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

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  2,353 ratings  ·  98 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...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published April 18th 1990 by Back Bay Books (first published 1967)
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Napoleonic War fiction
27th out of 78 books — 83 voters
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Community Reviews

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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...more
Simon Mcleish
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...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...more
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 though the book is incomplete, we do get to see read a complete arch and teased with another. This book also contains two short stories, one told about a young Horatio the other an old one. I could not bring myself to read the last short story. I will wait until I have...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
Will Todd
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...more
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...more
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
Aug 18, 2008 Tom rated it 2 of 5 stars
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...more
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.
Mark Wilson
An exciting if frustrating entry to the series. Chronologically the fourth volume, it was left unfinished when the author died. With notes to show where it would have gone, the part that remains is typical and terrific Hornblower. Well recommended!
May 14, 2008 Curtiss rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone
I recorded all of C.S. Forester's Hornblower books in 50-55 minute episodes for Golden Hours, my local radio service for blind and reading-impaired listeners. Too bad I didn't make CD copies for myself, since the radio station broadcast the tape versions and then erased them too reuse.

I guess I'll have to re-record them for Golden Hours and this time keep a copy.

I have read and re-read the entire Hornblower series over a dozens times each, three times aloud: once from the upper bunk to my brothe...more
May 12, 2010 Lindsey rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: TNG Fans
Recommended to Lindsey by: Mimi
I heard that Mr. Horatio Hornblower was the basis for the character of Captain Jean-Luc Picard of Star Trek's TNG, and so, nerd that I am, I simply had to read the Hornblower books. I am not disappointed in them. I find the character of Mr. Hornblower captivating and I look forward to reading more of the books. I am trying to read them in chronological order of Mr. Hornblower's life and career, but they were written in a very different order. This particular book begins fairly early in Mr. Hornb...more
My only complaint with this book is that it is unfinished. But I guess death can do that.
Aug 05, 2011 Nicola added it
Such a shame that Forester never got to finish this book as it was gripping from the very start. I read what there was in the space of an afternoon and really wished it could have been longer.

The short story 'Hornblower and the Widow McCool' was okay, not anything particularly extraordinary, although it's good to now know what the affair with the Irishman was (referred to in a book chronologically later in the series).

The short story 'The Last Encounter' rounds off the stories of Hornblower, is...more
Elizabeth S
The main story would, of course, have been better if Forrester had finished it. Thankfully Forester seems to have been working on the book sequentially. We have the first 100 or so pages, and they seem as polished (or nearly so) and balanced and finished as the rest of the series. And then there are a few paragraphs summarizing Forester's notes for the rest of the book.

The short stories are fun little additions. "Hornblower's Temptation" takes place between Mr. Midshipman Hornblower and Lt. Horn...more
Of course I'd pick the unfinished Hornblower to start with. I probably should have read them in order, but I found this one used for 50 cents and decided to give it a go. It isn't bad as far as sailing adventures go. I don't think there's a huge amount memorable for me in it, but I was glad to at least give it a go.
A relatively short read, it features an unfinished story, Hornblower and the Crisis as Forester died before completing it. The story ends with a summary of the notes that Forester had written to get an idea of the story. Interesting even if not finished. Two short stories are also featured, Hornblower and the Widow McCool (from very early in Hornblower's career) and The Last Encounter (Admiral Hornblower's last story). I've enjoyed the Hornblower stories I've read, Forester does have a knack for...more
Sad to know that this book, left unfinished by the author before his death, had the makings of one of the most exciting and unusual Hornblower novels in the series. What exists, though, is the same kind of great writing and characterization that marks the other novels and the short stories at the end are equally compelling.

I highly recommend this series to everyone I know who enjoys reading. With drama, action, humor, romance, and excellent literary qualities and storytelling, there really is so...more
Best described as a novella and two short stories; Forester's last Hornblower book.

Hornblower's Temptation occurs chronologically immediately after Mr. Midshipman Hornblower. Mysteries around an Irish deserter.

Hornblower During the Crisis occurs chronologically immediately after Hornblower and the Hotspur. An encounter with a French brig provides interesting consequences.

The Last Encounter chronologically is the last Hornblower story. Guess who needs a ride to 1848 Paris?
This book was left unfinished at the time of the author's death. That being said it was a very short story, yet still very entertaining. It dealt with the time after leaving the Hotspur to the time he is confirmed as Post-Captain. During that time he finds some documents on a captured Frech Brig that lead to a short adventure as a spy in the Ferrol area of Spain and ultimately lead to the British victory in the Battle of Trafalgar.

It also includes two shorter stories that were not as entertaini...more
***Dave Hill
An odd and sadly incomplete tale of Hornblower's early career, truncated by the death of the author. There's some naval battle action, but not on any sort of ship Hornblower would be expected to fight from. And his entanglement in potential espionage, and the part that plays in the Battle of Trafalgar (thus explaining his absence from the greatest naval battle of the era) starts to reveal a new part of Hornblower's character that would have been interesting to see more of.
Not sure how to put a rating on an unfinished book, so I'm going for the neutral-ish three. But if Hornblower and the Crisis had been finished, it could well have been a contester for my favourite of the series. I especially liked how Hornblower showed some signs of post-trauma instead of his usual sulking. I wonder if the rest of the book would have continued this trend, or if Hornblower would have reverted to self-loathing because of his espionage job.
Mark Muckerman
All of my Hornblower reviews are identical: simply a MUST READ. There are deeper, more detailed, and longer books (fictional and non-) about the period and the characters, but I've never found a book (much less a series) as captivating in character, rich in action, accurate in historical context, yet still with depth of character to make a reader care about the individuals as Forester's Hornblower books. I've read each again, and again, and again.
Christina Dudley
Aw, crumb! I really, really liked this one. In fact, it's my favorite Hornblower so far, but Forester had to go and die before he could finish the book. The "From the Author's Notes" paragraphs at the end really didn't do it for me. When Elizabeth Gaskell died before finishing WIVES AND DAUGHTERS, at least it was pretty much wrapped up. Forester kicked the bucket at a thrilling, most-unfinished point.

Beware that this one includes three separate stories. Read the first one, Hornblower During the Crisis, but I'd suggest leaving the other two until after you've finished the whole series. They are Hornblower's Temptation and The Last Encounter. The problem is that they fit in a different place chronologically, and one is incomplete because Forester died before finishing it. I don't understand why they were published in book 4.
Ramon Sunico
Such a shame that Mr Forester died before he could finish this book. For the reader who followed Capt Hornblower's career with his particular mix of honor, adventure, intelligence and unrelenting ill fortune in bringing home prize money, there is not small satisfaction in seeing him get the ear of the masters of his field, the very secretary of the Royal Navy and his assistant.
K.M. Weiland
Sadly incomplete due to Forester's death, this one could have shaped to be among the best of the series. We get a snippet of a rip-roaring sea battle, another glimpse into Hornblower's early married life, and the promise that he would be up to some rather interesting espionage maneuvers in France. Satisfying for what it is, but, obviously, there's not much of it.
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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...
Mr. Midshipman Hornblower (Hornblower Saga: Chronological Order, #1) Lieutenant Hornblower (Hornblower Saga: Chronological Order, #2) Beat to Quarters (Hornblower Saga: Chronological Order, #6) Hornblower and the Hotspur (Hornblower Saga: Chronological Order, #3) The African Queen

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