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Flying Colours Mass Market Paperback – 5 Oct 2006

4.7 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; New Impression edition (5 Oct. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140011137
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140011135
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 1.7 x 18.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,137,424 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Book Description

Read by the star of the new TV series, another of C.S. Forester's famous Hornblower novels on abridged audio for the first time. --Ce texte fait référence à une édition épuisée ou non disponible de ce titre.

About the Author

C.S Forester was born in Cairo in 1899, where his father was stationed as a government official. He studied medicine at Guy's Hospital, and after leaving Guy's without a degree he turned to writing as a career. On the outbreak of war he entered the Ministry of Information and later he sailed with the Royal Navy to collect material for The Ship. He made a voyage to the Bering Sea to gather material for a similar book on the United States Navy, and it was during this trip that he was stricken with arteriosclerosis, a disease which left him crippled. However, he continued to write and in the Hornblower novels created the most renowned sailor in contemporary fiction. He died in 1966.

Inside This Book

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First Sentence
Captain Hornblower was walking up and down along the sector of the ramparts of Rosas, delimited by two sentries with loaded muskets, which the commandant had granted him for exercise. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 5 May 2004
Format: Paperback
Flying Colours is the most introspective of the Hornblower novels. For those who want to understand who Hornblower really is, this book is probably the most revealing in the Hornblower series. Unlike the other stories which contain lots of naval action at sea, this book occurs mostly on the land of Spain and France, and the rivers of France. As a result, those who like the Hornblower novels for their battles and action will find this book to be one of the least satisfying in the series.
We all know ourselves best when we face problems. After the many successes in his career, Captain Hornblower ended up in Ship of the Line fighting an impossible battle between his ship, the Sutherland, and four French vessels. Taking horrible casualties, Hornblower struck his colours and surrendered at the end of that book. Flying Colours opens with Hornblower in a Spanish prison, with the expectation that he will be tried and executed for having flown French colours as camouflage to aid an attack. His wife, Maria, is pregnant in England. Hornblower also yearns for Lady Barbara Leighton, the wife of his admiral, whom readers met in Beat to Quarters and saw again in the beginning of Ship of the Line. Hornblower is in despair as he visits the dying and imprisoned sailors who are in the same garrison.
Many troubling questions go through Hornblower's mind. How well will he face death before a firing squad? Will his weak body betray him?
His first lieutenant, William Bush, is also to be tried. At the end of Ship of the Line, Bush lost the lower part of one leg. Will Bush survive the injury and trial?
What will happen to his wife and unborn child after he is dead?
Can he resist sweet temptation, when it is offered?
Can he escape death by firing squad?
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Book seven of the Hornblower saga!

This is a truly excellent book with far-reaching consequences for both Lieutenant Bush and Captain Hornblower. If you are reading this review then you have either stumbled across the Hornblower books or are a Hornblower fan who has not yet read book seven. If you have stumbled across this review, start with `Mr. Midshipman Hornblower', the first book in the series which follows the early humble beginnings of Hornblower as a young man.

What should seasoned fans expect with this book?

Well, the human side to Hornblower which we saw developing in the sixth book `A Ship of the Line' has truly come to the fore in book seven. Hornblower is portrayed as a flawed individual instead of the usual isolated automaton. Human emotions such as regret, envy, anxiety and helplessness feature strongly as part of Hornblower's personality, as the epic events begin to take their toll on the Captain.

I was particularly pleased when Hornblower finally realised the true meaning of friendship with Bush and Brown as their adventures progressed. C. S. Forester was an exceptional writer and he certainly ensured the reader experienced a close affinity and connection with the main protagonist. This is felt most keenly in book seven, as you certainly care for the Captain and his small crew.

Fans will not be disappointed with book seven.

Book seven is written from a different angle than the previous six books, but this helps to keep the reader interested as their beloved character strays away from his usual environment and is thrown into a hopeless situation.

Will Hornblower and Bush make it this time?

I'm not telling!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a review of the Penguin 2006 edition with a short but perceptive four-page introduction by Bernard Cornwell. Written in 1937-38, this was only the third in the series, though it is the seventh in chronological order of Hornblower's life. It was also written at a time when much of his audience would also know their Latin, and when the code of a gentleman still held some sway, but would soon be blasted away by the Second World War.

We turn our back against the sea for much of the book, whose journey this time takes us across the heart of France. But the opening sees Hornblower in captured French hands: "It was torture now to be a prisoner ... A caged lion must fret behind his bars in the same way as Hornblower fretted against his confinement." But Forester allows his hero a heavy dose of sinful humanity, with Hornblower contemplating in his cell not only the fate of his pregnant wife back home, but also that of his mistress, Lady Barbara. The title of the book refers to the captain's hope to meet his expected execution in Paris with equanimity: "He hoped he would meet it bravely, go down with colours flying ..."

Forester has a keen insight into the British character, remarking, for example, how, "The British genius for invective and propaganda had long discovered that it paid better to exploit trivialities rather than inveigh broadly against policies and principles..." The Daily Express and Daily Mail of the 1930s was much like The Sun of today!
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