After listening to this I immediately downloaded Lieutenant Hornblower. I mainly listen to audiobooks when exercising at the gym. I find exercise bo..Show More »ring, and am always looking for books that will hold my attention. I think the Hornblower novels read by Christian Rodska may be my best find yet. Forester is, of corse, a wonderful storyteller. The novels aren't especially profound; but they're not shallow. Characterization is excellent, and the gritty historical detail throws you into the world of the British navy circa 1800. The narration is simply superb. The voices fit the characters perfectly. The only thing I can imagine some people not liking about the book is the heavy use of nautical jargon--but personally, I enjoy that too, even if I don't always fully understand what it means.
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 re..Show More »ad 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.
A comfortable passage of the early years in Hornblowers life. Plenty of action and a good backstory to boot. Brings home the hardship of service in a ..Show More »HM Ship during the many years of War with both the French and Spanish Navies
The narrator, Christian Rodska, is quite superb. It's hard to imagine anyone bettering his performances. I was not quite as keen on this novel as I w..Show More »as on Mr Midshipman Honblower and Lieutenant Hornblower. But it's still very good indeed. The relationship between Hornblower and Bush is central, and handled with subtlety. Forester is excellent at dreaming up crises and problems for Hornblower to have to deal with, and at geting inside the self-doubting individual who lurks behind the unflappable exterior.
C. S. Forester died while writing this book. The book comes to a sudden end but there is an author note of his outline of the end of the book. There..Show More » is two short stories at end of book one of a young Lt Hornblower, the other as an Admiral. Unlike other publisher this one chose not too hire a ghost writer to finish the book, we the reader can use our imaginations. I have been going through the series and am sad to see it end. Forester was a good writer and I love sea stores of the late 1790 early 1800s. This book takes place in 1805 with Napoleon planning to invade England, Hornblower, of course, will try to stop this. Christian Rodska has done a great job with the narration of the series.
Hornblower and his own command continues to grow in character. Not as fast paced as some of the other books but with some unusual story lines. This bo..Show More »ok is a little slow and drawn out in the early section but pays good attention to the traditions and protocols of the RN. The story does pick up as Hornblower is sent into service and builds to a climax expected of a Hornblower story.
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 ..Show More »voices and accents and making you feel the excitement and tension.
"The Happy Return," also known as "Beat to Quarters," is the first-published (1937) adventure of Captain Horatio Hornblower, RN. It was followed in 19..Show More »38 by "Ship of the Line" and "Flying Colours." Later books, published after WWII, went backward to cover Hornblower's early career, and forward to his rise to admiral and the peerage. "Midshipman Hornblower," chronologically the first story, was published in 1950.
Having listened to all the Aubrey/Maturin books and feeling bummed that there were no more left to hear, I decided to try this book, since I knew it sailed similar seas (British navy during the Napoleonic Wars). This first Hornblower adventure does not disappoint. The distant, all-powerful captain with extraordinary navigational skills and an almost uncanny connection to his ship (there's a reason ships are thought of as female), sailing under sealed orders to a dangerous assignment in a faraway and exotic (in this case the Pacific coasts of Nicaragua and Panama) locale; encounters with the enemy won sometimes by guile, sometimes by superior seamanship, and always by sheer guts; unimaginable pain and privation, encounters with stunning cruelty--it's all here, guys and gals! There's even a shipboard romance.
What is not here, unfortunately for his fans, is any character even remotely resembling Stephen Maturin. As it is, Hornblower is limited largely to conversations with himself, we don"t get to see the Central American volcanoes through Stephen's naturalist eyes, or get his spy's-eye view of the intrigue. This "criticism" is unfair to Forester, however, and shouldn't deter anyone from enjoying these earlier books, which undoubtedly influenced O'Brian.
I have enjoyed both Simon Vance's and Patrick Tull's approaches to narration of the O'Brian books. Christian Rodska never gets as ponderous as Tull or as exuberant as Vance, but reads with clarity and energy. I particularly enjoyed his Spanish accents. All in all, this one's worth the listen.
Having read all of C.S. Forester's Hornblower series as a (male) teenager and remembering the excitement it provoked in me, I listened to Ship of the ..Show More »Line. I was not disappointed. The detail of life and combat aboard an 18th century warship and the complexities of seamanship are vivid and satisfyingly complex. I had forgotten that Hornblower used to get seasick upon setting sail after several weeks ashore. The political infighting and maneuvering for prestige among officers of the Royal Navy is especially interesting. This audiobook is nicely read by Christian Rodska.
I have almost finished the Patrick O'Brian series of Capt Aubrey and was looking for something similar in the Audible library when I came across C.S. ..Show More »Forester. I remember the movies about Hornblower but realised I had never read the books. This was most enjoyable story, Hornblower is captured by the French and is on way to Paris to be executed when he escapes. Lots of suspense and information on the French and English navies. Christian Rodska does a good job narrating the story. Looking forward to reading all of this series.
This book was written in 1946 and like all of C. S. Forester's books it seems to be better in audio version than written. It flows like the old fashi..Show More »on story telling while sitting around the fireplace. There is less sailing in this book but there is some sailing action. Most of the battles take place on land while Commodore Hornblower is the governor of an area of France. This book covers the fall of Napoleon and his return from Elba. Hornblower is made a Lord in this book and Lady Barbara joins him in France. More information about etiquette of the peerage in this book. Christian Rodska does a gread job narrating the story.