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The year is 1793, the eve of the Napoleonic Wars, and Horatio Hornblower, a seventeen-year-old boy unschooled in seafaring and the ways of seamen, is ordered to board a French merchant ship and take command of crew and cargo for the glory of England. Though not an unqualified success, this first naval adventure teaches the young midshipman enough to launch him on a series of increasingly glorious exploits. This novel-in which young Horatio gets his sea legs, proves his mettle, and shows the makings of the legend ...
The year is 1793, the eve of the Napoleonic Wars, and Horatio Hornblower, a seventeen-year-old boy unschooled in seafaring and the ways of seamen, is ordered to board a French merchant ship and take command of crew and cargo for the glory of England. Though not an unqualified success, this first naval adventure teaches the young midshipman enough to launch him on a series of increasingly glorious exploits. This novel-in which young Horatio gets his sea legs, proves his mettle, and shows the makings of the legend he will become-is the first of the eleven swashbuckling Hornblower tales that are today regarded as classic adventure stories of the sea.
Posted July 11, 2011
Posted October 21, 2001
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. Readers will be reminded of how embarrassing and emotionally daunting it can be to launch off to operate in the adult world at age 17. Unlike many adventure books, Hornblower serves the dual role of hero and morally-inspired man. It¿s too bad that so much modern fiction chooses to develop the action without developing any character in the process. What moral challenges did you face when you were 17? What were the best decisions you made? What were the worst ones? What have you learned from each experience? What would you do differently today, if put back into the same situation? Set an example for yourself that you can be proud of! Donald Mitchell, co-author of The 2,000 Percent Solution and The Irresistible Growth Enterprise
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Posted July 26, 2011
Posted January 27, 2011
This is the first book in the series of Horatio Hornblower (even though Mr. Forester wrote "Beat To Quarters" first) and I thought it was just super. In this story Hornblower is young man just entering the Royal Navy when the British were fighting the French and the Spanish navies. As a young officer Hornblower learns the difficulties of obeying orders. Fortunately, for Hornblower he has the captain, Captain Pellew, that keeps both a stern and kindly eye on him. If want to understand what its really like to be sailing the oceans on a wooden frigate then this is the book for you. Not only do you get educated but you will find Forester's writing style terrific as he explains the ship in detail,its armament and crew while at the same time weaving a great story. Highly recommend.
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Posted April 19, 2008
If you are considering watching the Hornblower series starring Ioan Gruffudd, I recommend reading this first. I saw the series and decided to read the book they were based off, and was sorely disappointed. The book has little rising action and does not make the 'bad guys' seem bad. They are more of an inconvenience. The climax of each chapter is cut short, and there is not much tension. Most of the characters (other than Hornblower) appear only once or twice and are never seen again. Do not expect the movie series to be like it. It is much more exciting and attention-grabbing.
2 out of 7 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 10, 2011
Posted July 14, 2011
I've read this series many time's and how that it's in ebook form I'll read them all again and again.....
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Posted July 3, 2013
I decided to reread the Hornblower series recently (I had read them a _long_ time ago). As enjoyable as ever. However, I got them in the Nook Book format and I have discovered that three volumes in the series do not appear to be in B&N's ebook format. Why is this? And those three books are in the iTunes ebook format as am omnibus volume(shock, horror).Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 30, 2013
Posted January 1, 2013
Posted November 4, 2012
C.S. Forrester wrote these books in the 1930's about life onboard Brithish Naval vessels in the 18th century. So if you're not at least a little interested in history, adventure stories, or are an aglophile you should probably steer clear of these novels.
That's right, with an "s". There are a total of 12 full stand alone novels and some other misc. books of stories as well. All about the fictional career of one Horatio Hornblower (that's right, the BBC mini-series Hornblower). While they could be read as one and dones that's really not very satisfying. That would be lime eating half a bowl of popcorn...who does that??
They work in chonological order moving through Hornblowers naval career, starting with him as a mid-shipman on a British warship. I won't be giving anything away by saying that each book covers the next promotion of Horatio through the ranks as it's, pretty much, he title of each succesive volume.
I've now read 2 (out of order accidentally). They are a blast. Each chapter is almost a stand alone story within the greater context of the book. Almost as if it had been serialized in some other puplication before being published as a book. I know this was pretty popular back in the day.
C.S. Forrester was obviously the "Tom Clancy" of 18th century naval warfare. You get lots of details on manning and sailing a wooden warship along with weopons and tactics. (Perfect for reading on a nook, you can look stuff up as you want to).
There is also a great deal of insight on the incredible hardships sailors endured as part of everyday life.
These are facinating, gripping, adventure stories...almost science fiction in reverse...how can you go wrong with that!!
Posted May 7, 2012
Posted March 5, 2012
This is the first in the vaunted Horatio Hornblower series by author c.S. Forester. I read one of the other books in the series and thought I should start from the beginning. This book starts with Horatio Hornblower entering the Royal Navy and the wars with France and Spain. Horatio is midshipman and is working his way to becoming a lieutenant. Great writing and a real solid adventure. The history and details about being on a royal navy frigate is very interesting as an add on to the adventure. On to book 2.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 29, 2012
Posted February 13, 2012
Engrossing tales of nautical adventure. Each chapter is a telling of an incident. Easy reading at bedtime...many terms pertaining to parts of the ship are unfamiliar to me but not necessary to the understanding.
I plan to read more of them. Began due to a family member's interest in it (and all things of the sea). Of particular interest to readers 12--20, male.
Posted December 19, 2011
Posted July 29, 2011
I've enjoyed age-of-sail books for over 40 years. C.S. Forester is such a wonderful author. I felt myself to be alongside Mr. Hornblower every step.
I did have trouble with the ebook itself. It would not open on the NookColor. I tried downloading and archiving, and unarchiving, and even sideloading. I tried rebooting, as well. None of the suggestions I've seen mentioned on the boards seemed to help. The only way I could read it, and thus enjoy Mr. Hornblower, yet again, was to use the Nook application for the PC.
So, this only gets 4 stars, instead of 5.
Posted June 2, 2011
If you're a sailing buff then Mr. Forester will take you aboard with Hornblower and give you an excellent tale of the British navy and its desire to protect the oceans from its enemies.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 5, 2011
When you start the Hornblower series this is the first book ou should start with. In this story Horation Hornblower is a 17-year-old and he had just entered the British Royal Navy. This story will give you an insight to the life of a British seaman. Hornblower, being at the lowest officer rank must endure many crueling assignments and torments from other higher ranking officers. So, if you are navy buff, and enjoy historical sea stories, this is one of the great books out there to read.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.