In the eighth instalment of C.S Forester's naval series, Horatio Hornblower finds himself down on his luck. Having been forced to surrender his ship to the French, following a long and bloody battle, he is imprisoned by his enemies and threatened with the prospect of being tried by French courts and executed if found guilty.
Knowing that he will also likely come up against a court martial in England for having lost command and possession of The Sutherland, Horatio's future is bleak and uncertain.
As his wife, Maria, struggles to deliver a healthy baby and the thought of his mistress, Lady Barbara, taunts him in his jail cell, Hornblower realises that he must do whatever it takes to prevent the impending doom heading his way and ensure that neither lady is left to fend for herself.
Hugely celebrated for his Napoleonic 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.
Sadly stricken with arteriosclerosis whilst voyaging to the Bering Sea, C.S. Forester was crippled in his later life, but his imagination and his skill with a pen survived for years to come.
Christian Rodska is an English television and voice actor best known for his role in the 1970s 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.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
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By Jean on 04-07-11
I have almost finished the Patrick O'Brian series of Capt Aubrey and was looking for something similar in the Audible library when I came across C.S. Forester. I remember the movies about Hornblower but realised I had never read the books. This was most enjoyable story, Hornblower is captured by the French and is on way to Paris to be executed when he escapes. Lots of suspense and information on the French and English navies. Christian Rodska does a good job narrating the story. Looking forward to reading all of this series.
16 of 18 people found this review helpful
By Paul on 29-06-13
The Character study
This is not in the usual ripping yarn style.. It is a good drama but more of a character study of Hornblower. The story is much slower paced than normal and the whole story revolves around his escape through and out of France. The reader is taken on as much a ride through his emotions, weaknesses and uncertainty as we are a flight to freedom but it is very well written and a must read if you are to maintain both the story and the man himself. However I would not reccomend as a one of sample book to read unless you are a school teacher looking for an excellent book for students to do a case study of a character which would hold the interest for either gender.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful