1805, and Hornblower is both humbled and honoured in quick succession....
After near disaster on board a canal barge, Horatio Hornblower is given his first assignment as captain, taking charge of the Atropos, a 22-gun sloop that will act as flagship for the funeral procession of Lord Nelson. Soon the Atropos is part of the Mediterranean fleet's assault upon Napoleon, and Captain Hornblower must execute a bold and daring salvage operation for buried treasure lying deep in Turkish waters.
Under the guns of a suspicious port captain and the threat of a Spanish frigate more than double Atropos's size, Hornblower must steer his ship unscathed and triumphant....
Christian Rodska reads C. S. Forester's thrilling seafaring adventure.
©1953 Cassette Productions (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
I had read this as a boy so was a bit dubious about returning to this series of books, in case they had dated too much. However, for a engaging listen that can carry you through boring air/train/car journeys it was fine, especially as there is a lot of interesting historical and scientific detail, and not too much swashbuckling.
The narrator is also very good at making it come alive.
The characterisation is great - deep and complex. The plots are a series of mini-stories but held together by longer threads. The action is well-described and there are many elements of background descriptions too. Forester is a great writer and the narrator, Christian Rodska brings out all the nuances of the story.
Fun, Escapist Excitement
Any of the other Hornblower series. They are all challenging in that Hornblower varies between being a super hero and someone very unsure of himself which is probably how we all live our lives.
I love Christian Rodska's voice and his ability to portray characters so clearly that you can almost feel you know them. I first came across him reading in the Falco series and really miss his voice in the later books. I deliberately looked for other books he had read which is how I came across the Hornblower stories.
It makes me chuckle rather than laugh and although this one did not make me cry others in the series have. Still buying the later ones so can't comment on those.
Love the character, love the reader, love the series. What more can one ask
If you like Hornblower then you will not be disappointed. The story is well paced and as usual the author shows his knowledge of the period bringing 19th century England alive.
"The First Command"
Hornblower and his own command continues to grow in character. Not as fast paced as some of the other books but with some unusual story lines. This book is a little slow and drawn out in the early section but pays good attention to the traditions and protocols of the RN. The story does pick up as Hornblower is sent into service and builds to a climax expected of a Hornblower story.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.