HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Mr. Midshipman Hornblower by C. S. Forester
Loading...

Mr. Midshipman Hornblower (original 1950; edition 1975)

by C. S. Forester

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,036453,284 (3.97)71
Member:Magus_Manders
Title:Mr. Midshipman Hornblower
Authors:C. S. Forester
Info:Pinnacle Books (1975), Edition: 3rd Printing, Mass Market Paperback, 270 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:English, 20th Century, Novel, Historical Fiction, Napoleonic Wars, Nautical, War, Adventure

Work details

Mr. Midshipman Hornblower by C. S. Forester (1950)

Recently added byfukengruven, Colonino, eculeus, Hitch657, private library, shelflife, KeeslingMary, drcmg
  1. 10
    His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik (ktoonen)
    ktoonen: If you can accept the fact that dragons happen to exist, the tone, style, and language make this series a great read-alike for the Horatio Hornblower series.
  2. 10
    Master and Commander by Patrick O'Brian (br77rino)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 71 mentions

English (43)  Hebrew (1)  German (1)  All languages (45)
Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
A reread for me of one of the seminal books of my adolescence. This book started me on my decades long enjoyment of books about the Napoleonic Wars. The entire Hornblower series by C.S.Forester, the Sharpe novels by Bernard Cornwell, and the Patrick O'Brian classics featuring Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin.

This book read almost as good as the first six or seven times I read it, except as I get older, it becomes more difficult to project myself into Hornblower's character, a 17-year-old boy thrust into the brutal hardship of serving in the British Navy in the late 18th century.

Skilled writing, great storytelling, thoroughly enjoyable. ( )
  ChrisNorbury | Apr 17, 2014 |
Summary: When young Horatio Hornblower joins the Royal Navy in 1794, it is not immediately clear that the life of a sailor is for him. For one thing, he's seasick before he can even report for duty, and his inexperience with the naval life is something that's all too clear to his fellow midshipmen. But through a series of adventures (and misadventures), aboard the H.M.S. Justinian and later aboard the H.M.S. Indefatigable, facing down French ships, captured prisoners, Bubonic plague, Spanish prison, and the dreaded test for lieutenant, Hornblower soon finds his sea legs - and his gift for leadership.

Review: I have absolutely no explanation as to why I love the Age of Sail so much… maybe I read The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle at exactly the right impressionable age? (Probably a combination of that and the movie "White Squall" and all of its mid-90s cute boy glory catching me square in the teens.) Anyways, I love the Age of Sail (or if we're being less formal, "British boys on boats"), so I of course have watched the A&E Hornblower mini-series many, many times. But I've shockingly never read much of the now-classic source material. I read Master and Commander a long time ago (pre-blog), and enjoyed it, but was a little flummoxed by all the rigging and sail and other shipboard terminology, and I wonder if that didn't scare me off of naval adventures for a while. But regardless, I'm glad I finally tried again, because Mr. Midshipman Hornblower was totally understandable, and quite fun.

Mr. Midshipman Hornblower is not a novel proper, but a series of short stories detailing the first few years of Hornblower's career. Some of the stories are relatively self-contained, but most of them have some interconnections - what happens in one affects Hornblower's position in the next - and some flow together so much that they seem like one contiguous plot. So the result is a book that is episodic, certainly, but in the way that I would expect a naval life would be episodic. The action, when it comes, is fast-paced and exciting, as well as being relatively easy for a land-lubber to follow. And even though this book was not written first, Forester does a good job of starting Hornblower's character off young, and having him grow and mature as he goes through this book, with his personality and intelligence and honor intact.

So, overall, I enjoyed this book, although I can't say how much of that is based on the book itself, and how much is based on the fact that the book reminded me of the movies, which I love. I wasn't totally enthralled with it - its episodic nature meant that it was easy to put down without being anxious to pick it back up again, and Hornblower's maybe just a little too noble and good at things to be the world's most compelling protagonist. But I'll certainly be reading more, to see how I fare with a full-length novel (and eventually one that they haven't yet made into a movie!) 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: I've seen recommendations against starting with this book, since it's short stories, and was written later. I can't offer opinions on that score, other to say that I thought it was a fine place to start, but if you're not already familiar with the character from the miniseries, I can see how a full-length novel might be better. ( )
1 vote fyrefly98 | Mar 6, 2014 |
It was enjoyable for the most part, but it seemed like the author tried too hard to put one action scene after another. A little downtime to get to know the characters is more my cup of tea.

I started the series because I'm a fan of Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin series, and I'd seen forums in which other fans recommended the Hornblower series as well. Meh. Aubrey/Maturin, hands down! ( )
  wispywillow | Sep 21, 2013 |
This is chronologically the first book in the Hornblower series, but was not the first one which Forester wrote, and so it (presumably) serves as a prequel of sorts. I wanted to read the Hornblower series, and decided to start with this one, where we first meet Hornblower, at the tender age of 17. It is the late 1700s, and he is a nervous new recruit to the British Navy.

The book is more of a collection of short stories, rather than a novel. Each story presents Hornblower with a new dilemma, from having to stand up to a bully (which he does – and how!), dealing with enemy ships from Spain, or transporting a Duchess home across the sea. Hornblower matures throughout the book, and learns some tough lessons.

I enjoyed the book a lot, although I think that some knowledge of a ship’s structure would have helped when reading this, as there are lots of references to how a ship is built and manned. However, I could usually understand enough of the jargon to workout exactly what character was doing what task, and in any event, the character of Hornblower himself was enough to keep me reading.

Somewhat stiff and awkward, and not always the most socially confident, but with a strong moral backbone and plenty of courage, I really warmed to the young Hornblower, and enjoyed reading about his adventures. There were some other interesting characters along the way, and some moments of humour, as well as some sadder events which were described with little emotion.

Overall, while some parts of the book felt somewhat dry, I liked the main character enough to look forward to reading other books in the series. ( )
  Ruth72 | Jul 28, 2013 |
I decided to start reading this series in order and this book of short stories was excellent. Each story advances the character of Hornblower. They were interesting, puzzles in some cases and I could not put this book down, reading all of the stories in 4 days.

My only complaint is that these are short stories. In some cases I wanted more of the story, perhaps at least a novella as some of the stories are quite short. ( )
  Lynxear | Jul 28, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
C. S. Foresterprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rodska, ChristianNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
A January gale was roaring up the Channel, blustering loudly, and bearing on its bosom rain squalls whose big drops rattled loudly on the tarpaulin clothing of those among the officers and men whose duties kept them on deck.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0316289124, Paperback)

The year is 1793, the eve of the Napoleonic Wars, and Horatio Hornblower, a seventeen-year-old boy unschooled in seafaring and the ways of seamen, is ordered to board a French merchant ship and take command of crew and cargo for the glory of England. Though not an unqualified success, this first naval adventure teaches the young midshipman enough to launch him on a series of increasingly glorious exploits. This novel-in which young Horatio gets his sea legs, proves his mettle, and shows the makings of the legend he will become-is the first of the eleven swashbuckling Hornblower tales that are today regarded as classic adventure stories of the sea.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:40:22 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

"Horatio Hornblower is only seventeen when he joins His Majesty's Royal Navy as a Midshipman. He's dangerously unschooled in seafaring and the ways of seamen, but he's saved by his quick, mathematical mind and keen eye.... This is where it all begins--where young Hornblower gets his sea legs and shows the makings of the legend he will later become."--Jacket.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
11 avail.
28 wanted
5 pay3 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.97)
0.5 1
1
1.5 1
2 9
2.5 10
3 89
3.5 30
4 161
4.5 18
5 121

Audible.com

An edition of this book was published by Audible.com.

See editions

Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 92,155,643 books! | Top bar: Always visible