Forester - Lord Hornblower

October 12, 2004

Cecil Scott Forester
Lord Hornblower
Bath, [England] : Chivers Audio Books ; Hampton, NH : Chivers North America, p1999.
Read by Christian Rodska.
Novel Orig. pub. Boston, Little, Brown and company, 1946.

Lord Hornblower is my least favorite in Forester's series, but it was one of only two available on audiobook so I started it.

The good: Forester tells some interesting stories, Hornblower is a wonderful male wish-fulfillment character: capable yet self-doubting, inarticulate and clumsy yet women love him, smart and strong and tone-deaf. Forester gives a good simplified view of the Augustan navy - folks who like this sort of thing might want to read N.A.M. Roger The Wooden World for a deeper look at patrons and clients, shipboard routine, and the institutional mechanics of the 18th century navy.

The bad: it is just not a compelling book. I don't like the plot; I don't like what Forester does to several of his continuing characters; I don't find the supporting characters all that compelling; the whole thing feels like a writing exercise and not like a tale that must be told.

So, I turned it off after about 3 tapes.

Posted by Red Ted at October 12, 2004 10:37 AM | TrackBack
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