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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply devoured
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...
Published on 7 Mar. 2001

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars A good read.
Hornblower is a reasonably well drawn character. For anyone who likes naval action/history the books are a must read
Published 11 days ago by Tony


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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
This review is from: Lieutenant Hornblower (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 (Plymouth, Devon, UK) - See all my reviews
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`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.

Along the way, Forester provides a convincing portrayal of the assault on the Spanish fort on Santo Domingo, a portrayal ripe with all its attendant chaos and adrenaline. And Forester is just as good describing the heat of battle at sea, when "Hell was unchained, and the smoke of hell was eddying ..." Not sure, though, that Forester was right to talk of "Red Revolutionary notions" in 1802, however much they may have been in his mind at the beginning of the Cold War in 1952.

I think this is one of the most enjoyable adventures in the Hornblower series as we see how the young lieutenant grows in stature to become the captain and then admiral of later years. Much of his character is, of course, already formed by the time the novel opens, but we also see how his natural talents as a strategist and as a leader of men begin to be recognised by his fellow officers and, more importantly, by the powers that be.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Lively, entertaining read, 9 Oct. 2011
By 
Mark Pack (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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Though not written second, in chronological order Lieutenant Hornblower is the second of C.S. Forester's novels about a British naval hero who was in many ways the James Bond of his time. The novels had their period of great success and were well-thought of by many, with Ernest Hemingway saying that, "I recommend Forester to every literate I know".

Patrick O'Brian's subsequent similar maritime novels, with their expert nautical detail, showed up somewhat the limitations of Forester's style which is at times reminiscent of JK Rowling - good at telling a pacy story, less good at impressing with technical literary finesse. Yet for all the occasionally clunky phrases in Lieutenant Hornblower, there are also some moments of skilled authorship, as when Forester talks of alcohol being an essential part of the English seaman - just like his nose and ears.

Though the series of Hornblower books do lead one onto another as Hornblower rises through the ranks, they are freestanding and Lieutenant Hornblower works well as a stand-alone, lively drama which, fittingly, does not end at a moment of maritime confrontation but goes on to show how those rare events were the expectations to the usually rather more humdrum life of a naval officer, especially one concerned where their next posting might come from.

The book is fairly accurate in its historical setting in the early nineteenth century, making it not only an enjoyable pacy read but also a quick history primer about the state of England during the middle of the wars with France.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Never mind the man, enjoy the action, 15 Sept. 2013
This review is from: Lieutenant Hornblower (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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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Management Lessons that All Could Use!, 2 July 2004
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
As a long-time fan of the Hornblower series, I had not read Lieutenant Hornblower for many years. Imagine my surprise upon rereading this outstanding book when I discovered that Lieutenant Hornblower is a remarkable primer on management!
If you have not yet read Mr. Midshipman Hornblower, I strongly urge you to read that book before starting Lieutenant Hornblower. Lieutenant Hornblower is written from the perspective of one of Hornblower's superior officers, a senior lieutenant named William Bush. Bush is a master at getting a ship to perform under all circumstances, but has placed little emphasis on how to defeat the enemy. Without the background of Mr. Midshipman Hornblower, I'm afraid you will miss some of the nuances of what the author is suggesting in the book.
The book opens with Hornblower as the newest and most junior lieutenant on the Renown, a British ship of war about to head off on a lengthy cruise to parts as not yet disclosed. Captain Sawyer immediately begins accusing his lieutenants and midshipmen of conspiring to undermine his authority. At the same time, Captain Sawyer cannot do enough for his crew, including extra grog rations. Discipline is rapidly diminishing. What's a young lieutenant to do with a captain who isn't getting the job done? You will find the story fascinating if you imagine being a newly appointed general manager of a small division in a company where the CEO is running the firm into the ground. If the firm goes down, so do you!
Later, the ship finds itself under difficult orders, orders which if followed in the usual way will lead to death, destruction, and failure. What do you do now as a junior person in the situation? You certainly cannot dictate . . . but perhaps you might tactfully suggest alternatives. This circumstance recurs in the novel, and I draw your attention to the adroit way that Hornblower combines respect, a sense of his place, and timely suggestions to provide the same leadership that he might have applied as captain.
Students of game theory will also be fascinated by the ways that Mr. Forester included those kinds of concepts into the decisions that Hornblower makes.
In the end of the book, Hornblower has fallen on hard times. How he responds is a lesson to us all. He sees adversity as a temporary setback that will be redressed in due time by a shift in circumstances to match the underlying odds, not unlike sticking to good strategy for winning at cards. A strategy may not always win, but an effective one will win more often than not and will be profitable to pursue (such as card-counting in playing blackjack).
Hornblower also finds himself the potential beneficiary of kindness from friends. You will be interested to see how he is affected and how he responds.
Lead from wherever you are!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Management Lessons that All Could Use!, 15 July 2004
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
As a long-time fan of the Hornblower series, I had not read Lieutenant Hornblower for many years. Imagine my surprise upon rereading this outstanding book when I discovered that Lieutenant Hornblower is a remarkable primer on management!
If you have not yet read Mr. Midshipman Hornblower, I strongly urge you to read that book before starting Lieutenant Hornblower. Lieutenant Hornblower is written from the perspective of one of Hornblower's superior officers, a senior lieutenant named William Bush. Bush is a master at getting a ship to perform under all circumstances, but has placed little emphasis on how to defeat the enemy. Without the background of Mr. Midshipman Hornblower, I'm afraid you will miss some of the nuances of what the author is suggesting in the book.
The book opens with Hornblower as the newest and most junior lieutenant on the Renown, a British ship of war about to head off on a lengthy cruise to parts as not yet disclosed. Captain Sawyer immediately begins accusing his lieutenants and midshipmen of conspiring to undermine his authority. At the same time, Captain Sawyer cannot do enough for his crew, including extra grog rations. Discipline is rapidly diminishing. What's a young lieutenant to do with a captain who isn't getting the job done? You will find the story fascinating if you imagine being a newly appointed general manager of a small division in a company where the CEO is running the firm into the ground. If the firm goes down, so do you!
Later, the ship finds itself under difficult orders, orders which if followed in the usual way will lead to death, destruction, and failure. What do you do now as a junior person in the situation? You certainly cannot dictate . . . but perhaps you might tactfully suggest alternatives. This circumstance recurs in the novel, and I draw your attention to the adroit way that Hornblower combines respect, a sense of his place, and timely suggestions to provide the same leadership that he might have applied as captain.
Students of game theory will also be fascinated by the ways that Mr. Forester included those kinds of concepts into the decisions that Hornblower makes.
In the end of the book, Hornblower has fallen on hard times. How he responds is a lesson to us all. He sees adversity as a temporary setback that will be redressed in due time by a shift in circumstances to match the underlying odds, not unlike sticking to good strategy for winning at cards. A strategy may not always win, but an effective one will win more often than not and will be profitable to pursue (such as card-counting in playing blackjack).
Hornblower also finds himself the potential beneficiary of kindness from friends. You will be interested to see how he is affected and how he responds.
Lead from wherever you are!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Lieutenant Hornblower - The Second Installment!, 27 May 2009
By 
J. Cooper (Sheffield, England) - See all my reviews
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The next adventure concerning Mr Hornblower involving a mad captain, indecisive senior lieutenants, Spanish forts, temporary peace with France and whist played with senior officers!

It's a whirlwind of an adventure, very enjoyable and well worth the read.

The section regarding Hornblower's whist games was perhaps slightly too long, but that was the only negative part of the book for me and certainly does not detract from the overall excitement.

It's everything one would expect from a period naval drama and sets the scene marvellously!

Buy it, enjoy it and move on to book number three.
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5.0 out of 5 stars he is my lifetime favorite, 2 Oct. 2012
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Forester was a great writer about the British navy during the 18th, 17 Aug. 2014
By 
eric kelk (Bedford, England) - See all my reviews
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Another chapter in the life of Horatio Hornblower from Midshipman to Admiral by a master story-teller. C. S. Forester was a great writer about the British navy during the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries who I have always found interesting and entertaining.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed, 14 Dec. 2014
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This is the second book in the set that I have read and really enjoyed it. Can not wait to carry on reading the rest of the books.
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Lieutenant Hornblower
Lieutenant Hornblower by C S Forester (Paperback - 1 Sept. 2011)
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