Reni's Reviews > Admiral Hornblower: Comprising Flying Colours, The Commodore, Lord Hornblower, Hornblower in the West Indies

Admiral Hornblower by C.S. Forester
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's review
May 31, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: adventure, age-of-sail, historical-fiction, napoleonic-wars, read-in-2012
Read from May 18 to 31, 2012

First of all, I would want to know who edited this edition. There's missing letters, or even words, and in some cases just plain wrong words every 40 pages or so.

I'm also wondering why people chose to put Flying Colours at the beginning of this volume instead of at the end of a volume featuring The Happy Return and A Ship of the Line, considering these three volumes form the core trilogy of Hornblower's adventures. But then, they thought perhaps, that the mean cliffhanger at the end of Ship of the Line would ensure that people bought the next anthology too. Well, it worked in my case. Flying Colours alone is worth reading on. I loved reading about Hornblower completely out of his own element, as he has to work out his journey overland. And it's definitely something to see a naval fiction novel series temporarily turning into 3 Men in a boat (no dog).

I didn't like The Commodore quite as well, but that doesn't mean much. It may be missing the unique setting of Flying Colours, but then there's nothing wrong with the simply delivering more of the action the readers actually expect from a Hornblower novel: Our hero showing off all his cunning at exciting sea battles, stealthy ruses and running circles round the enemy. It's a joy. Not only do we get even more insight into Hornblower's relationship with Bush, but karma finally manages to bite our hero's behind for sleeping around too much. ;)

Lord Hornblower is a real blow to the guts. It starts innocently enough, but then leads the reader from the frail, first attempt at peace through Hornblower's darkest hours -- by far -- until Napoleon's ultimate defeat at Waterloo. The author doesn't shy from showing that war spares no one, and Hornblower is once again confronted with terrible, personal loss.

Hornblower in the West Indies is, much like Mr Midshipman Hornblower, a collection of short stories of varying quality. I guess I liked the first two and the last story best, while the bit with pirates appeared a bit strange and the story about the revolution in Venezuela fizzled out in an anticlimatic fashion.

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Reading Progress

05/18/2012 page 99
13.0% "Hätte vor dem Lesen nie gedacht, wie viel Zeit zwei Navy Offiziere mit Händchen halten verbringen. *I will go down with this ship*

Nach Flying Colours mach ich ne Pause ... ... ehrlich. *g*"
05/19/2012 page 157
21.0% "Jetzt schlafen die auch noch aufeinander. Die Royal Navy ist ein komischer Ort. :p"
05/20/2012 page 201
27.0% "Bush was better than a wife, thought Hornblower.

*tot* :p"
05/21/2012 page 271
36.0% "Horny ist doch ein ausgezeichneter Spitzname. Er kann ja kaum 50 Seiten mal die Pfoten bei sich lassen. :p"
05/23/2012 page 474
63.0% "People would think the loss of a Captain and a hundred and fifty men a small price to pay for robbing Quiot of all his offensive power, but people did not understand.

Oh Gott. Wieso? DD:
05/24/2012 page 514
68.0% ""Horny for ever" has got to be either the worst or the absolute best battlecry ever." 1 comment
05/29/2012 page 590
78.0% "Mr Gerard III! <3"
05/30/2012 page 668
88.0% "So, getting kidnapped by pirates is not as fun as Pirates of the Caribbean has you think it is. Poor Horny. And the worst thing is they're incompetent pirates, too.

05/30/2012 page 668
88.0% "So, getting kidnapped by pirates is not as fun as Pirates of the Caribbean has you think it is. Poor Horny. And the worst thing is they're incompetent pirates, too.

05/31/2012 page 758
100.0% "<3"
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