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Hornblower During the Crisis (Hornblower Saga: Chronological Order #4)

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,242 Ratings  ·  138 Reviews

Although unfinished at the time of C. S. Forester's death, Hornblower During the Crisis delivers a full measure of action at sea-the hallmark of this incomparably exciting series of historical adventures. On the threshold of securing his first post as captain, Hornblower finds himself forced by the exigencies of war to fight alongside a man whom he has unintentionally help

Hardcover, 162 pages
Published January 1st 1967 by Little Brown and Company
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Mr. Matt
My three star rating comes with an enormous asterisk. The author passed away without being able to finish the work. The book - what there is of it - is awesome.

Hornblower leaves the Hotspur. He is promoted to Post-Captain. On the way back to England, he leads a desperate attack on a French frigate. Although the attempt to take the ship fails, some confidential correspondence from the New French Emperor falls into his hands. A couple of weeks later, Hornblower is in Whitehall, meeting with the S
Mike (the Paladin)
According to the information on the book cover this is the book (actually part of a book) that C.S.Forester was writing when he died. It takes place just after Hornblower left the Hotspur.

It's still a good narrative and I enjoyed it as I have all the Hornblower books. We follow him through the adventure that he ran into just after turning the ship over to it's new commander. Then there are some notes that tell us where the book was planned to go along with another short episode.

So, a "fill in" i
Well read & written - what there was of it. This is the last novel Forester wrote. He was working on it & died with only about a third of it finished. His notes & the rest of the series let us know it turned out alright, of course. As audio books, these are generally 8 or 9 parts of 70 minutes each. This book had 3 such parts for the novel & the last part was 2 short stories "Hornblower's Temptation" (AKA 'Widow McCool') and "The Last Encounter". The first should be read after th ...more
Jan 12, 2015 TK421 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This 4 star rating comes with a caveat: The novel was left unfinished. What was written is marvelous. Ernest Hemingway loved C. S. Forester's writings, and I cannot disagree with Papa.
Nancy Ellis
May 24, 2015 Nancy Ellis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's a shame poor Forester died before finishing this was working its way up to a great story! Horatio recovers documents from a French ship which turn out to be of great value to the Royal Navy. The book ends as Horatio agrees to become a spy. What a terrific adventure that would have been! On the up side, Forester left notes as to how he planned to complete the story, so at least we weren't "left hanging" pun intended in relation to the traitor/deserter hanged in one of two sh ...more
Simon Mcleish
Mar 21, 2012 Simon Mcleish rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Originally published on my blog here in November 1998.

This posthumously published collection of Hornblower stories includes the last story Forester wrote, which is an incomplete first draft, and the last Hornblower story in their internal chronology. The incomplete story, which fills the bulk of the book and gives it its title, is Forester filling in a gap in Hornblower's past. A newly appointed captain, he captures a ship and takes possession of secret papers from Napoleon, bearing his new seal
Marion Vermazen
Dec 07, 2015 Marion Vermazen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reread well loved characters
Jan 16, 2016 Brett rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hornblower During the Crisis is an incomplete work as Forester died before finishing it. He probably does get close to half way through the story, and then a page from his notes summarizes how the story would have ended. It is unfortunate that we will never have the complete Hornblower series as it is one of the best series ever written. Forester had a real gift for weaving his stories into actual historical events, and he does that with this story perhaps more than any of the others in the seri ...more
Earl Grey Tea
It was a bit sad to get to the end of this book so quickly. As I was approaching the last pages of the book, I thought that C.S. Forester was setting the story up for book number five. Instead, it turns out that he died before he completed writing this book. At the end of my copy, a brief summary based on Forester’s notes was given to describe the remainder of the story.

Even though this is only book number four in the chronological order of the Hornblower series, it was the last book written. Fo
Mar 12, 2015 Larry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When Forester wrote this acclaimed series, he included prequels and short stories. I choose to read them in chronological order, starting in Hornblower’s youth. Sadly, during the writing of this book, the author died, the book unfinished. The reader was only left with his notes that indicate the ending. Still, the series is wonderful, so you take what you can get…

In this book, Hornblower has now had 10 years of experience but not yet a Post Captain i.e. a ‘real’ Captain. (It sounds like the Roya
I'm not going to give this a star rating, because how can you? This was left incomplete when the author died, and is published along with a half page summary of his notes on how it was to play out.

Instead, I'll just say that I have heard Patrick O'Brien's Aubrey/Maturin series came after the Hornblower series, and is viewed by many as a pale imitation. I don't want to disparage Forester, but having read all 20 (plus an unfinished work due to author's death) from O'Brien, and 3 and a half tales
Oct 17, 2015 Brad rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, own, 2015
The reason this is only 2 stars is because the story wasn't finished. I don't see how other reviewers can give this 4 and 5 stars when only about a 3rd of the story is available with the remaining two thirds summed up in a half page based on the author's notes. There are two short stories about Hornblower in the edition I have that I assume are in all editions that are not in chronological order. I haven't read them yet and probably won't as I'm usually disappointed by stories added on after a s ...more
The other John
The first part of this book an uncompleted story that follows the events of Hornblower and the "Hotspur". Hornblower is between assignments, yet manages to find himself in action against the French. The extant part of the story ends with him receiving an espionage assignment to Spain. Then, to make the book somewhat thicker, the editors added two short stories. "Hornblower's Temptation" is set during his years as a lieutenant aboard the Renown, while "The Last Encounter" occurs on land, during a ...more
May 08, 2015 Lee rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hornblower
The 4th Hornblower book chronologically starts off strong with Hornblower ending his time as Captain of the Hotspur and headed back to London to get a new ship. His tender ship manages to attack and surprise a French vessel where he is recruited to lead a spy mission against the French. Unfortunately the story end here as CS Forrester passed away and they basically summarize what he planned to have happen in the rest of the book. The other parts of the book are two short stories about Lord Hornb ...more
Jul 13, 2011 Phil rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wish Forester would have had time to finish this novel as it would have been another entertaining read. I've just read the whole series in chronological order finishing with this one so it was kind of weird to start reading about his early days again.

The two short stories were a nice way to cap things off. The last story takes us forward to 1848 when Hornblower is 72! There's nothing quite like reading about a character as a young energetic lieutenant in his early late teens/early 20's followed
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Hornblower was the inspiration for Star Trek's Captain James Kirk, as well as Cornwell's Sharpe. Hornblower is more cerebral and socially awkward than Kirk (or O'Brien's Aubrey), more educated and refined than Sharpe. In his own right, Hornblower is certainly an engaging and complex character and the series is an interesting study in leadership, and a fascinating portrait of life at sea in the age of sail.

In the course of reading several books in the series Hornblower begins to feel real in a w
So. That's it. The last one. I'm finished.

Did Crisis feel a bit less polished than the other books or even the short stories included in this volume? Yes, certainly. A bit (esp the part in which he presents his plan to the Secretary to the Navy board). But that doesn't detract from the fact that the fragment we got was still exceptionally good. Had the book been finished it might have become one of my favourite Hornblower stories. Forester does a grat job showing how disconnected Hornblower fee
Will Todd
Oct 17, 2011 Will Todd rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hornblower
This review is for the complete 11-book series of THE HORNBLOWER SAGA by C.S. Forester, which I just finished reading last night.

[Note: 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 follows.]

Actually, I just finished reading the complete series for the second time, the first being as a teenager some 30 years ago.

It's remarkable to me that I have only just this moment realized
Andrew Chmyr
Fine story but I have been spoiled by reading Patrick O'Brian first. Only three stars as the author passed away before the book was finished. There is only a small set of notes that give a reasonable synopsis of what the ending would have been had Forester live to finish it. The inclusion of two small short stories added a bit to this volume but made me wonder if there were more of them out there.
Nov 18, 2014 Peter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent novel-that-could-be. As an unfinished work, this novel nonetheless convinces for the chapters that are finished, almost to the point where it is my favourite Hornblower offering so far. This may be because the action moves away from the sea for a bit, offering a break from repetitive stories at sea, and maybe Hornblower seems a little less grim in this story, displays more initiative. In any case, a short but surprisingly enjoyable read!
Oct 09, 2013 Shari rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book Forester left unfinished at his death in 1966, we have the first 117 pages of what promised to be another to be another rollicking story of adventure ending with the Battle of Trafalgar. The author's notes for the unfinished part of the tale are included.

We also have two short stories, the first being "Hornblower's Temptation." This took place on the Renown, early in Horatio's duty on the vessel, during the court-martial and execution of an Irish rebel who had deserted and gone over to
This slim book, touted as the eleventh of the vast Hornblower library of naval heroics, is hardly worth its purchase price. But it should be read by completists. It contains the short uncompleted novel Forester was writing just prior to his death, ‘Hornblower and the Crisis,’ as well as two short stories ‘Hornblower and the Widow McCool’ and ‘Last Encounter.’ At its abrupt ending, Forester’s notes about the outcome of the plot have been added. Had the story been competed it would have been worth ...more
Oct 30, 2015 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sad to think that Forester did not live to finish it this book, but it was a satisfying story even it it's unfinished state. There are two short stories included, I only read the first- a story that takes place when Hornblower was still a lieutenant. I didn't want to read the second, as it takes place at the end of his career. I haven't read all the books yet and I didn't want any spoilers!
Apr 15, 2010 Dyana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
C.S. Forester died while writing this book so only a fragment of his story is here. (Remember, Forester didn't write this series in sequence.) At the end the editors have included his notes regarding the story's conclusion. To make it into a book they have included two short stories - one about Hornblower in his youth and one during his old age. Anyway, this partial novel is about Hornblower fighting along side a man he has unintentionally helped to court-martial and the aftermath of the battle ...more
Jeff Turner
More of what I expected of Forester. I want to read something besides Hornblower to find out if all of his protagonists are cut from the same cloth. The story is good and the characters are limited, but whether the latter is from a lack of imagination or an intentional attempt to depict the time (or the time as he thought it to have been) I do not know.
Hornblower During the Crisis (Hornblower Saga: Chronological Order #4) by C.S. Forester (Back Bay Books 1967) (Fiction). Hornblower is almost ready to be promoted to captain when he learns that he must fight alongside a man he helped court-martial. Hornblower also tries his hand for the first time at espionage. My rating: 7/10, finished 2005.
Sep 23, 2015 Robert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
September 23, 2015
Over a year later I returned to this book. I wanted to finish the last short story as the last bit of Hornblower after reading Admiral. Unfortunately, I had already read the short story in another book. It was still a fun read.

July 19, 2014
It is hard to imagine that these books were not written in order because the books flow together quiet well when reading them in chronological order. This book is numbered four in the chronology, but the last to be attempted. Even thoug
KJ, Madame Librarian
This was on its way to being my favorite of the novels. Hornblower's painful self-awareness is used to good effect. It's always a double-tragedy when an author dies in the middle of a series, and a certain kind of torture for the reader to get a glimpse of the book that could have been.

AND we never find out what Meadows did to sink Hotspur. Son of a bitch.
Aug 18, 2008 Tom rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Young people looking for adventure
This is the last, and uncomplete, Hornblower book written by C.S. Forester although fourth in chronological order.

Like Hornblower and the Hotspur this book and two short stories is an attempt to fill in the gaps in the saga timeline. It is interesting for fans of the series but probably the least well written.

Hornblower becomes involved in a plan to draw out the French and Spanish navies for a decisive battle (Trafalgar as it turns out). Forester's death in 1966 leaves Hornblower just at the poi
Vickey Foggin
This is not much of a book. Forester died while writing it so it is unfinished and unedited. The premise of Hornblower training to be a spy and setting off on a secret mission does sound cool (and SO late 60's) but it's very short and ends before that story begins. I am surprised it was published at all.
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Cecil Scott Forester was the pen name of Cecil Louis Troughton Smith, an English novelist who rose to fame with tales of adventure and military crusades. His most notable works were the 11-book Horatio Hornblower series, about naval warfare during the Napoleonic era, and The African Queen (1935; filmed in 1951 by John Huston). His novels A Ship of the Line and Flying Colours were jointly awarded t ...more
More about C.S. Forester...

Other Books in the Series

Hornblower Saga: Chronological Order (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Mr. Midshipman Hornblower (Hornblower Saga: Chronological Order, #1)
  • Lieutenant Hornblower (Hornblower Saga: Chronological Order, #2)
  • Hornblower and the Hotspur (Hornblower Saga: Chronological Order, #3)
  • Hornblower and the Atropos (Hornblower Saga: Chronological Order, #5)
  • Beat to Quarters (Hornblower Saga: Chronological Order, #6)
  • Ship of the Line (Hornblower Saga: Chronological Order, #7)
  • Flying Colours (Hornblower Saga: Chronological Order, #8)
  • Commodore Hornblower (Hornblower Saga: Chronological Order #9)
  • Lord Hornblower (Hornblower Saga: Chronological Order #10)
  • Admiral Hornblower in the West Indies (Hornblower Saga: Chronological Order, #11)

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