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Lieutenant Hornblower [Paperback]

C S Forester
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 Sep 2011

The nineteenth century dawns and the Napoleonic Wars rage as Horatio Hornblower faces the fury of the French and Spanish fleets combined. Amidst the hissing of wet wads, the stifling heat of white-hot cannonshot and the clamour of a mutinous crew, new Lieutenant Hornblower will need all of his seafaring cunning to overcome his first challenge in independent command on the high seas. And while blood and violence flow thick and fast aboard a beleaguered HMS Renown, the aftermath of war promises intrigue of an entirely different order: Maria, a young señorita, who might just soften the steely resolve of a young lieutenant.

This is the second of eleven books chronicling the adventures of C. S. Forester's inimitable nautical hero, Horatio Hornblower.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; Re-issue edition (1 Sep 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0241955513
  • ISBN-13: 978-0241955512
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.1 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 193,445 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

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.

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Customer Reviews

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply devoured 7 Mar 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Through the eyes of his fellow lieutenant, the rise of Hornblower is witnessed and indeed endured. The very idea that his success could affect his fellow officers is continually approached and discussed through the musings and observations of Lt.Bush. You are never quite sure how Bush feels about his subordinate. Especially as time and again Hornblower makes a decisive and charismatic entrance into the plot. This particular style of writing has left me with a much greater appreciation of our hero, and indeed a desire to read more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Hell was unchained" 27 Oct 2010
By Nicholas Casley TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
`Lieutenant Hornblower', although the second in the series chronologically, was actually the seventh to be written by CS Forester. It was published in 1952.

In the introduction, Bernard Cornwell writes how "Hornblower seems almost too good to be true, but Forester was wise enough to give his hero some quirks", to make him fallible. That fallibility is present in the very first sentence of the novel, where Hornblower's "uniform looked as if it had been put on in the dark and not adjusted since." The viewer of this scene is Lieutenant Bush, as he climbs aboard HMS Renown for the first time as the ship's third lieutenant: Hornblower is the ship's most junior lieutenant, rated fifth.

We are introduced to Lieutenant Bush for the first time in this instalment of the series. Indeed, this is very much Bush's book, for it is written mostly through his eyes. Despite his seniority at the beginning of the voyage, come the end Bush is calling Hornblower `Sir', but it would be unkind of me to reveal how this comes about. Indeed, as for the story itself, without giving too much of the game away, we start in an atmosphere of fear and mutual-suspicion between the captain and his officers on board HMS Renown even before they leave the waters of Plymouth Sound. Forester skilfully uses this kernel to construct a tale of mutinous thoughts and possible actions - one question is put to Hornblower by his fellow officers at many times throughout the book: "How did the captain comes to fall down the hatchway?" - but one that culminates in eventual triumph in the waters of the West Indies. We end the book, though, with a view of the sorry streets of peacetime Portsmouth and the methods Hornblower uses to escape destitution.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Never mind the man, enjoy the action 15 Sep 2013
Format:Paperback
This is an action-packed, boy's-own adventure, lifted above the level of pulp by Forester's deft prose. Hornblower's world is evoked with panache, the skills and traditions of the Royal Navy are described in reverential detail, yet the pace is fast and plot-driven.

Admittedly the structure is a little odd. The story moves from ship-board intrigue, to a marvellous military set piece that occupies the core of the book, to a game of whist. It's a low-key ending that only works when the book is read as part of the series. The final section also provides the first opportunity to feel any real empathy with Hornblower. Previous to this he is too much of a role model, too much the Head Boy to win our hearts. What faults he does display are trivial and merely provide opportunities for him to display an admirable stoicism. It would be nice if, just once, somebody that wasn't Hornblower could have a good idea. Ultimately, it's a testament to the other strengths of this book that it's an enjoyable, engaging read, despite a rather uninteresting central character.
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5.0 out of 5 stars he is my lifetime favorite 2 Oct 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I had read all Hornblower novels in german (again and again), and now i`ll start to read them in english. I love the movie with Gregory Peck, and i love also the Hornblower TV-series with Ian Gruffod.No other maritime book series is as good as the Hornblower series. Not Richard Bolitho (but he is for me the second one), not Jack Aubrey.
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