Mr. Midshipman Hornblower (Hornblower Saga: Chronological Order #1)
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...more
Forester had a deft hand with maritime adventure (not all of it dealing with comb...more
This was not the first Hornblower book...not the first written that is, but it is the first in chronological order in Hornbl...more
Forester "began" his series after he'd already brought the narrative to completion by creating a series of prequels years after writing the first books, sort of like what goddamned George Lucas did with Star Wars. However, in this case the creator's craft had improved. The writing in Mr. Midshipman Hornblower has a better flow to it, so it's funny to get into the middle of the entire series to the previously written books and see the work get stiff and lose that ef...more
C. S. Forester's Mr. Midshipman Hornblower (1950) finds himself all too often frustrated in a "savage, merciless world," where he is "very much alone ... depressed, and unhappy." It's a world where very little goes as Hornblower plans: each adventurous episode nearly ends his career – and his life. The young midshipman tempers his exasperation by relying on his keen, mathematical intellect...more
Although you are introduced to Hornblower as a nervous young seventeen-year-old midshipman, the fact that the book is actually comprised of a dozen or so loosely connected short stories means that the flow is rather choppy. If you are coming to the series after seeing the...more
I had a hard time enjoying the first two-thirds of this book. The chapters seemed completely unrelated to each other; no attempt was made at tying the chapters together into a cohesive whole. And I couldn't help comparing the writing style to O'Brian; this boo...more
This novel is a collection of linked short stories showing the...more
I have to say, this is the first "boy/man" book I've read that I really do think would be much more enjoyable for a boy or a man! While Hornblower has some fantastic character qualities and there is some rip-roaring fun adventures (more of these toward the end of this book) there is so much actual description of...more
[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...more
In this book, Horatio is a very young midshipman (although not as young as the wealthy and titled lads who take up that position). He’s been given his first commission aboard the Justinian, where he immediately becomes known as the midshipman who got s...more
His first ship founders, weighed down by wet rice that split the seams. His second is captured by the French. In another episode, he loses his men. Adversity hounds Horatio Hornblower, but nevertheless, he triumphs with each disaster adding to Horatio's confidence and exper...more
Hornblower's story reminds me of what courage really is about and the importance of critical thinking to make wise decisions in life. I admire how Hornblower cling to his own convictions of going through the...more
The eponymous main character has been the result of widespread adulation and adoration in the UK since the books were written. As the series got larger, Hornblower gathered more and more admirers, among them none other than Winston Churchill.
The main character began his journey as a lowly midshipman, with an embarrasing tendency for seasickness.
The narratives can be blat...more
I know they have their problems (e.g. secondary characters are barely developed at all) but I love these books.
Mr. Midshipman Hornblower is the first book chronologically. It is primarily a collection of adventures that happen to Hornblower d...more
As Paul notes, I'd forgotten how technical much of the language is. Lord knows what I made of it when I read it a million times as young shaver, but the benefit of years of experience hasn't made it any clearer, although I do know which sides are Port and Starboard...
The story-telling is taut and set at a 1000 miles an hour, which is to be expected in what is essentially a colle...more
As fun as the stories are, the talent is in the writing. A reader can see this is Forester's passion, the telling of Hornblower, and he does so masterfully. Crisp writing and nautical accurac...more
|Anyone else LIKE the A&E series - despite the weirdly rearranged plots?||5||13||May 23, 2013 11:04pm|