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Flying Colours (A Horatio Hornblower Tale of the Sea) Paperback – 1 Sep 2011

4.7 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (1 Sept. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0241955491
  • ISBN-13: 978-0241955499
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 28,854 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Book Description

Read by the star of the new TV series, another of C.S. Forester's famous Hornblower novels on abridged audio for the first time. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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.


Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 5 May 2004
Format: Paperback
Flying Colours is the most introspective of the Hornblower novels. For those who want to understand who Hornblower really is, this book is probably the most revealing in the Hornblower series. Unlike the other stories which contain lots of naval action at sea, this book occurs mostly on the land of Spain and France, and the rivers of France. As a result, those who like the Hornblower novels for their battles and action will find this book to be one of the least satisfying in the series.
We all know ourselves best when we face problems. After the many successes in his career, Captain Hornblower ended up in Ship of the Line fighting an impossible battle between his ship, the Sutherland, and four French vessels. Taking horrible casualties, Hornblower struck his colours and surrendered at the end of that book. Flying Colours opens with Hornblower in a Spanish prison, with the expectation that he will be tried and executed for having flown French colours as camouflage to aid an attack. His wife, Maria, is pregnant in England. Hornblower also yearns for Lady Barbara Leighton, the wife of his admiral, whom readers met in Beat to Quarters and saw again in the beginning of Ship of the Line. Hornblower is in despair as he visits the dying and imprisoned sailors who are in the same garrison.
Many troubling questions go through Hornblower's mind. How well will he face death before a firing squad? Will his weak body betray him?
His first lieutenant, William Bush, is also to be tried. At the end of Ship of the Line, Bush lost the lower part of one leg. Will Bush survive the injury and trial?
What will happen to his wife and unborn child after he is dead?
Can he resist sweet temptation, when it is offered?
Can he escape death by firing squad?
Read more ›
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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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Bought this for my brother to read again after many years as he considers it,,along with The Happy Return,and
A Ship Of The Line,the two immediate predecessors to Flying Colours as being the finest books of it's kind you
can read today.Both were written in quick succession just before the world war and it was many years before the
other books appeared and although they are good,the first three are best.
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This is another in the series of Hornblower and another that seems to echo the life of Nelson to some degree, the other being the 'Bolitho' series by Alexander kent (Douglas Reeman) These books echo the filth and tradition, the harshness and the love of the Royal Navy back when we ruled the world and death to all those who dared to try and change that. Sadly, I actually prefer the Bolitho series which is why I gave this a four star rating as opposed to a five but none the less, a very good read.
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Book seven of the Hornblower saga!

This is a truly excellent book with far-reaching consequences for both Lieutenant Bush and Captain Hornblower. If you are reading this review then you have either stumbled across the Hornblower books or are a Hornblower fan who has not yet read book seven. If you have stumbled across this review, start with `Mr. Midshipman Hornblower', the first book in the series which follows the early humble beginnings of Hornblower as a young man.

What should seasoned fans expect with this book?

Well, the human side to Hornblower which we saw developing in the sixth book `A Ship of the Line' has truly come to the fore in book seven. Hornblower is portrayed as a flawed individual instead of the usual isolated automaton. Human emotions such as regret, envy, anxiety and helplessness feature strongly as part of Hornblower's personality, as the epic events begin to take their toll on the Captain.

I was particularly pleased when Hornblower finally realised the true meaning of friendship with Bush and Brown as their adventures progressed. C. S. Forester was an exceptional writer and he certainly ensured the reader experienced a close affinity and connection with the main protagonist. This is felt most keenly in book seven, as you certainly care for the Captain and his small crew.

Fans will not be disappointed with book seven.

Book seven is written from a different angle than the previous six books, but this helps to keep the reader interested as their beloved character strays away from his usual environment and is thrown into a hopeless situation.

Will Hornblower and Bush make it this time?

I'm not telling!
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