Cover Illustration: Douglas Smith; ©1962 by C.S. Forester, © Renewed 1990 by Dorothy E. Forester; © and (P)1999 New Star Media Inc.
"With meticulous attention to nautical detail, which no committee of old sea dogs has been able to fault, C.S. Forester has shown himself to be a master of the genre." (The New York Times Book Review)
C.S. Forester's novel about life aboard a British Man of War is ledgendary. In the Hotspur, Hornblower's reputation as an aggresive, determined captain come into fine focus. He is an honorable man with a realistic sense of what can be attained if you work hard, dare greatly and are willing to pay the price. I wish the entire series was available. Patrick Macnee does a masterful job of bring this famous story to life. Highly recommended.
I recently borrowed Mr. Midshipman Hornblower and Lieutenant Hornblower from my local library and couldn't wait to get the next book on audio, so I visited my account here. Unfortunately, the books here do not do the series justice. Macnee is a horrible narrator. Macnee's performance would lead you to believe that all characters except Hornblower are deaf and extremely stupid, including Lt. Bush and other favorites. Macnee never seems to get too far beyond his own, dull voice. Get the unabridged versions from a library or Amazon, and make sure Macnee is NOT the narrator.
Downright painfully is the best way I can describe the narration of this book. Some of the worst character voices, or should I say VOICE because there was almost only obe voice used for 90% of the spoken parts.
I did not know until listening to the story that there were six R's in the word sir. Some of the most ridiculously drawn out speech mannerisms I could imagine.
Having said all that in the last 2 hours of the story it was a marked improvement. Throughout the entire story the narration (when the characters were not speaking) we're done quite well.
oOverall if you're following the series you should still listen to this book, but the first two so far out shine the quality of this one that I suppose it's not so bad that it is abridged.
As a young boy, I avidly devoured each of C.S. Forester's 'Hornblower' books as soon as they appeared -- re-connecting with Hornblower seventy years later was a joyful experience -- Patrick McNee does a masterful job creating the voices of Hornblower and all the other characters in this novel -- each chapter of Forester's book were brought vividly to life for me -- I look forward to purchasing the remaining Hornblower books in the Audible library...
Where as the book is a wonderful classic, saddly the recording has places that the recording is weak and the pitch changes. Audible should review the book and upgrade the recording.
I've read all the Hornblower books when I was young. I was afraid that listening now would have been a disappointment. It wasn't. The story was still gripping and the reader was engaging. I just wish the other books were also here.
Of all the Horatio Hornblower book this is my favorite so I gave the story 3 stars because it is abridged. Listening, it felt more like a soap opera with all the extra background music. I wish they had the Christian Rodska version.
And Buffalo George
Hornblower in his first captaincy. The plot deals with reconnaissance of the French at Brest and a delivery to Cadiz. In the beginning, he gets married...where did that come from? Read some reviews and found out that I did miss some action, despite being numerically in line--there were some intervening booklets. He spends over two years on this tour of duty--dealing with espionage, discipline, avarice, politics, bad weather, homesickness, and, once or twice, actual war. The characters seem true to form, including Lord Cornwallis as the admiral, as a historic character who was the brother of the dude who Washington whipped at Yorktown. I had out my maps of the French coast to try and follow the battle action, but couldn't locate all the spots mentioned around Brest. Add that to a very large dose of 18th century sailor talk and some parts of the read became confusing. Overall, a swashbuckler in line for the next adventure.
A very well-read installment of the classic series. You feel you are standing in the rigging looking for signs the French Many has sailed out to do battle.
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.