Saturday, July 24, 2004

Mr. Midshipman Hornblower ~ C.S. Forester

May 21, 2003

The first book in the series isn't a novel so much as a collection of vignettes, providing glimpses of Horatio from a sea-sick half-grown boy in Spithead to a reckless young lieutenant in the Mediterranean. Sometimes seeing the film version beforehand ruins the book, but not in this case. If it's one thing Forester knows, it's how to spin a suspenseful, exciting plotline. Sorely missed the loyal sidekick Archie Kennedy. He was kind of a necessary invention for the tv version; Hornblower's a introspective, reticent kind of guy, and while in the book you're privy to his thoughts, for the miniseries you need a best friend to get inside his head. Wish there was a Nautical Jargon for Dummies, because it's all Greek to me. It sounds really cool whenever they "jib halliards" or whatever, but I have no idea what it means. So, looks like I have another area to research, 18th century naval tactics, in addition to the French Revolution/Napoleanic Wars. Good thing I like history.


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