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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hornblower's human side begins to emerge, 1 Feb 2010
By 
J. Cooper (Sheffield, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Ship of the Line (Paperback)
In book six of the Hornblower Chronicles we begin to see a more human side to Horatio Hornblower. Torn between his love for the elegant Lady Barbara Wellesley and his matrimonial duty towards his plainer wife Maria, Hornblower has certainly been struck by Cupid's arrow.

I enjoy being able to sympathise with characters in a book and I think it's the sign of a truly exceptional writer. You certainly can't help feeling sorry for Hornblower throughout the book as his self-perceived notions of duty and isolation prevent him from enjoying the company of his subordinates. Lady Wellesley and Maria are constantly on his mind and the ever present threat of a court of inquiry loom above his every decision.

Book six sees Hornblower take command of the short staffed Sutherland, perhaps the least undesirable ship of the line in the British Navy! Hornblower has the opportunity to take the fight to the French and the book concludes with an epic climactic sea battle. His mission demands exceptional seamanship and iron nerves, which we know Hornblower certainly possesses.

This is an excellent book; if you have never read a Hornblower novel, start with the first `Mr. Midshipman Hornblower' and work your way through the superb series. Fans of the series will love the sixth, it's packed full of action, emotion and uncertainty, this is a book which needs to be read.

Bring on the seventh!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 19 Sep 2013
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My father read it to me when I was 8/9 years old. I've read it at least twice since. I appreciate it more each time. Forrester sets the standard by which all others, Pope, Kent/Reeman, O'Brian, etc. must be judged. It is better to read them in order, but each can stand alone
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5.0 out of 5 stars A grest sea story, 17 Feb 2013
By 
eric kelk (Bedford, England) - See all my reviews
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C S Forester was such a good writer of sea adventures and the hornblower series should not be
missed by anyone interested inm how the British Navy worked and managed to win so many vioctories
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best Hornblower novels, 30 April 2012
This review is from: A Ship of the Line (Paperback)
Having now read all eleven Hornblower novels, I think this is the one I enjoyed best of all, probably due to there being plenty of action!

I read the novels in sequence and I agree that that is by far the best way to read the series, provided, of course, that you have time! If you don't have time, then this is an excellent novel in its own right.

As for the series, my feeling is that after book 7 the series loses some of the tension and excitement that the earlier books possess. I also find it quite unbelievable that Hornblower appears to have no friends (other than Bush, whom he treats with a certain amount of contempt) and whom clearly doesn't converse with anyone on a social basis for months and years at a time. We never hear anything of his family - we are told in the first book that his father is a doctor, and Maria is totally forgotten, even as the mother of his son, and never referred to again. So notwithstanding the fact that it's a brilliant series of books, it is a series which I consider is flawed, but not to an extent that it prevents one enjoying them!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Read this, 24 July 2014
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Ripping yarn and admixture of action and psychology
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Challenges, Ingenuity, Intense Action and Romantic Thoughts!, 6 May 2004
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
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The books about Horatio Hornblower include some of the most interesting and exciting novels ever written about warfare at sea during the days of sailing ships. Hornblower himself is a charming hero who doubts himself, has many weaknesses, and uses his sense of the odds to calculate the best course to take. He is more like Clark Kent than Superman in that way, but can turn into Superman briefly when the occasion calls for it.
Throughout the prior volumes of this wonderful series, there has been lots of "ship of the line" envy on Hornblower's part as he made do with commanding lesser vessels. In Ship of the Line, Captain Hornblower finds himself getting his heart's desire, a two-decker called the Sutherland.
Complications soon arise when Hornblower discovers that his new admiral has just married Lady Barbara Wellesley, with whom Hornblower is in love. Hornblower and his wife (Maria) meet the admiral and Lady Barbara in a social scene that you will not soon forget.
With too little time to prepare, the Sutherland is soon at sea with an under sized and inexperienced crew. What follows is as action-packed a book as you can imagine. Ship of the Line has a greater variety of difficult and unusual challenges thrown Hornblower's way than any reader could possibly hope for. The details of the conflicts are stunning in their scope and scale. If you are like me, you'll find yourself racing through the pages to see what happens next . . . knowing that there are surely big surprises ahead. As usual, Hornblower's imagination and quick thinking make for enormous differences in the outcomes from what would be expected.
You will enjoy the complications brought about by Lady Barbara's new husband. And Hornblower's thoughts of Lady Barbara intrude throughout the book, like the musings of a love-sick schoolboy.
The book is also interesting because Hornblower is faced with many decisions that could wreck his career, leaving him unemployed at half pay for the rest of his life. While many today would enjoy an early retirement, Hornblower is only happy at sea . . . and in battle. With his strong sense of duty, he makes decisions that may surprise you from time to time, which makes the story all the richer.
If you have never read any of the Hornblower books, I suggest that you start with Mr. Midshipman Hornblower and proceed through in the chronological order of Hornblower's career through the series (not the order in which they were written).
If you do decide to read this book first to see if you like the books, let me caution you that the book ends in such a way that you will probably immediately decide to read the next one. For that reason, try to resist reading Ship of the Line until you have read its six predecessor volumes.
Do you always take time to locate new solutions that others have not tried before? Once you see a possible solution, do you stick with that idea to work through the problems . . . or are you soon discouraged by the first foul wind?
Assume there is a solution vastly better than any you have tried before . . . or have thought of yet. And keep thinking until you find it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 13 Sep 2014
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brilliant book, for more powerful reading
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 30 Aug 2014
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Another great novel by C S Forrester
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars books, 15 Jan 2014
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This review is from: A Ship of the Line (Paperback)
I ordered this book at the request of a friend who does not have access to the internet so unfortunately cannot comment.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ship of the line, 19 Oct 2013
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Rip roaring, fast pace our hero is really an anti hero who lacks self belief and is his sternest critic. C.S Forester writes at a fast pace intertwinning naval knowledge and historical fact into a pacey read. Easy to read, good fun. A few typos in this edition I think they must use voice recognition which is a bit anonying and distracting, otherwise a good holiday read.
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A Ship of the Line
A Ship of the Line by C.S. Forester (Paperback - 1 Sep 2011)
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