Books - Review

Showing all books by: CS Forester

Captain Hornblower RN
Hornblower and the Atropos, The Happy Return, and A Ship of the Line. Nelson's funeral, El Supremo in S. America, and attacks on the Spanish coast respectively.
Jolly good.
Score: 7
Published: 1937, 1938, 1953
Read: July 20th 2003

Lieutenant Hornblower
Hornblower joins the Renown as junior lieutenant under crazy Captain Sawyer, but when Sawyer conveniently falls down the hatch and is rendered unfit for command Hornblower gets his chance to show how much cleverer than all the other lieutenants he is.
Jolly good, and, interestingly, written from Bush's perspective rather than Hornblower's.
Score: 7
Published: 1952
Read: July 30th 2003

The Commodore
Hornblower messes about in the Baltic with his bomb ketches etc., and, rather improbably, gets to show Clausewitz a thing or two at Riga about how to defend a siege.
Jolly good fun except when poor old Mound dies.Re-read 21 Sept 2009.
Score: 7.5
Published: 1945
Read: July 30th 2003

The Good Shepherd
The story of Captain Krause's first Atlantic convoy in 1942, just after the US joined WW2. His first command of a destroyer, and first convoy command, he has to withstand the pressures of constant decision making, when every tiny decision could result in the death of his allies, or a lost opportunity to sink a U-boat. Called Greyhound in the US and in the film version (Tom Hanks).
Pretty good really, I've marked it down a bit because it came over as very dry, even though there was almost constant action - attacking submarines, dodging torpedoes, rescuing survivors and making calculations about which ships have enough fuel/depth charges left to be useful. Not as good as the Hornblower books, but very interesting.
Score: 6.5
Published: 1955
Read: April 14th 2021