Lieutenant Hornblower

Narrated by: Christian Rodska
Length: 9 hrs and 12 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (1,135 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Exclusively from Audible:

Having now paid his dues as midshipman, Horatio Hornblower returns as a newly promoted Lieutenant, in the second instalment of C.S. Forester's beloved naval series.

In this new adventure, Hornblower is overjoyed to discover his next task is to serve aboard the mighty HMS Renown. After witnessing some unsettling scenes however, he soon finds himself struggling to serve under the captain, James Sawyer, whose unsound mind leads him to treat his crew with extreme suspicion and contempt.

As talk of mutiny is abound, the tension rises and Hornblower is forced to make impossible decisions in an effort to unite the crew and avert further disaster by defeating the Spanish.

Introducing a much-desired element of romance to the series, Horatio encounters the beautiful and seductive Maria, who sends him on an altogether different but equally enticing escapade.

Hailed by the likes of Ernest Hemingway and Sir Winston Churchill for being 'admirable and vastly entertaining,' C.S. Forester became a hugely influential 20th Century author.

Born in Cairo, raised in London and buried in California, the metropolitan writer experienced huge success with his Horatio Hornblower series as well as with his later works, The African Queen and The Good Shepherd.

His literary genius is perfectly encapsulated within this endlessly entertaining narrative, and his heroic protagonist draws us in to another titillating journey through the Napoleonic wars.

Narrator Biography

Christian Rodska is an English television and voice actor best known for his role in the 1970's series Follyfoot.

From the The Monuments Men and The Eagle of the Ninth to The Likely Lads, Z Cars, The Tomorrow People, Coronation Street, Bergerac and Casualty, his extensive and diverse acting career has led him to become a highly solicited radio and audiobook narrator.

He has now voiced over 150 unabridged audiobooks including Winston Churchill's biographies, Evelyn Waugh's Men at Arms and Sebastian Faulks' A Possible Life. He has been praised for his ability to vary in vocal pace and style and as such, Christian boasts 12 Earphone Awards from Audiofile Magazine.

©1952 Cassette Productions (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    4 out of 5 stars

Hornblower off to the Caribbean

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.

4 people found this helpful

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Great story; great narrator

My title says it all. This is Hornblower at his most swashbuckling. The narrator, Christian Rodska, is quite superb, as usual.

4 people found this helpful

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Great stuff if you like naval warfare under sail.

Where does Lieutenant Hornblower rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

The top 3.

What did you like best about this story?

The historic frame is great. The story itself is predictable but that doesn't matter since the 'how' is more important then the 'what'.

What does Christian Rodska bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Great job.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

it makes you feel heroic :-).

4 people found this helpful

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An excellent listen.

If you could sum up Lieutenant Hornblower in three words, what would they be?

Well worth it

What did you like best about this story?

Good plot

What does Christian Rodska bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Not sure but an excellent narrator.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

No

Any additional comments?

Order the first in the series after hearing this one.

3 people found this helpful

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Post Watch

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.

7 people found this helpful

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Started a little hesitantly but quickly changed.

When I first started listening to Lieutenant Hornblower, I didn't like the crazy Captain abusing his men and was concerned this was either going to spend most of the time with his abusing the crew or turn into Mutiny on the Bounty. But Forester quickly remedied the situation in such a way that the backdrop of "mutiny" was there yet the story was able to continue with only a subplot involving what had befallen the Captain.

In the end, I really enjoyed the story and the insights into the characters. This is my first time experiencing Hornblowr and Bush together as I've never read the books nor seen an episode of the show based upon the first several chronologically and I am "reading" them in Horatio's chronological order from Midshipman forward and this is, of course, the second book chronologically speaking.

I still love Captain Jack Aubrey and Dr. Maturin better, but these are quite excellent.

2 people found this helpful

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Worth Considering for Patrick O'Brian Fans

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.

2 people found this helpful

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Leftenant Bush, actually!

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.

1 person found this helpful

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Another Excellent Adventure

Any additional comments?

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.

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Superb

I read as a young man and loved it. The audio version of the book was superb!

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  • RMWK
  • 02-26-18

Loved this!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I enjoyed this book SO much. It's well-written, beautifully performed, and just immersed me in another world. I had to ration myself, otherwise I would have listened to the whole book at one sitting!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Simon
  • 11-04-18

History Revisited!

Discovering that this series is available on Audible has been a sheer joy so far. The stories seems just as fresh and entertaining as they did when I read them decades ago. Of course part of this is down to the excellent Christian Rodska who I swear has salt water running through his veins, he is simply the best when it comes to narrating historical naval fiction.

I can see a few credits being spent on Mr Hornblower's adventures!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Mr. Anthony D. Bateman
  • 09-28-17

excellently read.

Not my favourite in the series, but a good read leading to the excellence ahead, and made so by the narrator.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Ben
  • 02-06-17

Brilliant Book!!!

Absolutely love this book, not to do any spoilers but the part of the book concerning a particular captain of a particular ship hornblower was serving on has always made me a tad uncomfy as it's supposed to do I suppose. A large amount of the book isn't about incredible heroic deed and what not but more to do with cool thinking under the worst of conditions as it's was undoubtedly in that time. ofcourse that's only my opinion but still great book and can't wait to start the next one!

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  • Mrs
  • 05-23-20

Happy reunion

I read all the Hornblower books years ago and am now thoroughly enjoying them again via Christian Rodska’s excellent narration.

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  • Andrew
  • 04-03-20

Hornblower Fan

Always loved the Hornblower stories and he does a great job of reading them. Will move on to the next one.

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  • Matty D
  • 08-24-19

A damn fine book

God damn I love this book and the series as a whole, never before as a series captured my imagination so much

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  • Swordflasher
  • 06-29-19

excellent book, as good as the first, great story

great character development, exciting read, recommended listening, great narrator, six words remaining I enjoyed it.

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  • Mike T.
  • 06-19-19

Lieutenant Bush.

Told entirely from the view of Hornblower's compatriot Lieutenant Bush. The focal point is still mostly on Hornblower and the shift in view is interesting. GREAT storytelling and equally great narration. Loved this book.

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  • paul rooney
  • 01-15-19

Hornblower Hots Up

I had not been entirely convinced by the first book in the Hornblower series - just didn't engage with the principle character. Also, for me, the technical details of the naval life rather leave me cold. That's purely a matter of personal preference of course. However, in this second installment, the action and interest hots up a fair bit. It is also interesting to see Hornblower from a different perspective, which Forrester achieves by writing the story entirely from the point of view of one of his fellw officers. In common with the first book it is proficiently and engagingly narrated.

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  • Dk Chambers
  • 04-17-18

Pleased listener

Excellent story, wonderful performance.
Well done Christian Rodska I have never heard a story so well performed, thank you Audible, 5 thumbs up.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-30-19

Classic, swashbuckling story

Great story and read by a true professional, very enjoyable. Looking forward to the third book in the series.

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  • Jack Fleming
  • 10-15-17

This series is great!

love everything about these books great little adventures into an era of sail. This novel isn't from the usual perspective of Hornblower but his friend bush and it contrast well with the other books to hear from another characters perspective

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  • TerrierTops
  • 03-29-16

Loved every minute of it!

An excellent adventure! I could listen to these stories all day. Beautifully read, this book takes you to another time and place.

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  • peter brazel
  • 02-29-16

Hornblower, , Awesome book, and a great Narrator.

loved it, Awesome story line, have seen the mini series, chark and cheese, and the author catchers the fight at sea, of ship's of the line, in sail, , congrats.
Recommended reading , and listening.