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Mr.Midshipman Hornblower [Audiobook] [Audio Cassette]

C.S. Forester , Ioan Gruffudd
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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Book Description

27 April 1998
A shy and lonely 17-year-old, Horatio Hornblower, embarks on a memorable career in Nelson's navy as a midshipman on board H.M.S. Justinian. In action, adventure and battle he is forged into one of the most formidable junior officers in the service.

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Product details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton; Unabridged edition (27 April 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1859989756
  • ISBN-13: 978-1859989753
  • Product Dimensions: 13.4 x 10.6 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,760,144 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

About the Author

C.S. Forester was born in 1899, the son of an English school-teacher. He cut his teeth on a series of military and naval novels before being offered a Hollywood screen-writing job to pen a pirate movie. However when that project went belly up, he turned to writing again with the first of the series that was to make him a worldwide name - THE HAPPY RETURN starring one Horatio Hornblower. He eventually died in 1966.


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Young Hornblower 9 May 2013
By M. Dowden HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
Although other stories featuring Hornblower had already been written by the author in this book he goes back to the beginning of Hornblower's naval career. This book isn't really a novel, it is more a series of short stories, but I should point out that not every chapter in this book is a story by itself, some continue over two chapters.

I first started reading the Hornblower stories when I was about eleven or twelve, when I picked up one that my dad had, and since then have read them all, but not for quite some time, so it is nice to get back to one of them. Personally I think the Hornblower stories are well written and make good reading, although some are obviously better than others, and I also prefer them to the other series' of such books that have come along since then. Horatio Nelson may be our most famous sailor in real life, but when it comes to fiction, then Horatio Hornblower is the greatest sailor to be found in a book.

In this series of stories we follow the young, seventeen year old Hornblower as he boards his first ship. Dealing with bullying he manages to have a duel, command 'prize' boats, and even think about taking his lieutenant exam, as well as acting as a translator among other things. Full of incident and adventure this is well worth reading and will appeal to both the young and old. Hornblower himself has become so popular because he is just like the majority of us, he may feel fear, he has his flaws, but when push comes to shove he does what is necessary, and also tries to always do things honourably.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
Mr. Midshipman Hornblower is the prequel to the Horatio Hornblower series. Written as the sixth book chronologically, it covers the very first times when Hornblower served in His Majesty's navy. My recommendation is that you read it first, so that you can follow Hornblower chronologically along over his career as it develops.
Since much of service aboard a naval vessel is routine, C.S. Forester gives us the high spots of Hornblower's first years in the form of short stories beginning at age 17 when he entered the navy.
Each story is nicely balanced among the following qualities: Hornblower's inexperience; the rapid shift of circumstances that can occur at sea; Hornblower's physical and psychological weaknesses and courage to overcome them; the demands of honor; the importance of thinking clearly, getting good information, and making a swift decision; the benefits of discipline; and the brotherhood of all seaman before the dangers they face.
Those who are interested in the war between Britain and France after the French Revolution in 1789 will find the material to bring those events to life in a vivid way. I learned a lot about the details of naval warfare as it was conducted then.
The weakness of most short story writers is that their plots and resolutions often become overly predictable. These short stories are predictable only in their originality and unpredictability. As such, I found myself drawn forward, wondering what rabbit Forester would next pull out of the hat.
This is just the sort of book that I loved to read as a teenager, and I could feel the years peeling off as I raced through the stories. This book would be a wonderful gift to a teenager who likes adventure tales based on historical events.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Fun! 5 Mar 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I suppose there must have been a time when terms such as "mizzen-mast" and "top-sail", and a whole load of nautical expressions, were quite normal parlance and every boy dreamt of being a captain of a great wooden ship sailing the seas. I can understand that now. "Midshipman Hornblower" is entertaining and engrossing. It is actually ten short(ish) stories tracking the adventures of young Hornblower from his first day on a ship (a sort of floating Rugby School with its own equivalent of Flashman) to his first responsibility taking a prize back to England and all the way to his capture and imprisonment by the Spaniards. Stirring stuff! Hornblower is such a neat, clean-living, courageous young man - an example to us all.
The thing that really struck me was the use of language. There were just enough differences to make me think how much the written word had changed since I was born (the book was written around 1949). It actually felt more grown-up and the vocabulary seemed better educated... belonging to another world yet, compared to some writers in the 50s, still approachable and undated. Strange...
I'll be reading the rest of the series, of that I'm quite certain.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good introductory book. 6 May 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A good swashbuckling read...though a little fragmented. The book is made up of a number of short stories and needs to be read as a preliminary to the later novels.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It was a good tale of swashbuckling adventure. 31 May 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I found it to be an inspiring book that gives a deep insight into eighteenth century naval life. I especially enjoyed the build up to the duel of honour against midshipman Simpson.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
Mr. Midshipman Hornblower is the prequel to the Horatio Hornblower series. Written as the sixth book chronologically, it covers the very first times when Hornblower served in His Majesty‚€™s navy. My recommendation is that you read it first, so that you can follow Hornblower chronologically along over his career as it develops.
Since much of service aboard a naval vessel is routine, C.S. Forester gives us the high spots of Hornblower‚€™s first years in the form of short stories beginning at age 17 when he entered the navy.
Each story is nicely balanced among the following qualities: Hornblower‚€™s inexperience; the rapid shift of circumstances that can occur at sea; Hornblower‚€™s physical and psychological weaknesses and courage to overcome them; the demands of honor; the importance of thinking clearly, getting good information, and making a swift decision; the benefits of discipline; and the brotherhood of all seaman before the dangers they face.
Those who are interested in the war between Britain and France after the French Revolution in 1789 will find the material to bring those events to life in a vivid way. I learned a lot about the details of naval warfare as it was conducted then.
The weakness of most short story writers is that their plots and resolutions often become overly predictable. These short stories are predictable only in their originality and unpredictability. As such, I found myself drawn forward, wondering what rabbit Forester would next pull out of the hat.
This is just the sort of book that I loved to read as a teenager, and I could feel the years peeling off as I raced through the stories. This book would be a wonderful gift to a teenager who likes adventure tales based on historical events.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Ripping read
Great read - really instructive. Language is getting a bit old but the story just never fades. Very highly recommended.
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars A superb whiff of nostalgia
Well written, with authority and respect for the era in which the book is set. Many young authors would be well served by reading this book to learn story construction.
Published 4 months ago by Mr C
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Read.
Good read - can't wait to read the others in the series - will be buying them as soon as possible.
Published 6 months ago by L. R. Loveday
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read
If you like naval stories you will enjoy this one, interesting and believable, sets the scene for all the series
Published 10 months ago by Mr. Sidney J. Wells
4.0 out of 5 stars Good fun
Well written and expertly put together. More a series of short stories, but they move on from one another well enough.
Published 10 months ago by LJ
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable
Great value item, purchased for my elderly father who's sight and concentration are failing. I believe he's enjoyed this very much.
Published 11 months ago by Bruce
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb book, lived it.
I have really enjoyed reading Hornblower, it's the first time I've read C.S Forester, and it's regrettable it's taken so long to discover a truly great story teller. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great stuff
A good swashbuckling yarn in typical CS Forester style.
Much better than "Lord Hornblower" which is much more political and not wooden ships fighting.
Published 19 months ago by Micky
3.0 out of 5 stars not that enamoured
ok but not as exciting as the sharpe books. might try the next in the series but not too bothered. devoured the sharpe books one after the other
Published 19 months ago by Graham Lemon
1.0 out of 5 stars Beware - very badly abridged edition. Very disappointing.
Ioan Gruffudd is the modern face of Hornblower and he sounds great on these audio-books. The problem is that they are heavily abridged and really badly so. Read more
Published on 25 Sep 2010 by Greg Henderson
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