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One of the great rewards of reading all of the Hornblower novels is that C.S. Forester does quite a nice job of developing Hornblower's character and his personal ethics over the decades covered in the books. While young, Hornblower toes the line and is impeccable about appearances. Gradually, he begins to focus on doing justice instead, even if that means violating the rules. Eventually, he violates his own standards on occasion and learns to live with that. By the time readers arrive at Admiral Hornblower in the West Indies, his personal standards are all that matter to him. In particular, you will enjoy comparing how he handled the duel in Mr. Midshipman Hornblower with the fifth section of this book.
Admiral Hornblower in the West Indies is a series of five novellas that cover three chronological years at the end of Hornblower's naval career. His title is now "Rear Admiral Lord Hornblower" and he has quite a small squadron which is mostly engaged in stopping pirates and the recently outlawed slave trade in the West Indies. Each story involves some apparently impossible problem, which Hornblower or someone close to him solves.
The first story involves trying to stop an American ship, while the two nations are at peace, with a smaller, slower vessel. The second story addresses a fast slave ship in neutral waters that Hornblower wants to capture. The third tale touches on Hornblower becoming embroiled in the problems of an escaped pirate crew. The fourth entry looks into trying to remain neutral during the wars of liberation in South America. The final story is an adventure tale involving Lady Barbara and Hornblower and considers the problems of a marine who refuses orders to play his music the way it is written.
Part of the appeal of this book is that it shows the messy way that the challenges of life often evolve. So, what's the best thing to do? It's hard to tell, and circumstances are often different from what they seem. Even though taking action may have long-term negative consequences for oneself, what is the right thing to do? That's the focus here.
What opportunities did you have today to do the right thing? How did you do?
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on 1 June 2010
Rear Admiral Lord Hornblower! He's certainly come a very long way since his humble beginnings as a seasick Midshipman.

Hornblower in the West Indies is not a single book like previous instalments. Instead it is a collection of five short stories describing Hornblower's adventures in these exotic isles following the climax of the Napoleonic Wars post Waterloo. The stories describe Hornblower's life as he polices the Indies in order to help settle the turbulence caused by the lengthy wars spanning the globe.

As ever, nothing runs smoothly for Hornblower and pretty swiftly he is involved in plots concerning piracy, slavery and rebellion. For me, these short stories are some of the most creative and exciting aspects of the Hornblower saga; this is Forester at his pinnacle.

When buying the book, don't expect the usual 300 page single novel and you won't be disappointed. The quality of the stories speaks for themselves and fans of the series will be in for a real treat with the tenth instalment.

As the final book beckons, I can safely say that Hornblower has been an absolute pleasure to read. If you have the slightest interest in naval warfare, please don't miss this series, its simply too good.
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on 11 October 2011
I was confident that I had exhausted all of the Hornblower books by CS Forester when this little gem appeared as an offering from Amazon. I have sought out other authors of the similar period sea tales but can find no better than CS Forester. I marvel at his intimate knowledge of the Royal Navy in these early stages of their history. I also enjoy so much the thrill of the unknown adventure which reveals itself in such a secretive way. The detail of each main adventure is released in a narrative with pace and high suspense. There are conclusions within conclusions but the final one is described in the language of the wardroom and its ladies. Watch out for the Heroine and her depth of strength in adversity. The Hero is known from past books, the Heroine has arisen from a later marriage of Hornblower when he has reached Staff Officer rank. This in its own way is a very accurate reflection of true emerging awareness according to rank of levels of society. The heroine in this book is one of a change in Hornblower's rank and position in society. She demonstrates very strong consideration of fairness despite her exalted position. CS Forester then introduces her elegant very lady like tendencies balanced by her strength of character. This is the subject of a number of chapters and the reader's suspense is held throughout. As they are revealed so there is a rare sense of excitement and of the trials of the adventure. I can certainly recommend this book to CS Forester devotees. It can stand alone but the true benefit is in reading it at the appropriate stage of the whole series. Follow this link for just a few of the Hornblower adventures but the whole series is available within the Amazon libraries which can be accessed within The Young Hornblower Omnibus: "Mr.Midshipman Hornblower", "Lieutenant Hornblower", "Hornblower and the "Hotspur"". Alternatively, there is a series of DVDs from the recent TV Series if you also follow this linkHornblower - Complete Collection [DVD]
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One of the great rewards of reading all of the Hornblower novels is that C.S. Forester does quite a nice job of developing Hornblower's character and his personal ethics over the decades covered in the books. While young, Hornblower toes the line and is impeccable about appearances. Gradually, he begins to focus on doing justice instead, even if that means violating the rules. Eventually, he violates his own standards on occasion and learns to live with that. By the time readers arrive at Admiral Hornblower in the West Indies, his personal standards are all that matter to him. In particular, you will enjoy comparing how he handled the duel in Mr. Midshipman Hornblower with the fifth section of this book.
Admiral Hornblower in the West Indies is a series of five novellas that cover three chronological years at the end of Hornblower's naval career. His title is now "Rear Admiral Lord Hornblower" and he has quite a small squadron which is mostly engaged in stopping pirates and the recently outlawed slave trade in the West Indies. Each story involves some apparently impossible problem, which Hornblower or someone close to him solves.
The first story involves trying to stop an American ship, while the two nations are at peace, with a smaller, slower vessel. The second story addresses a fast slave ship in neutral waters that Hornblower wants to capture. The third tale touches on Hornblower becoming embroiled in the problems of an escaped pirate crew. The fourth entry looks into trying to remain neutral during the wars of liberation in South America. The final story is an adventure tale involving Lady Barbara and Hornblower and considers the problems of a marine who refuses orders to play his music the way it is written.
Part of the appeal of this book is that it shows the messy way that the challenges of life often evolve. So, what's the best thing to do? It's hard to tell, and circumstances are often different from what they seem. Even though taking action may have long-term negative consequences for oneself, what is the right thing to do? That's the focus here.
What opportunities did you have today to do the right thing? How did you do?
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on 20 May 2013
`Hornblower in the West Indies' contains five delightful short stories in Forester's customary swashbucking style. Puzzlingly omitted however is `The Wreck of the Orovik'. Believed to be one of his earlier tales, this haunting piece was perhaps considered a little too strange for the conservative tastes of the time.

In 1794 at the tender age of just eighteen, misdshipman Hornblower is just beginning to find his sea legs, sailing on board the `Orovik'. an exploration vessel charting the Caribbean islands. Towards the end of the voyage the crew see what looks like the survivor of a shipwreck clinging to the remains of a broken barrel near the shore. They pull a small evil looking figure from the water, but he can hardly speak and seems exhausted. He says he is 'The Wee Man', but he is unable to say where he came from or what happened to him. They clean him and dress him up. Over time he gets stronger but strange things start to happen on the ship. The Wee Man becomes more and more demonic - organising shouting matches and stealing peoples clothing. The crew start to disappear. The cook throws himself overboard. Eventually only Horatio is left. He realises he has to get rid of the Wee Man. ''It's me or him'' he resolves. Then follows a battle of wills. Hornblower engineers a shipwreck and scuttles the Orovik. He manages to make it to land, but as he drags himself up the shore, he sees many small footprints in the sand. Is the island full of more Wee Men?

All messing about aside, short stories are so convenient. This is a cracking good read that i enjoyed hugely from my lonely perch in the caff, watching the river and sipping my overpriced cappucino. It's a read for even the most jaded urban palate. From page 323 the description of the Whirlwind - detailed and stuffed with the kind of nautical jargon that has your mind whizzing around the slippery decks with the action. A marvellous antidote to 21st century literary pretentiousness.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 1 September 2009
Written in 1957, it is the tenth in order of Hornblower's career - it's now the year 1821 - but the ninth to be written by CS Forester. Instead of the usual twenty or more chapters, instead we have five titled ones.

This review is of the smart new Penguin editions that have Bernard Cornwell writing an introduction. Cornwall adds that, like the very first in the series (Mr Midshipman Hornblower), the tenth volume "strictly ... is not a novel but another collection of short stories." Cornwell meditates momentarily on the source of Forester's characterisation of our hero and concludes "that the greatest part of Hornblower sprang from Forester himself ... There is no other way, I am certain, that such a series of novels could have been written." (This also, of course, says much about Cornwell and the source of Sharpe, his own literary creation.)

In the first of the five stories in this volume, we see Hornblower experiencing such new-fangled concepts as paddle steamers, independent South American nations, proper showers, tinned food, millionaires, and cornets. We also witness in this excellent five-star story Hornblower's apparently one-and-only visit to the United States. Later in this book, we also see Trinidad, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, even Venezuela.

In the second story, Hornblower's name is seemingly as synonymous - and as feared - as Drake's had been in the Caribbean over two hundred years earlier. Out at sea and chasing ships, "here were the old symptoms, as recognisable as ever, the quickened heartbeat, the feeling of warmth under the skin, the general restlessness. There was something just below the horizon, vague at present, like a hazy landfall ..." Another good story; it's just a shame that the ending is so predictable.

Pirates and kidnapping are the subjects of the third story. On getting close to the pirates' lair, Forester's tongue partly in cheek, the author writes how our hero "suddenly realized that the almost legendary career of the great Lord Hornblower might have been terminated then and there, that his future biographer might have had to deplore the ironic chance which after so many pitched battles, brought him death at the hands of an obscure criminal in an unknown corner of a West Indian island." (Interestingly, Forester makes an error here in referring to Hornblower's presence at the siege of Riga being "nearly twenty years before": in fact, it was only nine years earlier, in 1812, a fact he notes in the very next story!)

The fourth story is in truth a little far-fetched, featuring an Anglo-Venezuelan millionaire from Bradford with a penchant for yachting in ex-Royal Navy vessels. (Did Forester have someone in mind from his own life?) Final victory to Hornblower is this time reached by a short battle of wits. But in the final story, on his homeward voyage having completed his tour of duty, our hero has nature herself to battle with in the shape of a hurricane. Success this time is partly due to a lovely bunch of coconuts. I kid you not!

That final comment will, I hope, tempt you to satisfy your curiosity. This is a fine set of stories chronicling the high watermark of a brave and clever man's career. If I may appear flippant by referring to him as `our hero', he himself is ever the man of true self-conscious humility: an admiral who is truly admirable.
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on 23 February 1999
This isn't the greatest Hornblower work, but very good none the less. It is a collection of five short stories, all based in the West Indies during Hornblower's tenure as the Commander-in-Chief of Britian's West Indian Fleet. Very similiar to the format used in Mr. Midshipman Hornblower. A very satisfying read.
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on 30 November 2010
Ths is Hornblower at his very best. He's now a Rear Admiral in charge of the West Indian station and the book covers a range of stories. Once again Lady Barbara now Lady Hornblower gets to share the adventure. The series is still without a doubt,the best historical naval fiction available.
0Comment|2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
One of the great rewards of reading all of the Hornblower novels is that C.S. Forester does quite a nice job of developing Hornblower's character and his personal ethics over the decades covered in the books. While young, Hornblower toes the line and is impeccable about appearances. Gradually, he begins to focus on doing justice instead, even if that means violating the rules. Eventually, he violates his own standards on occasion and learns to live with that. By the time readers arrive at Admiral Hornblower in the West Indies, his personal standards are all that matter to him. In particular, you will enjoy comparing how he handled the duel in Mr. Midshipman Hornblower with the fifth section of this book.
Admiral Hornblower in the West Indies is a series of five novellas that cover three chronological years at the end of Hornblower's naval career. His title is now "Rear Admiral Lord Hornblower" and he has quite a small squadron which is mostly engaged in stopping pirates and the recently outlawed slave trade in the West Indies. Each story involves some apparently impossible problem, which Hornblower or someone close to him solves.
The first story involves trying to stop an American ship, while the two nations are at peace, with a smaller, slower vessel. The second story addresses a fast slave ship in neutral waters that Hornblower wants to capture. The third tale touches on Hornblower becoming embroiled in the problems of an escaped pirate crew. The fourth entry looks into trying to remain neutral during the wars of liberation in South America. The final story is an adventure tale involving Lady Barbara and Hornblower and considers the problems of a marine who refuses orders to play his music the way it is written.
Part of the appeal of this book is that it shows the messy way that the challenges of life often evolve. So, what's the best thing to do? It's hard to tell, and circumstances are often different from what they seem. Even though taking action may have long-term negative consequences for oneself, what is the right thing to do? That's the focus here.
What opportunities did you have today to do the right thing? How did you do?
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 30 September 2012
I very much wanted to read these stories is sequence and had great difficulty working out in which order they came so I have added the list here.

I have now read them all and thoroughly enjoyed each one.

I started with 'The young Hornblower Omnibus', this contains 'Mr Midshipman Hornblower' 'Lieutenant Hornblower' and 'Hornblower and the Hotspur'.

'Captain Hornblower' follows on and again has three stories in sequence - 'Hornblower and the Antropos', The Happy return' and 'A Ship of the line'.

'Flying Colours' is next and is one book followed in order by 'The Commodore' and 'Lord Hornblower'.

'Hornblower in the West Indies' is next and again is a collection of stories which fit so well together that they read like one book.

The last is 'Hornblower and the Crisis and consists of three stories, each one highly entertaining, and ending in a rather satisfacory way. The first entitled 'The Crisis' is actually unfinished as the author died while writing it but there is enough to enable the reader to see where it was going.

The whole series is a joy from beginning to end.
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