Horatio Hornblower (chronological order)

12 books in series
4.5 out of 5 stars 1,619 ratings

Mr Midshipman Hornblower Summary

Exclusively from Audible

The first episode, initially created as a prequel, of C.S. Forester's Horatio Hornblower series, sees 17-year-old Horatio as he embarks upon a navy career aboard HMS Justinian. Older than most other seamen training to become naval officers, Hornblower is initially ridiculed for his dull attitude and inexperience at sea. However, against all odds, Horatio rises to become an unlikely hero and faces a myriad of challenges aboard the ship and on foot in native lands. Set in January 1794, Hornblower works alongside his fellow officers, eventually rising through the ranks to battle against Napoleon as he tries to conquer Europe.

In this episodic audiobook, Forester treats listeners to ten chapters with self-contained incidents and adventures. From duels to shipwrecks and Spanish galleys to French ports, we follow Horatio as he becomes a formidable man of the sea. Adding depth and feeling to the narrative, he also comes to see the atrocities of war and the often unfortunate and needless suffering of the many who are involved. Whilst showing himself to be brave, principled and ingenious, Forester's hero is singular in his unrelenting feelings of self-doubt and reserve, which render him a more likeable and relatable leader and protagonist. Commended by the San Francisco Chronicle as 'one of the great masters of narrative' C.S. Forester wrote 10 other books in the Hornblower series, all of which can be found at Audible.

Narrator Biography

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

©1950 C. S. Forester (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
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  • Book 1

    • Mr Midshipman Hornblower

    • By: C. S. Forester
    • Narrated by: Christian Rodska
    • Length: 8 hrs and 18 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 272
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 246
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 244

    Shaking off this label, a shy and lonely 17-year-old, Horatio Hornblower, embarks on a memorable career in Nelson's navy on HMS Justinian. In action, adventure, and battle he is forged into one of the most formidable junior officers in the service.

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • A Warm Breeze Blowing in From the Past!

    • By Simon on 21-10-18

    Regular price: £19.99

  • Book 2

    • Lieutenant Hornblower

    • By: C. S. Forester
    • Narrated by: Christian Rodska
    • Length: 9 hrs and 12 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 243
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 217
    • Story
      5 out of 5 stars 218

    In this new adventure, Hornblower is overjoyed to discover his next task is to serve aboard the mighty HMS Renown. After witnessing some unsettling scenes however, he soon finds himself struggling to serve under the captain, James Sawyer, whose unsound mind leads him to treat his crew with extreme suspicion and contempt.

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • History Revisited!

    • By Simon on 04-11-18

    Regular price: £18.49

  • Book 3

    • Hornblower and the Hotspur

    • By: C.S. Forester
    • Narrated by: Christian Rodska
    • Length: 11 hrs and 35 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      5 out of 5 stars 195
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 183
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 182

    On the day of his marriage to Maria, Hornblower is ordered to take the Hotspur and head for Brest – war is coming and Napoleon will not catch His Majesty’s navy with its britches round its ankles. With thoughts of his new life as a husband intruding on his duties, Hornblower must prove himself to be not only the most capable commander in the fleet, but also its most daring if he is to stop the French gaining the upper hand. This is the third of eleven books chronicling the adventures of C. S. Forester’s inimitable nautical hero, Horatio Hornblower.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • wonderful

    • By M on 31-10-18

    Regular price: £19.69

  • Book 4

    • Hornblower and the Crisis

    • By: C. S. Forester
    • Narrated by: Christian Rodska
    • Length: 4 hrs and 12 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 79
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 67
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 68

    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.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Shame it will remain unfinished!

    • By Thomas on 23-01-15

    Regular price: £12.29

  • Book 5

    • Hornblower and the "Atropos"

    • By: C. S. Forester
    • Narrated by: Nicolas Coster
    • Length: 11 hrs and 29 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 43
    • Performance
      3.5 out of 5 stars 21
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 22

    In the wake of a humbling incident aboard a canal boat in the Cotswolds, young Captain Horatio Hornblower arrives in London to take command of the Atropos, a 22-gun sloop barely large enough to require a captain. Her first assignment under Hornblower's command is as flagship for the funeral procession of Lord Nelson. Soon Atropos is part of the Mediterranean Fleet's harassment of Napoleon, recovering treasure that lies deep in Turkish waters

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • Bring back Christian Rodska

    • By Stefan on 20-10-18

    Regular price: £22.29

    • Hornblower and the Atropos

    • By: C.S. Forester
    • Narrated by: Christian Rodska
    • Length: 10 hrs and 34 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 128
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 114
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 115

    In the year 1805, the young and enthusiastic Horatio Hornblower is given his first command as Captain of HMS Atropos. A 22-gun sloop, it is hardly the biggest ship in the navy, but undeterred, Hornblower boards the Atropos in eager anticipation of the voyages to come. Acting as flagship during the funeral procession for Lord Nelson, Horatio's first endeavour is to pay tribute to the country's fallen hero.

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • Better than expected

    • By Tom Darlow on 19-03-12

    Regular price: £19.69

  • Book 6

    • The Happy Return

    • By: C. S. Forester
    • Narrated by: Christian Rodska
    • Length: 7 hrs and 47 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 152
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 131
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 132

    Horatio Hornblower sails South American waters and comes face to face with a mad revolutionary in a novel that ripples with risk and gripping adventure. Throughout his escapades, Forester's hero remains resourceful and courageous.

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • Good audiobook brought to life by Christian Rodska

    • By A on 27-09-13

    Regular price: £15.99

  • Book 7

    • A Ship of the Line

    • By: C. S. Forester
    • Narrated by: Christian Rodska
    • Length: 8 hrs and 25 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      5 out of 5 stars 134
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 112
    • Story
      5 out of 5 stars 115

    Her Majesty's ship Sutherland is a humdrum ship of the line. But in command is none other than the heroic Captain Hornblower and, with his crew from the Lydia, he looks set to take on commando raids, hurricanes at sea, and Napoleons's gun batteries.

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • Cliffhanger Alert

    • By Donn Edwards on 21-07-14

    Regular price: £17.19

  • Book 8

    • Flying Colours

    • By: C. S. Forester
    • Narrated by: Christian Rodska
    • Length: 7 hrs and 8 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      5 out of 5 stars 151
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 127
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 126

    Hornblower becomes a national hero when he escapes a French firing squad. But the 'Terror of the Mediterranean' becomes Europe's most wanted man, forced to fight alone for England - and liberty.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • First rate

    • By VNHSUMMERS on 12-04-17

    Regular price: £15.99

  • Book 9

    • The Commodore

    • By: C. S. Forester
    • Narrated by: Christian Rodska
    • Length: 9 hrs and 36 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 115
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 90
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 90

    In the ninth instalment of the series, C.S. Forester transports us to the quaint village of Smallbridge. Predictably restless and eager to embark on his next adventure, Horatio Hornblower dreams of returning to the seas and commanding his next ship. Now happily married to Lady Barbara Leighton and widely celebrated for his recent successes with the navy, Hornblower has been knighted and appointed a commodore. Fortunately for Horatio, his uneventful days as village squire are soon interrupted.

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • Complete and Enjoyable

    • By Donn Edwards on 21-07-14

    Regular price: £18.49

  • Book 10

    • Lord Hornblower

    • By: C. S. Forester
    • Narrated by: Christian Rodska
    • Length: 8 hrs and 23 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 107
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 86
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 91

    Having received strict and confidential orders from high above, C.S. Forester's inimitable hero must recapture The Flame, a brig which has been taken over by a band of mutineers. Voyaging to the Bay of Seine in order to rescue the captive Lieutenant Augustin Chadwick from his disloyal crew, Horatio Hornblower must once more fight for the freedom and safety of his people and country.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Just Wonderful!

    • By Amazon Customer on 14-09-18

    Regular price: £17.19

  • Book 11

    Hornblower in the West Indies cover art
    Not Available on Audible.co.uk

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