The 19th century dawns and the Napoleonic Wars rage as Horatio Hornblower faces the fury of the French and Spanish fleets combined. Amidst the hissing of wet wads, the stifling heat of white-hot cannon shot and the clamour of a mutinous crew, new Lieutenant Hornblower will need all of his seafaring cunning to overcome his first challenge in independent command on the high seas. And while blood and violence flow thick and fast aboard a beleaguered HMS Renown, the aftermath of war promises intrigue of an entirely different order: Maria, a young señorita, who might just soften the steely resolve of a young lieutenant.
This is the second of 11 books chronicling the adventures of Horatio Hornblower.
©1952 Cassette Productions (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
I am an avid eclectic reader.
This book was written in 1952 and is different from the prior books in that the story is told from the view point of Lt William Bush rather than from Hornblower's. The story begins with Lt Bush coming aboard the ship as a new officer and is meet greeted aboard by Lt Hornblower. There are determining which Lieutenant is senior by date of rank when Captain Sawyer comes aboard and accuses Bush of deliberately boarding the ship ahead of him. Turns out that Hornblower is the most junior (5) Lt and Bush is the number 3. So begins a voyage to the Caribbean with a paranoid schizophrenic Captain. The trip shows what power of life and death the Captains had in those days. There is lots of action both ship and land fighting as well as seaman skills. The book also goes to demonstrate what leadership skills and ability are needed to lead men. Christian Rodska does a great job narrating the book. This is a great story and has a bit more meat to the story than prior ones. Looking forward to reading the next in line.
My title says it all. This is Hornblower at his most swashbuckling. The narrator, Christian Rodska, is quite superb, as usual.
The top 3.
The historic frame is great. The story itself is predictable but that doesn't matter since the 'how' is more important then the 'what'.
it makes you feel heroic :-).
Well worth it
Not sure but an excellent narrator.
Order the first in the series after hearing this one.
I grew up reading about Horatio Hornblower in the Saturday Evening Post. How I waited for a new story to arrive. Later, I purchased the books and read and re-read them.
How delightful to be able to listen to them now. To visit scenes not well remembered and have my memories renewed. It's almost like a family reunion.
Hornblower is the most dashing cousin a girl could have. He's brave and ruggedly good-looking and inspires the most romantic dreams. Unfortunately, he is in love with his ship ... but I have never minded playing second fiddle.
I am in my second listening now. The first a hurry to catch the story, the second to enjoy more of the flavor and character development. The third will be just to enjoy a story well written and well told.
This book has always struck me as an odd one in the series; not bad at all, just odd. Told more from Bush's point of view almost, or certainly focused more on him. I suppose to get you ready for Bush as the best friend.
I didn't like the narration quite as much on this one, as the characterizations slipped a bit between Bush and Hornblower causing a bit of confusion, but not anything to cry over.
A solid part of the series though, and well read all in all.
If you've exhausted Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin series and miss tales of the British navy in the 18th-19th centuries, then the Hornblower books seem to be a worthy way to get your fix. The main character is appealing and the naval arcana is well-told, but this book lacked the sly social commentary that lace the O'Brian books. Nevertheless, it's a series I shall continue with. Excellent audiobook narration, with a variety of upper and lower class British accents delineating the characters.
This book is another entertaining book by this author, and well read. I use these books to keep my interest while driving, and have not been disappointed.
The second book in the series tells the tale from a fresh perspective, with Lieutenant Bush as a viewpoint character. Seeing Hornblower through a competent everyman with his own ideas of service provides a new way of understanding the hero as he makes his way through the ranks and faces apparently insurmountable challenges.
My first reading of this book centered on the unfamiliar world and the courageous and clever solution. This time, the struggle with naval bureaucracy and inflexible rules and the dignified survival after return to civilian life without any resources were of deeper interest for me. These experiences seemed timeless in our era of cold hierarchies and ruthless layoffs.
Rodska conveys the excitement without getting overly dramatic. He acts in character for each line of dialogue he voices, and I never got confused by the many voices he inhabited.
Despite the distance created by a move to Bush's perspective (a savvy move, given some of what Hornblower might have done), the tension did not flag and the successes were always worth cheering. Forester is a master of pacing, recognizing moments that can be stretched and providing full value for each situation.
I made it to about chapter 3 before the voice actors poor performance forced me to stop listening. He would make a good narrator but his voice acting makes almost every character sound mentally handicapped and deaf with the same voice.
"Escapism at its finest!"
Hornblower and Bush make excellent protagonists with both human short comings and admirable traits which serve to make them endearing and realistic. The plot is well thought out and compliments the rich characters. The book contains action and adventure as well as the detail which history and naval enthusiasts will love. Perfect for a long drive or while in the office, to take your mind from the regular day to day. Simply plug in and soar above the waves of the warm Caribbean sea with the brave men of HMS Renown
"Very good listening"
A good tale of naval fiction, well read by Christian Rodska. A must for fans of the television adaptation.
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