Title: Mr. Midshipman Hornblower by C.S. Forester
Reviewer: Blaine H.
Rating: 5 Stars
Mr. Midshipman Hornblower is about a 17-year-old British naval officer who lived during the French Revolution. The book takes place in 1793, just as the Napoleonic Wars are about to start. The novel is the first in a series of a compilation of short stories about the adventures and battles of Mr. Hornblower throughout his naval career. In this book, Midshipman Hornblower learns how the Navy operates and how to act during any situation that might occur. He engages in several battles involving the French and the Spanish armies. At the start of the book, Mr. Hornblower is the leader of the His Majesty’s Ship (H.M.S.) Indefatigable. He is delivering a shipment of rice and it is his first independent mission. As he comes into contact with French naval forces, he is forced to make the decision to jettison the rice from the ship, therefore failing his first independent mission. Learning from his first failure, Hornblower continues on in the book throughout many different short stories to travel throughout Europe on missions. These include battles in France and in the ports of Spain. One time, he gets involved in a battle with the French and has to fight on horseback close to the front lines. Most of the book, Hornblower is on his ship the H.M.S. Indefatigable, but sometimes he is in different settings. Unfortunately, he runs into a bit of page-turning trouble in Spain while fighting a naval battle against them. Eventually, however, all turns out well towards the end of the book.
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes reading about war adventures or who is interested in history. While some of the language is very specific to Naval and maritime terms, it is still a very good book. I personally found it a little difficult to get into the book at first with all of the sea language and somewhat old-fashioned language as well. I eventually became interested and liked the book because the adventure in each story kept me hooked. It is not an extremely long read, but it is part of a series of similar stories about Hornblower’s naval career. The book was very well written, and I really enjoyed it.
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