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. However, his peaceful ventures are at an end when he is confronted with the alarming news that a large Spanish frigate is quickly descending upon his considerably smaller ship.
Determined to return to land unscathed and triumphant, Hornblower fights valiantly in this next instalment of C.S. Forester's naval series.
Hailed by the likes of Ernest Hemingway and Sir Winston Churchill for being 'admirable and vastly entertaining,' C.S. Forester became a hugely influential 20th Century author.
Born in Cairo, raised in London and buried in California, the metropolitan writer experienced huge success with his Horatio Hornblower series as well as with his later works, The African Queen and The Good Shepherd.
His literary genius is perfectly encapsulated within this endlessly entertaining narrative, and his heroic protagonist draws us in to another titillating journey through the Napoleonic wars.
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.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Tom Darlow on 19-03-12
Better than expected
I had read this as a boy so was a bit dubious about returning to this series of books, in case they had dated too much. However, for a engaging listen that can carry you through boring air/train/car journeys it was fine, especially as there is a lot of interesting historical and scientific detail, and not too much swashbuckling.
The narrator is also very good at making it come alive.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
By Praxis on 08-04-15
The characterisation is great - deep and complex. The plots are a series of mini-stories but held together by longer threads. The action is well-described and there are many elements of background descriptions too. Forester is a great writer and the narrator, Christian Rodska brings out all the nuances of the story.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Anonymous User on 06-07-18
Good, but not the best in the series
There are dull parts spread throughout, and especially in the beginning. But all together it's a very atmospheric adventure. Great performance by Christian Rodska.
By Paul on 12-06-13
The First Command
Hornblower and his own command continues to grow in character. Not as fast paced as some of the other books but with some unusual story lines. This book is a little slow and drawn out in the early section but pays good attention to the traditions and protocols of the RN. The story does pick up as Hornblower is sent into service and builds to a climax expected of a Hornblower story.