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Hornblower and the

Hornblower and the "Atropos"

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
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Publisher's Summary

"I find Hornblower admirable, vastly entertaining" - Winston Churchill

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

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (262 )
5 star
 (120)
4 star
 (90)
3 star
 (34)
2 star
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1 star
 (9)
Overall
4.4 (190 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
3.8 (197 )
5 star
 (85)
4 star
 (49)
3 star
 (25)
2 star
 (18)
1 star
 (20)
Performance
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  •  
    John Hilton, United Kingdom 06-02-11
    John Hilton, United Kingdom 06-02-11 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
    ratings
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    16
    3
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    "Great book. Poor narrator."

    All of the Hornblower books are excellent and this one is no exception. Forrester is a master of his craft and his detailed knowledge of how the British navy worked and how ships were sailed make the action believable and convincing.

    Unfortunately this audio book is spoiled for me by the narrator who has a slow and mournful delivery that sounds like a vicar on Valium preaching a long and boring sermon.

    The other books in this series are read by Christian Rodska who does a much better job.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Edward C. Charbonnet Memphis, TN 07-31-09
    Edward C. Charbonnet Memphis, TN 07-31-09 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    65
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    "Great fun and adventure in 1806"

    The author makes you feel like you now understand more what life was like in the early 1800's. And the reader does an excellent job with the various voices and accents and making you feel the excitement and tension.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Ventura, CA, USA 10-18-09
    Susan Ventura, CA, USA 10-18-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    23
    ratings
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    15
    13
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    Overall
    "Hornblower, a 11-book series..."

    After hearing my first Hornblower auido book narrated by Nicolas Coster, I knew that I had to hear more. I discovered the C. S. Forester wrote 11 books in the series. I tried the first after hearing that Gene Roddenberry modeled his Captain Kirk on Hornblower. I've been able to get three unabridged Hornblowers by Coster, and I'm on the search for more. Meanwhile I bought all the paperback versions so read when I can't listen. I recommend both Hornblower and Coster wholeheartedly!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Arno norfork, AR, United States 10-02-13
    Arno norfork, AR, United States 10-02-13 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    26
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    "Horrible reader!"
    Would you try another book from C. S. Forester and/or Nicolas Coster?

    I will read anything C.S. Forester writes. I will never listen to Nicolas Coster again. If he is the only choice - I will read the book in print.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Nicolas Coster?

    Christian Rodska!


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    I do love the book - the overall performance was so awful that it ruined it for me. I was angry most of the time I listened because of the narrator. The book is another great story in the Hornblower series.


    Any additional comments?

    I have listened to other books in the Hornblower series read by Christian Rodska and loved them. The reader of this book is so absolutely awful I may not finish it. I will never buy another audiobook read by him and will read the book in print instead. I am having to listen at a 1.5 speed because the reader sounds so slow and drunk. If you enjoy Rodska's reading - you will be greatly disappointed.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim Bynum Kapaa, HI, US 04-28-13
    Tim Bynum Kapaa, HI, US 04-28-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    7
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    "Play at 1 1/2 speed"
    Any additional comments?

    I have really enjoyed the Hornblower series, some have been taken aback that this title has a different narrator. I find the pace of this reader the issue and felt much better about the listen after setting the narration at 1 1/2 speed thus matchin the pace of the other books.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jean Santa Cruz, CA, United States 04-21-13
    Jean Santa Cruz, CA, United States 04-21-13 Member Since 2010

    I am an avid eclectic reader.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The little ship"

    C.S. Forester description of the Hornblower family travelling on the canal boat and the information about the canals was fascinating. When Hornblower arrives in London he takes command of the 22 gun sloop Atropos. He is assigned to plan and command the funeral for Adm. H. Nelson. The description and information about the funeral was great. Then Hornblower is off to the Mediterranean to join the fleet. He is assigned to retrieve the payroll off a ship that sunk in Turkish waters, the suspense of the salvage and the sea battles and long chase were great. Forester has the ability to paint pictures with words. If you enjoy a sea story or are a history buff you will enjoy the book.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laurie Lebanon, India 10-30-09
    Laurie Lebanon, India 10-30-09 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    47
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    12
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    "So disappointed I had to stop."

    I ADORE the Hornblower stories. I HATED this version. I never thought I'd say this about this novel, but I couldn't finish this audio. The narrator sounds almost asleep. Hornblower's voice is lost in mush.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joshua MEDFORD, NJ, United States 09-30-13
    Joshua MEDFORD, NJ, United States 09-30-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "Dreadful reading performance - Story Ok"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Someone who wishes to fall asleep in 15 minutes


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    There wasn't much adventure in this book until towards the end, things got a little interesting. Hornblower marrying Maria has been a disappointment through this series because i find her to be an annoying character. Wish I could hear more on Mr. Bush though.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Nicolas Coster’s performances?

    Absolutely not, in fact i was relieved to see that Christian Rodskar does all the other books, Nicolas Coster's voice and readings challenged me to get through this book. His voice mannerisms remind me of some sleepy nobleman. I only hope he hasn't permanently poisoned my mental image of Hornblower that I enjoyed and developed from Christian's readings.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Boredom - Previous books had alot more action through main portions of the narrative, this book was dominated early on with the funeral and ongoings with his wife and children. Wasn't until towards the end when things seemed to get a little interesting.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Columbia, MD USA 01-26-10
    Amazon Customer Columbia, MD USA 01-26-10 Member Since 2008

    dog sports enthusiast

    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
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    70
    6
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    "The reader is spot-on"

    The reader, Nicolas Coster, really captures the feel of the time period for me with his unhurried, stately manner. (He displays an excellent range of character performance as well). I'm only disappointed that Audible does not carry other Hornblower books read by Mr. Coster.

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Loren Indiana, USA 07-01-14
    Loren Indiana, USA 07-01-14 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    27
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    "I liked the narrator"

    It just goes to show ya. There's no accounting for taste.

    Many reviewers here have criticized the narrator for this book in the series, but I very much enjoyed his reading.

    I thought the story itself was a bit disjointed, with no real plot running from beginning to end. This may be a realistic representation of wartime events for this single ship, but usually ships are assigned to a fleet and its actions support a planned campaign against the enemy.

    Hornblower’s ship in this story is separated from a fleet and assigned various other tasks. This book is the story of those tasks and reads a bit like a series of short stories or novellas. I didn’t care for the lack of continuity in the story line.

    In spite of that, I am enjoying this series and will continue with the next one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 30 results PREVIOUS123NEXT
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  • Richard
    Middlesbrough, United Kingdom
    5/12/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Review"
    If you could sum up Hornblower and the "Atropos" in three words, what would they be?

    interesting well researched


    What aspect of Nicolas Coster’s performance might you have changed?

    His speach was a little slow and laboured at times.


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

    It wasn't a book I couldn't put down, but I couldn't wait to get back to it once I had stopped.


    Any additional comments?

    it is a shame that the reader (although very good in himself) wasn't the same reader as all the other Hornlower books so far.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A User
    1/27/12
    Overall
    "Exciting story poorly narrated"

    All the books bar two that I have had from Audible have had superb narrators, who have enlivened the text. This one kills it dead. The narrator sounds like he is having difficulty reading, and has no variety of tone at all. Could not finish the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • David
    Manchester, United Kingdom
    6/1/12
    Overall
    "A brilliant book, a mediocre narrator"

    Like all the Hornblower books, "Hornblower and the Atropos" is a brilliantly written, exciting and insightful work of historical fiction. Why then the three stars? I'm afraid the narration was just not up to the very high standard set by Christian Rodska who reads the other Hornblower books available on Audible.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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