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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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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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Bait and switch

Wonderfully narrated by the excellent Christian Rodska as in all the previous books. BUT….there is no mention in the book description of it barely getting going before it stops abruptly due to the sad death of the author. The plot was developing very well and to have it suddenly curtailed with no forewarning before purchase is rather underhand. Anyone about to purchase really needs to know this.
Slipping in a couple of totally unconnected very brief stories is in no way a suitable solution and Audible needs to address this.

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.

2 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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3 stories in 1 book.

The 3rd story in this book is from much later in Hornblower's life. Please be aware that you will hear spoilers in this, but spoilers that you might get from reading the titles of some of the later books.

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Not Great..

Not much actually sea worthy content in this..
It doesn't seam to follow fit with the others.

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So sad

The main book is genuinely excellent, cut short sadly by the author’s death. But it’s well worth listening to the substantial part that remains, read extremely well as always by Christian Rodzka.

Plus two short stories, which are ok (I’d rather insubstantial). They go some way towards making up for your disappointment.

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Will miss old Horny

I have deliberately put off listening to this as it marks the end of my contented listening to the Hornblower series. As with all the stories the credibility in historical terms has made it very enjoyable. The narration of Mr Rodska as always a treat.

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Not sure what to make of it.

At only just over four hours there appeared something missing. Disapointed I thing it was.

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wrong chapters at the end

This is a great book. however due to the evident complete lack of proof reading by the editor the last 2 chapters don't belong to this book. One is from much earlier when he is still a midshipman. The last chapter belongs at the end of the final book and contains major spoilers.

If it wasn't for the incompetent editor it would be 5 stars

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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.

8 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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  • minwage
  • 10-01-21

Half a book, Book 4 misleading

It’s like going to the movies seeing a couple cartoons and then the main movie ends halfway through. This book really should not even be sold. It’s half a book, since I did not read all The notes I bare some of the blame, but the book number makes this fraud even worse. Skip this one

2 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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  • d op
  • 12-09-21

This won't disappoint if you are a fan.

I so wish there was more, alas his death parts us. I love this author’s writing; until we meet again sir, on the otherside!

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  • Patrick
  • 08-09-21

I wish I read the reviews before buying this thing

After chapter 10... It randomly just fast-forwards to the end of H's life in retirement. I bought this on impulse and regret it

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  • Louis
  • 19-07-21

Very short stories unrelated to each other.

Very short stories unrelated to each other. it's a little confusing and one gives away too many answers to stories you haven't listened to yet.