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The sixth instalment in the eleven-part Horatio Hornblower series, A Ship of the Line sees the return of 39-year-old Captain Hornblower as he embarks upon a new adventure on the Catalonian coast.
Having successfully defeated the Natividad Ship in battle, Horatio is awarded command of HMS Sutherland. Estimated to be the 'the ugliest and least desirable two-decker in the Navy List,' Hornblower's first ship of the line is far from becoming the vessel of his dreams, and being 250 men short of a full crew, the captain is forced to enlist and train a rabble of 'poachers, bigamists and sheep stealers.'
Seventeen years into the Napoleonic wars, Hornblower cannot afford to pause or make mistakes and the pressure soon mounts as the French approach the Catalonian shores.
Winner of the 1938 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction, A Ship of the Line delivers an action-packed seafaring adventure as one of the nation's favourite captains takes the lead once again.
Hugely celebrated for his Napoleonic naval 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 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.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Rollin on 01-16-11
Having read all of C.S. Forester's Hornblower series as a (male) teenager and remembering the excitement it provoked in me, I listened to Ship of the Line. I was not disappointed. The detail of life and combat aboard an 18th century warship and the complexities of seamanship are vivid and satisfyingly complex. I had forgotten that Hornblower used to get seasick upon setting sail after several weeks ashore. The political infighting and maneuvering for prestige among officers of the Royal Navy is especially interesting. This audiobook is nicely read by Christian Rodska.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful
By Jean on 01-02-12
Christian Rodska did an excellent job narrating the book. I had finished reading all of Patrick Brian's book on Aubrey and was looking for more 1800 sea stories. I had never read the Hornblower books but do remember the movie. This book was written in 1937 and I believe it was the first book in the Hornblower series. Forester story is so vivid I feel the sway of the deck and hear the slap of the sails. Forester created some exciting sea battle scenes along with the suspense of a storm at sea. The book closed with a cliff hanger so can hardly wait to start the next book in the series.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Donn Edwards on 07-21-14
Warning! If You start this book be prepared to buy "Flying Colours" as well, since the book ends with a cliffhanger that is resolved in the next book.
Christian Rodska does an amazing job reading the Hornblower novels. This book is no exception. He really brings C S Forester's wonderful prose to life, and it is thoroughly enjoyable.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
By RMWK on 06-11-18
I loved every minute of this book, rationing it out each day whilst I worked in the kitchen, trying to make it last as long as possible! Can't wait to start on the next one in the series, but what shall I do when I reach the end???