Kirkus Star


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Even people who don't ordinarily cure to read tales of the sea like these yarns about the intrepid Captain Hornblower, bluff, rugged, with tender heart behind his shabby uniform. A fourth volume in the series is welcome news -- particularly as it is dependably more of the same, authentic to the last detail for the most critical seawise -- landlubbers as well as for these to when the nautical lingo is native. Forester spins a readable yarn; his sea fights are without peer in contemporary writing; and he roots his story in sound knowledge of period and history. It will be news to many that Napoleon's mistaken assault on Russia (often compared to Hitler's attack in 1940) was preceded by many comparable factors, -- successive Seisure of small countries, a peace pact with Russia during which Finland was seized by Russia, and a curious uncertainty as to who was friend and who was foe. It was during this period that Captain Hornblower, rtive in retirement with his son and his lovely Lady Barbara, was recalled to serve as Commodore of a fleet bound for the Baltic, there to await developments. With his beloved peg-legged Bush as captain of the such N, with Brown to make him comfortable, with a deck under his feet again -- what more could be ask. And the old skill, the old intuition, the old genius for getting out of a tight spot had plenty of opportunity in the months ahead, as adventure piled up upon adventure, with the Russian wars as the culminating episode and Hornblower once again the here... Lusty out of reading and grand escape.

Pub Date: May 21st, 1945
Publisher: Little, Brown