The year is 1793, the eve of the Napoleonic Wars, and Horatio Hornblower, a 17-year-old boy unschooled in seafaring and the ways of seamen, is ordered to board a French merchant ship and take command of crew and cargo for the glory of England. Though not an unqualified success, this first naval adventure teaches the young midshipman enough to launch him on a series of increasingly glorious exploits. This novel—in which young Horatio gets his sea legs, proves his mettle, and shows the makings of the legend he will become—is the first of the 11 swashbuckling Hornblower tales that are today regarded as classic adventure stories of the sea.
©1950 C. S. Forester. All rights reserved. (P)2011 AudioGO
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OMG, as we say today. This is an amazing performance of as goo a book about the sea, as exists in the English language. If you love the ocean, naval history and wonderful voice don't pass on this one.
An absolute gem. I loved the story and was excited about continuing with the Hornblower series only to discover that not all have been narrated. Ouch. However, this should not diminish the wonderful story of young Midshipman Hornblower as he is introduced to His Majesty's Naval Service. He transitions from a young and fumbling 17 year old midshipman to a very capable and seasoned naval officer in a very short time.
The story transitions from one major event to another to include his capture by the Spaniards and incarcerated for several years. Young Hornblower exhibits compassion, the highest ethical standards, bravery, intelligence, and maturity well beyond his years. It is a wonderful story that is appropriate for all ages. Most highly recommended.
This book is narrated in truly top form. Fascinating story well worth the read.
Loved how Hornblower usually got his way by skill and brain power instead of
The writer and narrator transport you to another time and place. The story is so well written that you can visualize every detail. The narrator helps the book come alive without getting in the way of the story. It was an exciting book and one that I will likely listen to again.
It's been 30 yrs since I read these and Hornblower is as captivating as ever - simply great adventure stories. Rodska does an admirable job reading this and does a good job with the various characters. Looking forward to the next books in the series
I read like a madwoman all my life but now I have bad eyes. Thank goodness for audio books
Something is wrong with this recording it does not have an ending. I wish I had a better copy
This one needs a better recording
Live on edge of National Forest with lake, birds & wild animals. No more perfect place to indulge life-long love of reading.
The only real story arc for this book is the discovery of self and courage by a young man just coming of age. This is portrayed over a series of vignettes that could easily be standalone short stories. Forester is a master at writing action scenes. He portrays characters with words as if they were short, powerful brush strokes.
Forester did not write the Hornblower books in actual chronological order. I suspect that, at some point, he wanted to go back and give his readers a sense of the younger Hornblower and how he came to be the man he is in the later books. Therefore, this is more a filling in of blanks than an independent novel.
The narration is wonderful: the different voices, accents, and full range of emotions are consistently excellent.
From my perspective, the primary reason to listen to this book is if you are investing your time (and credits) in this whole series. I'm definitely moving on to book 2 in the series.
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