christian Rodska whose readings I highly commend to the uninitiated. In this case I recommend using the sample control to preview Coster's performance before purchase. If you like Costner, great. But if you are like me you will sit out this audio and read this book in a print or eBook version. I would have.
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