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A Ship of the Line (1938)

by C. S. Forester

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Horatio Hornblower (7)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,546248,835 (4.17)30
A Horatio Hornblower Tale of the Sea May, 1810 - and thirty-nine-year-old Captain Horatio Hornblower has been handed his first ship of the line . . . Though the seventy-four-gun HMS Sutherland is 'the ugliest and least desirable two-decker in the Navy' and a crew shortage means he must recruit two hundred and fifty landlubbers, Hornblower knows that by the time Sutherland and her squadron reach the blockaded Catalonian coast every seaman will do his duty. But with daring raids against the French army and navy to be made, it will take all Hornblower's seamanship - and stewardship - to steer a steady course to victory and home . . . This is the sixth of eleven books chronicling the adventures of C. S. Forester's inimitable nautical hero, Horatio Hornblower. 'I recommend Forester to every literate I know' Ernest Hemingway… (more)
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English (22)  German (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (24)
Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
Very good as far as Hornblower books go—but that's not saying much. Lots of action; in one three-day period Hornblower launches about a dozen different attacks. The glorification of war, usually one-sided slaughters (e.g., 500 enemy men versus two pigs) is rather disturbing. Hornblower is a superhero (to whom Forester tries to give some humanity with extremely clumsy writing), but still. It is like Grand Theft Auto in a book, made worse by the historical fiction setting, and Forester's pretense of gravity.

> The toast was drunk with a murmur of approval while Hornblower blushed and stammered. The admiration of men whose approval he valued was overwhelming; more especially as now he was beginning to realize that he had won it under false pretenses. Only now was the memory returning to him of the sick fear with which he had waited the Natividad's broadsides, the horror of mutilation which had haunted him during the battle. He was one of the contemptible few, not like Leighton and Elliott and Bolton, who had never known fear in their lives. If he had told the whole truth, told of his emotions as well as of the mere maneuvers and incidents of the fight, they would be sorry for him, as for a cripple, and the glory of the Lydia's victory would evaporate. ( )
  breic | Jan 11, 2020 |
In the preface, Forrester apparently got the idea for this book from looking at a sheskabob... tiny bits of good eating skewered together by an spear.

In this book you see a series of naval actions by Hornblower and his crew while they are waiting for the rest of the ships-of-the-line to rendezvous in the Mediterranean.

If you are reading this series in order then you MUST read [Flying Colours]... it is a follow up to this story. ( )
  Lynxear | Sep 30, 2019 |
הורנבלאואר הולך ונהיה פחות קדוש ויותר אלים ( )
  amoskovacs | Jul 30, 2018 |
Incredible book. When I read the last page I did a double take to make sure no pages were missing. Hornblower is a great character...as are all of his companions. Mr. Bush is very memorable. The Hornblower series contains some of the best writing I have ever read. ( )
  Joe73 | Apr 23, 2017 |
A cliffhanger? He ends the book on a cliffhanger?? Arrrgghhh! Anyway, Ship of the Line is the sequel to Beat to Quarters. Captain Hornblower has returned from his assignment in the Pacific Ocean and is assigned to the the HMS Sutherland, a ship of the line in Admiral Leighton's squadron. After his many months alone in the Pacific, Hornblower chafes a bit at being part of a squadron under the Admiral's direct orders. But Hornblower still finds opportunities for adventure, striking blow after blow to Napoleon's war effort.
--J. ( )
  Hamburgerclan | Mar 3, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (34 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Forester, C. S.Authorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bothmer, Fritz vonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jacques, RobinCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mann, DavidCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rodska, ChristianNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Captain Horatio Hornblower was reading a smudgy proof which the printers had just sent round to his lodgings.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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A Horatio Hornblower Tale of the Sea May, 1810 - and thirty-nine-year-old Captain Horatio Hornblower has been handed his first ship of the line . . . Though the seventy-four-gun HMS Sutherland is 'the ugliest and least desirable two-decker in the Navy' and a crew shortage means he must recruit two hundred and fifty landlubbers, Hornblower knows that by the time Sutherland and her squadron reach the blockaded Catalonian coast every seaman will do his duty. But with daring raids against the French army and navy to be made, it will take all Hornblower's seamanship - and stewardship - to steer a steady course to victory and home . . . This is the sixth of eleven books chronicling the adventures of C. S. Forester's inimitable nautical hero, Horatio Hornblower. 'I recommend Forester to every literate I know' Ernest Hemingway

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