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Hornblower and the Crisis

Narrated by: Christian Rodska
Length: 4 hrs and 12 mins
4.4 out of 5 stars (225 ratings)

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Summary

Exclusively from Audible:

In this, the final Horatio Hornblower adventure, C.S. Forester throws his hero into one of the most challenging missions yet.

Upon discovering highly confidential papers dispatched by Bonaparte, Hornblower sets off to enlighten the Admiralty about his game-changing, new findings. Troubled after having been informed of Pierre-Charles Villeneuve's escape into Spain, they welcome Horatio's news and send him off on a high-priority assignment that they believe will lead to England's victory over Napoleon.

His first and only espionage mission, Hornblower lights the powder trail which will eventually lead to the battle of Trafalgar and with a myriad of unexpected twists and suspenseful turns, Hornblower and the Crisis becomes one of Forester's greatest works.

Hugely celebrated for his Napoleonic naval warfare series, and later for the publication of The African Queen, C. S. Forester came to writing much later than expected. Having originally studied medicine at Guy's Hospital, Forester first developed a love of story-telling after being inspired by his travels with the Royal Navy.

Stricken with arteriosclerosis whilst voyaging to the Bering Sea, C.S. Forester was crippled in his later life. Sadly, he passed away before completing this final instalment, but his plans for Hornblower and he Crisis were clearly set out within his detailed notes. These can be found at the end of the audiobook and serve to offer further insight into the mind of this incredible author.

Narrator Biography

Christian Rodska is an English television and voice actor best known for his role in the 1970's series Follyfoot.

From the The Monuments Men and The Eagle of the Ninth to The Likely Lads, Z Cars, The Tomorrow People, Coronation Street, Bergerac and Casualty, his extensive and diverse acting career has led him to become a highly solicited radio and audiobook narrator.

He has now voiced over 150 unabridged audiobooks including Winston Churchill's biographies, Evelyn Waugh's Men at Arms and Sebastian Faulks' A Possible Life. He has been praised for his ability to vary in vocal pace and style and as such, Christian boasts 12 Earphone Awards from Audiofile Magazine.

©1967 C.S. Forester (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Hornblower and the Crisis

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Shame it will remain unfinished!

A couple of very good beginnings here - and well worth a listen if you have a voucher or free credit to spare - otherwise stick to the completed hornblower books and listen to this one at the end - the last 30 minutes or so tie things off

5 people found this helpful

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Buyer beware!

The start of the book is as excellent as the previous ones, but the sudden, unannounced stop was not foreseen. Then, without warning, it goes far ahead into the future with a short story that really had no bearing on the previous part of the book.

2 people found this helpful

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Disappointing

I bought this title as it was the next in the series and assumed from its length that it was a short story. So I was not expecting it to abruptly stop just as the story picked up pace with the synopsis and two short stories finishing off the last hour. Audible should make it much clearer that the story is incomplete or better still work with the estate to complete the story with a new author and record that version. As always the narrator was excellent and what little there was of the story was intriguing.

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Another great installment from Forester

Read and listened to this saga multiple times now. Would recommend to anyone intrested in a novel than contains suspense and early naval warfare

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An exciting set up

Unfortunately Forrester died before he could complete the story which explains why it's so short. Two nice short stories at the end though

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Unfinished story

I hadn't realised that this was an unfinished story with a couple of other short stories added in (out of chronological sequence). Good stories though and worth listening to for completion.

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Excellent stories

Be careful as although it starts with Hornblower and the crisis, it moves on to other short stories afterwards

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A shame the book wasn’t finished

From the beginning the book promised to be as good as the other books in the Hornblower series. A shame it didn’t get finished. I was aware the book would be short and unfinished, but I pleased and satisfied I purchased it.

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Forester's Hornblower - always good

I am writing this review rather than just ticking five stairs because I want to warn readers of this unfinished nature of this work. Forester died before completion. The two short stories at the end of the book are worth buying this.

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Beware

As we're told in the blurb, this is the last book Forester wrote and sadly he expired before finishing it. What's not made plain by Audible is how little he got through - roughly a third, maybe less. So come the end of Ch 9, we get an apologetic explanation that rattles through the rest of the intended plot in 20 seconds, followed by two short stories. One from earlier in the timeline and one from so far into the future you'd rather not know. All in all, deeply unsatisfactory and not worth the price or a whole credit.

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  • Michael
  • 09-12-12

Not a complete Book

Any additional comments?

Come to find out, this was the last book written in the series, even though it is number 4 in sequence of action. The author died while writing it. I had a great story line, and was interesting until its very abrupt end in the middle of the plot. Frustrating.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Mary Ann Wandell
  • 07-05-12

Adds little to the Hornblower saga

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

As I am re-reading (listening) to the Hornblower saga and this title came up, I gave it a try. I'd never seen the title before. This vignette was assembled after Forester's death from his notes and I thought added little or nothing to the saga.

If you’ve listened to books by C. S. Forester before, how does this one compare?

Poorly.

Have you listened to any of Christian Rodska’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Very well. He is a good reader.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Probably not. The translation of Forester to the screen (big and small) has never been done to my satisfaction. The BBC effort was enjoyable, but the screen writers took far to many liberties with Forester's work for my taste. I have been a Forester fan for many decades. There was no need to alter his plots. As for the Gregory Peck B&W, it was horrible.

Any additional comments?

Keep up the good work, Audible. I really enjoy the audio books.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Jean
  • 09-07-13

Forester's last book

C. S. Forester died while writing this book. The book comes to a sudden end but there is an author note of his outline of the end of the book. There is two short stories at end of book one of a young Lt Hornblower, the other as an Admiral. Unlike other publisher this one chose not too hire a ghost writer to finish the book, we the reader can use our imaginations. I have been going through the series and am sad to see it end. Forester was a good writer and I love sea stores of the late 1790 early 1800s. This book takes place in 1805 with Napoleon planning to invade England, Hornblower, of course, will try to stop this. Christian Rodska has done a great job with the narration of the series.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Michael
  • 30-07-15

unfinished upon death

Is there anything you would change about this book?

the reader should be on a stage, as his vocal acting is a bit over the top which at times, especially in his thick and surely authentic english sailor accent, require a rewind. the stories (yes there are 2) are good but the first one (4th in chronological order) is unfinished and is summed up with Mr Forester's notes, the second story catapults you towards the final days of Hornblower and reveals his later life leaving a massive gap in the overall plot.

Would you recommend Hornblower and the Crisis to your friends? Why or why not?

yes, with the above warning

Did Christian Rodska do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

too good

1 person found this helpful

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  • Andrea
  • 16-08-13

Exciting, but over priced.

Christian Rodska beautifully narrates another Hornblower, but as the story is incomplete (due to Forester's death) and only running about three hours long, $11.50 feels a bit over priced. Adding a short story about Hornblower as a signal Lieutenant on the Renown hardly takes away the sting. Worth it for a die hard Hornblower fan.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Paul
  • 12-06-13

Fast paced, Excellent story and very well read

The Reader- Christian Rodska is the star of this book. Very well read with great pace and excitement. This is probably a favourite so far (reading in chronological order of Hornblowers career). Very believable story with neat twists that tie this story to the real history of the day. Forester does a fantastic job of keeping this work of fiction in tune with historic events. So much so it is easy to believe (almost understand) how the fictional Hornblower influenced the histroy of the RN and the battle of Trafalger.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Ed Miner
  • 01-05-20

Incomplete

This is an incomplete Hornblower book. I was disappointed I did not know this. This story starts out as expected but abruptly ends in the middle. I understand that CS Forester died before it was completed. There is a brief, partial completion of the open plot points based on notes that Forester left. The transition from completed text to summary didn’t adequately prepare me and I found it unsatisfying. There are also two short stories, one when Hornblower is young sailor, the second when he is retired. Interesting enough but unrelated to the main text.

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  • Tammy Wood
  • 10-03-20

Worth it.

Wish it could have been finished. I like how they more or less said how it would have ended. Short stories at the end were nice but it would be better if they were placed in chronological order with the series.

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  • TOM BURTON
  • 25-02-20

An excellent book/series/author/narrator

I read the complete Hornblower series about 25 years ago, and am rediscovering my love for it through Audible. if you are a fan of English naval historical fiction, then there is no other (sorry Patrick O'Brian fans.) The thing that I found/find most compelling about Forester's writing is that it is incredibly realistic. You can hear the cannons roar and sabers clash; you can smell the salt air and the stench of the holds; you can taste the biscuits and the grog. There is no romance to speak of...you'll not find the heroic captain clamoring up the rigging to get a better view of the enemy -- you'll find him on deck and seasick at times. There is no better storyteller in this genre! And it all comes vividly to life in the reading of Christian Rodska. I have a long commute and I get lost at times listening to it. What traffic?

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  • Anonymous User
  • 22-02-20

good book

it was unfortunate that it is not a finished product, I dont mean to mark it less appealing then it really is, but on the scale of the other hornblower books it only lacks in its finish.