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Lieutenant Hornblower


Re The psychological and social situation created by a captain s madness in the claustrophobic confines of a sail powered warship is masterfully evoked Subtle social commentary about the characters highly class conscious world adds depth to the story line and we re also treated to a Regency novel of manners with a naval flavor in places There s often a high degree of narrative tension and suspense here Perhaps the main drawback of the book is the author s tendency to assume readers know a great deal about technical matters both those of early 19th century ship handling and the card game whist than this one does Though I could gather that the latter has some similarity to games like Rook which I ve played enough that I could get a tolerable sense of what was going on at the card table I could get a broad basic sense of the physical maneuvering of the ship in battle but that was about it and I have no real clue about the meaning of some of the nautical vocabulary though I could deduce definitions of some of the terms For all that though this was still a very satisfying read I ll definitely be continuing with the series for now though I don t plan to read all of the chronologically later books All the editions seem to think they re short books on tape tied to the TV moviesoh wellThis exceptional series continues with Lieutenant Hornblower and his move to another ship as 5th Lieutenant The Captain being a paranoid schizophrenic doesn t help a lotAfter adventure danger deathintrigue Hornblower gains promotion to Commander nfortunatly the promotion isn t confirmed before peace breaks out Hornblower must pay back the difference in his Lieutenant s pay and the Commander s pay he d started to receive before he reverts back to that level Once he s ashore with no ship ain t peace awful he s reduced to making a living through card playing wistBut happily the peace doesn t hold irony huh and he s called back to navy confirmed as a Commander of a sloop of warOf course he also met his soon to be first wife while he was on shore Lieutenant Hornblower is probably my favourite of the saga although like all books it is not without its flaws Nevertheless it has much for the enthusiast to admire It was Forester s seventh Hornblower book and he was hitting his stride The nautical detail is excellent and at its heart is a gripping adventure The narrative is set on ship of the line which has been sent to clear out a nest of Spanish privateers operating in the Caribbean This story is well constructed with enough triumphs and disasters to satisfy In addition there is a second plot line charting the conflict between a paranoid captain and his officers At the resolution of the novel a final section is added set several months in the future back in Britain during the Peace of Amiens 1802What I admire most in the book is the change in narrator For the rest of the series we see the world through Hornblower s eyes but for this book and only this book our perspective moves to that of Lieutenant Bush Bush who is solid and reliable but a little lacking in imagination is meeting Hornblower for the first time He will go on to become his loyal sidekick As a writer I admire the audacity of what Forester "has done and as a reader i appreciate "done and
As A Reader I Appreciate 
a reader I appreciate he pulls it off But then he goes on to se this different perspective to tease the reader Without giving any spoilers the book contains a death at which Hornblower is likely to have been present but Bush was not It is a mystery that is never resolved and hangs in the air like a shadow across the growing relationship between the two men I do Have Two Problems With two problems with book however neither of which are huge One is a persistent issue with Forester villains which cuts across all his work naval or otherwise They are always rather two dimensional with no redeeming features which makes them less plausible and ltimately less terrible If I was editing this book I would want to see some back story to explain their personality or a moment of relief letting some light contrast the shade Even Hitler liked dogs and childrenThe second issue flows from the way that the series was constructed Although this is the second book chronologically it is actually the seventh one written It was published in 1952 nearly twenty years after The Happy Return called Beat to The White Paternoster, And Other Stories uarters in the US which was produced as a standalone novel Forester wrote the second half of the series first and can now be seen to be trying to reverse engineer the story that precedes The Happy Return This is a tall order He needs Hornblower to befriend Bush get promoted twicenwisely marry have two children and be senior enough to be in command of a frigate all in a modest few years The result is the curious final section of the book that has no real relevance to what has gone before except when you realise that it is all about setting Laid up what is to comeBut don t let those two last points put you off Lieutenant Hornblower is still a cracking book which handsomely rewards anyone s time in reading it This book picksp a short span after the first book Now Hornblower is the junior Lieutenant on the HMS Renown a ship of the line This book is a very marked departure from the start of the Hornblower series And that is a very good thingFirst the story is NOT told from Hornblower s perspective Rather the reader experiences the story and Hornblower s growth via a senior Lieutenant Mr Bush Normally in series of this ilk we follow the same general perspective throughout eg in the Sharpe series we follow Sharpe Forester shakes this The World Rushed in up by viewing Hornblower from a third party s point of view The result is fantastic In the first book Hornblower can come across as a bit of a straight edge He tries earnestly to do the right thing Always Seen from the eyes of Mr Bush Hornblower appears cold calculating and just a tad manipulative It makes me wonder how the main characters in my favorite books appear to the minor characters There s a mind benderNext whereas the first book was a collection of adventures that collectively addedp to the first book in the Hornblower saga this was very much one story And nlike the first book it is not light hearted The HMS Renown is not a happy ship Captain James Sawyer is a paranoid schizophrenic. E fortunes of war between Napoleon and Spain Enduring near mutiny bloody hand to hand combat with Spanish seamen deck splintering sea battles and the violence and horror of life. Excellent I ve never read any of this series before this one is the second chronologically but the sixth published Not the place to start but my library doesn t have the first chronologically My edition is an audio by Chivers Audiobooks read by Christian Rodska Very well readI wanted to read these because I really liked David Weber s Honor Harrington series everyone including the author agree that it is a direct homage to the Hornblower series I ve also heard it s similar in some ways to Bernard Cornwell s Sharpe series which I like plus a lot of good things about it over the years Somehow I never got around to reading it thoughI m always a little worried when I read a classic So many have a great story but the writing turns me off Not in this case although I m surprised There were times the description was very intricate didn t really move the story forward yet it was always interesting For instance there was a problem with a cannon touch hole I was treated to an excruciatingly detailed description of how it was fixed It worked It helped build the tension certainly fit into the story although I m still not positive how Forester managed to pull that off From most other authors it would have seemed like pure fillerThe story itself was very engaging could have stopped at several points leaving me fulfilled or wanting Forester took it a lot further along than I would have guessed or wanted if asked but again it worked well much to my amazement I guess a truly good author can break a lot of rules keep me engagedI m definitely going to get others in this series listen to them I love all the Hornblower stories and movies too I recommend them highly to all readers who enjoy a rollicking sea story of old written by a consummate author His books are classics and the movies exciting and really enjoyable Not a lot of depth but enormous fun Get your horn blown in this book of complete seaman insanity Yes I do plan on riding the seamen jokes long after they re played outOur hero Horatio Hornblower is put in a tough position with his wardroom messmates The captain of the HMS Renown has gone off his rocker and thinks his officers are plotting against him They re notwell not at first They re pushed into it when things come to a head and it becomes apparent the captain s erratic behavior is endangering the ship The lieutenants gather for a meeting to talk over the situation in a meeting that could be construed as mutinous And that s when things take a surprising twist Lieutenant Hornblower is a different kind of Hornblower book in that its narrated by Bush Hornblower s bestbud This shift in the sual POV was probably done for a couple reasons One Bush leads a pivotal attack and two Hornblower is caught in a tough situation affecting his financial and married life which would be easier to show through someone else s eyes rather than hearing it from the source An Englishman of that period circa 1800 would never be so indelicate as to discuss such intimate details While this is the second book in the series it s actually the seventh book Forester wrote about Hornblower s career in the navy The series originally started with Hornblower having already obtained the rank of captain After Forester took the series to its natural resolution he went back and did a bunch of preuels to fill in the details of his hero s early days I bring this He Taught Me to Hope (Darcy and the Young Knights Quest up only because the writing is affected by it This book is nuanced than those preceding it Forester s plotting and character development improved as he went along The first half of the series flows and feels old shoe comfortable while the latter half feels stilted andtilitarian The whole thing especially this book is ite enjoyable so that s just a minimal word to the wise In the first chronologically the order in which the books were actually written is chronologically the order in which the books were actually written is book of the Hornblower series Mr Midshipman Hornblower readers learn that he was promoted to lieutenant during the Spanish captivity from which he s released at the end of that book This book picks p about three years later which brings A House Built out of Stone us to about 1800 since his date of rank is said to be August 1797 when he s the most junior lieutenant aboard the HMS Renown They re about to set sail from Englandnder sealed orders but as the reader ickly learns that s not the scariest "part of the situation That would be the fact that the captain has fallen prey "of the situation That would be the fact that the captain has fallen prey a state of paranoid mental disturbance which is steadily getting worse rather than better The naval regulations of that day give him practically absolute powers on a ship at sea and don t provide any regular channels for removing him on the basis of insanity Anyone who s read Herman Wouk s 1951 novel The Caine Mutiny or like me his subseuent play The Caine Mutiny Court Martial A Drama In Two Acts will see enough similarity between Capt Sawyer and Capt eeg to suspect that the latter provided a model for the former But Forester is his own writer and this isn t a Wouk knock off the two authors develop their stories in distinctively different waysSome of my basic comments in my review of the first book apply here as well But this book is much less episodic it has a continuous linear plot that holds interest throughout Another significant difference is that Hornblower isn t the viewpoint character here that lot falls to the ship s third officer Lt William Bush This means we see Hornblower through other eyes than his own and aren t inside his head at any point a narrative strategy that not only gives s some distance from the main character and fleshes out another perspective but allows Forester to shroud a key plot point with deliberate ambiguity and mystery You ll learn what I mean if you read the book "IMO This Was A Shrewd Move On The Author S "this was a shrewd move on the author s The ethical estions subtly raised or implied here could provoke a lot of serious discussion Forester doesn t imply any viewpoint about the matter leaving it to the readers to formulate their ownForester shows himself to be a real master of characterization here especially with Hornblower and Bush who are very distinctive but eually real personalities with their own virtues and faults but with other characters as well He does action scenes well and realistically with the necessary but not gratuitous go. In this gripping tale of turmoil and triumph on the high seas Horatio Hornblower emerges from his apprenticeship as midshipman to face new responsibilities thrust pon him by th.
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He believes the officers are conspiring against him Hornblower and the other officers are ironically left with no other option than to conspire against him a capital offense nder the articles of war Throughout the entire book the threat of a court martial and hanging looms over Hornblower Rest assures despite the pressure Hornblower nevertheless manages to distinguish himself Again one of the things that I like about this story thus far is the adversity that Hornblower faces Unlike some Age of Sail or Age of Sail in Space that I ve read bad things happen to him Nothing comes easy At the end of the book he winds Thin Blue Smoke up on the edge of poverty in London following peace and the Treaty of Amiens I like that It makes the whole thing feel authentic Color me impressed Five starts out of five Lieutenant Hornblower may be the name of the book and he s certainly what it s about but there s a fine little twist that begins on the first page and is sustained throughout Lieutenant Hornblower is not from his point of viewInstead of experiencing HMS Renown s time in the Caribbean through Lieutenant Hornblower s eyes we see the Renown s mission to Santo Domingo from the perspective of one of Horatio s superior officers Lieutenant William Bush Bush a solid steadynimaginative Lieutenant meets Hornblower in the earliest stages of the novel and everything we know about the title character comes through the filter of Bush At first Bush finds Hornblower fascinating then he feels a twinge of jealousy then some fear when he wonders if Hornblower is responsible for maiming Captain Sawyer and putting him permanently out of commission then wonder at Hornblower s self control then some admiration before a return of anger and finally a deep respect and devoted friendship for the junior officer who is destined to become his superiorIt s an interesting move for an author of a series to make but CS Forester s se of Bush in Lieutenant Hornblower is effective in a couple of pragmatic ways First Forester controls exactly what he wants s to know about Hornblower second this withheld knowledge leaves Restoration us always wondering along with Bush whether Hornblower really did have anything to do with the injuring of Captain Sawyer and maybe even his murder during the retaking of Renown from a pack of captured privateers third it givess the very important experience of seeing how the men who follow Hornblower subordinates and superiors alike come to lay their lives on the line for such a distant arrogant mysterious and precocious young manLieutenant Hornblower isn t without its flaws though It s nautical bits seem to be a bit of annoyance to the author who ses them primarily as a way to move the reader from one nasty battle or action set piece to the next This peculiarity makes it feel like something out of the Sharpe series Bernard Cornwell s anti heroic rifleman than Patrick O Brian s superior AubreyMaturin series Which isn t to say that Cornwell and Forester are bad far from it but I d much rather eat a perfectly cooked steak than overcooked hamburgersThen again when steak isn t available burger is a satisfying substitute And I ve know doubt I will be eating burgers again very soon This review is for the complete 11 book series of THE HORNBLOWER SAGA by CS Forester which I just finished reading last nightNote Individual books have individual star ratings mostly 5 star a few 4 star but the descriptive review will be the "same for each and encompass the entire series as followsActually I just finished reading the complete series for "for each and encompass the entire series as followsActually I just finished reading the complete series for second time the first being as a teenager some 30 years agoIt s remarkable to me that I have only just this moment realized that my own timeline regarding the two readings corresponds almost exactly to the age progression experienced by the main character in the course of these 11 novelsIt s a 30 year journey nlike any other I have ever taken in books full and deep and satisfyingThis is the epic saga of fictional British naval hero HORATIO HORNBLOWER who goes from a 17 year old midshipman to a 46 year old admiral during the golden age of sail which encompasses the Napoleonic Wars of the early 19th centuryI ll list the 11 books in chronological order not the order they were written which is the best way I believe to read them MR MIDSHIPMAN HORNBLOWER LIEUTENANT HORNBLOWER HORNBLOWER AND THE HOTSPUR HORNBLOWER DURING THE CRISIS HORNBLOWER AND THE ATROPOS BEAT TO UARTERS SHIP OF THE LINE FLYING COLOURS COMMODORE HOWNBLOWER LORD HORNBLOWER ADMIRAL HORNBLOWER IN THE WEST INDIESI ve read other sea faring novels but to me Forester earns the crownWhyMany reasons but I ll list just three1 All the rousing action you could ask for in a well paced adventure series2 coupled with a complex main character This is the true secret of the Hornblower books that Hornblower himself is not some one dimensional infallible faultless hero On the contrary he is filled with self doubt and doesn t always choose the best course especially in personal matters But by building the main character this way Forester allows you to recognize empathize and eventually care deeply about him rooting for his success rather than merely expecting it It s this complex characterization that complements and actually allows for the heroics of the plot because it all comes at a priceOne price is so high that as a teenager I couldn t believe that Forester had actually done it I can t go into detail because this is a spoiler free review but something happens that is so devastating that literally for entire books afterwards I kept expecting
Forester To Make Amends But 
to make amends But doesn t happen And finally as an older adult knowing it will happen knowing there will be no reprieve I realize Forester was saying This is the price of war3 The Language of Sailing Ships I m not nautically minded and there is much 120 Jobs That Wont Chain You to Your Desk use of nautical language in these books But rather than being annoyed I had a very different reaction First I learned a few things But much importantly I also grew to appreciate the language itself whether Inderstood its technical details or not To me it became like poetry Or even musicAnd I loved itAll 11 booksIt s an investment to be sureBut for those able bodied a wonderfully entertaining journey awaitsShould you set sailAye aye. On the fighting ships of the Napoleonic Wars the young lieutenant distinguishes himself in his first independent command He also faces an adventure Taken by the Pterodactyl (Dinosaur Erotica) uniue in his experience Mari.

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