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)
Retired US Navy Submariner. Served in 2 Diesel boats, 2 fast attacks and 2 SSBNs Retired as Master Chief. Worked in civilian Nuclear power plants as a second career.
story was good but narrator puts me to sleep
boring gay dreary
I will not listen to any more booke with this narrator
No, I won't listen again. Not for a long time. And why not, because there are more where that came from.
Hornblower threatening the life of the annoying doctor if he doesn't save the annoying salvage guy.
Probably the annoying salvage guy. I have a weak spot for experts with stories to tell, annoying or not.
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.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.