Regular price: $21.31

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

Exclusively from Audible

The first episode, initially created as a prequel, of C.S. Forester's Horatio Hornblower series, sees 17-year-old Horatio as he embarks upon a navy career aboard HMS Justinian. Older than most other seamen training to become naval officers, Hornblower is initially ridiculed for his dull attitude and inexperience at sea. However, against all odds, Horatio rises to become an unlikely hero and faces a myriad of challenges aboard the ship and on foot in native lands. Set in January 1794, Hornblower works alongside his fellow officers, eventually rising through the ranks to battle against Napoleon as he tries to conquer Europe.

In this episodic audiobook, Forester treats listeners to ten chapters with self-contained incidents and adventures. From duels to shipwrecks and Spanish galleys to French ports, we follow Horatio as he becomes a formidable man of the sea. Adding depth and feeling to the narrative, he also comes to see the atrocities of war and the often unfortunate and needless suffering of the many who are involved. Whilst showing himself to be brave, principled and ingenious, Forester's hero is singular in his unrelenting feelings of self-doubt and reserve, which render him a more likeable and relatable leader and protagonist. Commended by the San Francisco Chronicle as 'one of the great masters of narrative' C.S. Forester wrote 10 other books in the Hornblower series, all of which can be found at Audible.

Narrator Biography

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

©1950 C. S. Forester (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    394
  • 4 Stars
    109
  • 3 Stars
    18
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    2

Performance

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    399
  • 4 Stars
    71
  • 3 Stars
    10
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    343
  • 4 Stars
    96
  • 3 Stars
    32
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    0
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Narration brings classic to life

The narrator handles the different characters very well - both male and female - and his pacing gives energy to these classic maritime tales.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

First rate historical fiction

I was introduced to this series by a friend after I read the Master and Commander series, which is also fantastic. This kind of a beginners level of historical naval fiction but is more than worth the time. I highly recommend this series for those interested in historical fiction.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A lesser known classic- still GREAT!

This is a story of character growth- mistakes, temptation, pride all subjugated in favor of the greater good, of self mastery. Human triumph! And all at sea during war-time 150 years ago. 😊

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful!

The best reading of a book I've ever heard. A real pleasure. Better than a movie or a play.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great book

Great story, great narration. Well done. Hornblower was the first James T Kirk! I highly recommend this book to all who like adventure!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great!!

If you are ready for adventure this is the book to listen to! The hours will flyby.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

good old-fashioned adventure story

Thoroughly enjoyed this adventure story. As much fun for grown-ups as older kids. looking forward to the next adventure of Mr. Midshipman Hornblower.
Christian Ronska is an excellent narrator.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Outstanding performance!

While the book is clearly outstanding, the performance of the reader brings the entire story to life. And incredible job with a variety of voices, accidents, dialects, etc. I was shocked when the book ended as it seemed to flyby under this incredible dramatic reading. Anxious to begin the next in what I am sure will be the complete series for me. Well done sir, well done!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great narration

Narration is nothing short of amazing. Good story with plenty of action and vivid descriptions.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good listen

As this is apparently a prequel, maybe the character of its hero is already known. I found the young Hornblower a bit too cloyingly perfect for my taste. The narration is wonderful. The stories are varied. I have to say I prefer the Aubrey Maturin books where the protagonists have more complex and nuanced personalities but I know the Hornblower series has a devoted following. I plan to listen to further books in this series.

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ben
  • 01-13-17

Absolutely superb!

A really brilliant book and quite different from the ITV series. Considering this is only the first one as such I am really looking forward to the rest and highly recommend this one to anyone full stop!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • A
  • 04-13-16

bloody brilliant

I thought this book was excellent. very well read and very well written.
i have seen the tv show hornblower and was worried listening to the same plot lines would be boring. how wrong i was.
on to book 2

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mr Ian R Hames
  • 06-22-15

Stirring from start to finish

Thanks to the TV series the early Hornblower novels are quite well known. This the first in the series is a stirring read, full of action and colour. The performance is very good. On to the next book

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Matsumoto
  • 05-23-15

Exceptional

My favourite in the Hornblower series of books. Well read by Christian Rodska, who clearly has a genuine interest in naval fiction and naval history. Highly recommended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • davidr17
  • 07-26-18

Exciting book

This book is a thoroughly enjoyable story well performed and made in a professional way.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Buzz
  • 02-19-18

Hornblower

I have read all the Hornblower series so I knew the story. Christian Rodska really brings it all to life.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Chris Howson
  • 11-22-17

Excellent story, beautifully narration

It never ceases to amaze how different the original book can be from film or television adaptations. In many ways the book is far, far better.

The narration was excellently delivered. It enriched a very enjoyable novel.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Mr. Anthony D. Bateman
  • 09-17-17

classic

Read at school and 40+ yrs later I get the thrill of being in character so deep into the story I imagine myself. I have been in awe of all napoleonic writings such as sharp, but this led me in to a lifetime devoted to family and history.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Matt Mower
  • 07-05-17

Fabulous

This came recommended by a friend and I was not disappointed. The story is great, the narration marvellous. I was sad when it ended and cannot wait to start the next one.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Neil
  • 04-09-17

Wonderful

An excellent narration of a classic tale. Highly entertaining. Bringing these wonderful stories to life.