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Flying Colours

Narrated by: Christian Rodska
Length: 7 hrs and 8 mins
4.8 out of 5 stars (53 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Exclusively from Audible

In the eighth instalment of C.S Forester's naval series, Horatio Hornblower finds himself down on his luck. Having been forced to surrender his ship to the French, following a long and bloody battle, he is imprisoned by his enemies and threatened with the prospect of being tried by French courts and executed if found guilty.

Knowing that he will also likely come up against a court martial in England for having lost command and possession of The Sutherland, Horatio's future is bleak and uncertain.

As his wife, Maria, struggles to deliver a healthy baby and the thought of his mistress, Lady Barbara, taunts him in his jail cell, Hornblower realises that he must do whatever it takes to prevent the impending doom heading his way and ensure that neither lady is left to fend for herself.

Hugely celebrated for his Napoleonic 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.

Narrator Biography

Christian Rodska is an English television and voice actor best known for his role in the 1970s series Follyfoot.

From the 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.

©1938 C.S. Forester (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Flying Colours

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Classic Hornblower Goodliness!

Horatio finds himself in trouble yet again. As always a gripping tale of daring deeds and gentlemanly goings-on. A lot of time spent on the land in this one but still a good fun read. If you like Hornblower you will like this.

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Fantastic performance!

This is a great story, and an outstanding performance by Christian Rodska who must be one of the best readers around!

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Best... Hornblower... Ever!

I was kept on the edge of my seat the whole way through! Excellent story telling and beautifully read.

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simply brilliant

expertly written. perfectly spoken . great storey . you will not be able to put this down.

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Greatest of naval warfare

The story continues, a shame as we near the ending of these superb novels, of Mr C.S.Forestor , he grabs you by the throat, and your captured and you must know what happens, to the Captain and his men, his Ship. But telling, is not good, please listen to the narrator, great as a author and novel, and especially by the Narrator, 10 out of ten.

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  • Jean
  • 04-07-2011

Flying Colours

I have almost finished the Patrick O'Brian series of Capt Aubrey and was looking for something similar in the Audible library when I came across C.S. Forester. I remember the movies about Hornblower but realised I had never read the books. This was most enjoyable story, Hornblower is captured by the French and is on way to Paris to be executed when he escapes. Lots of suspense and information on the French and English navies. Christian Rodska does a good job narrating the story. Looking forward to reading all of this series.

16 people found this helpful

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  • Paul
  • 29-06-2013

The Character study

This is not in the usual ripping yarn style.. It is a good drama but more of a character study of Hornblower. The story is much slower paced than normal and the whole story revolves around his escape through and out of France. The reader is taken on as much a ride through his emotions, weaknesses and uncertainty as we are a flight to freedom but it is very well written and a must read if you are to maintain both the story and the man himself. However I would not reccomend as a one of sample book to read unless you are a school teacher looking for an excellent book for students to do a case study of a character which would hold the interest for either gender.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Shawn Hanley
  • 14-06-2015

Great performance

If you are a fan of naval action in the Age of Sail, C.S. Forester's Flying Colours will not disappoint. If you are familiar with the Hornblower series, you will see Horatio's character flaws manifested in action rather than imagined. You will be captured from the opening lines
to the last, a large part due to the engaging performance of the reader.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Jarret
  • 31-03-2020

excellent performance

Christian Rodska is a great voice actor and added a lot to this story. a great fun story.

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  • blackbert313
  • 22-03-2020

A Masterpiece.

C.S. Forester writes his famous Hornblower naval series. It is full of fun and naval adventure and is THE STANDARD in this genre. 10 novels. And these audio book versions are a pinnacle of quality narration that fits perfectly. It may change your thinking and thus your life.

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  • The Lady Doctor
  • 05-02-2020

Inconsistently good

The novel itself is variable in its quality of writing (not as consistently good as the first two books in the series, publication order), but the reader's performance is as excellent as it has been so far in the series. Hornblower's adventurous exploits are exciting; his other activities less so.

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  • TS Cormack
  • 07-01-2020

Fantastic

Well read. Fascinating view into 19th century war when massive sailing vessels ruled the waves.

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  • Dennis Jameson
  • 21-10-2019

I never get bored reading Hornblower

these books spurred my interest in 18th and 19th century England. As my knowledge increased I have been continuously impressed by the historical detail. Wooden ships and iron men indeed. Forester had a way with describing his characters interaction with ships and the sea.

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  • Outside1
  • 08-03-2019

Typical C.S. Forester.

If you enjoy the naval stories from this period, then this is another one in the same vein. Not good. Not bad.

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  • Erik Rudolph
  • 12-01-2019

Audible hope you have enjoyed this program

Great book, and well performed but why did they have to change the last soundbite? There’s a wonderful nostalgia to be found in the scratchy old recording of “audible hope you have enjoyed this program”.

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  • Mike in Oman
  • 26-07-2016

listened to it in a day!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would certainly recommend the entire series to a friend as it it brilliantly done and a wonderful character study of a naval officer.

What did you like best about this story?

Horn blower himself, as a character. His continual nagging doubts and second guessing of his own motives.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

I enjoyed very much his escape from captivity and subsequent time in France.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

The reluctant hero

Any additional comments?

Hugely enjoyed the whole series and sad that this is the penultimate book.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Thorin Seex
  • 01-11-2019

I mean it's good

it's just not my favourite Hornblower book. Not enough battles and too much stuff about his awkward wat wirg women

3 people found this helpful

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  • marvin bowers
  • 01-11-2019

a great listen

great book and performance great, probably the one I've enjoyed most out the series. it had skipping noises during last chapter though, which put me off a bit.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Bob & Alison
  • 10-04-2019

The most gripping of the series so far

I started listening to this audio book having just finished Ship of the Line but intended to keep it until I was back to driving to work each day. The storyline and performance was so good though that I couldn’t stop listening. I finished it a couple of days later and I’m so glad I did. This is actually the most dramatic of the Hornblower books so far.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Sleepy surfer
  • 01-10-2019

Flying Colours

I first read Flying Colours at the age of 19 with my eyes, in the intervening 61 years I have read every Hornblower book countless times. Recently I have been reading with my ears so to speak. I strongly recommend it. I adore CS Forester and all his works and I commend him to you

2 people found this helpful

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  • Victor Muthu
  • 18-08-2019

One of the best I have read ..!!

Great narration and a wonderful presentation, it would make a great movie..or a television series

2 people found this helpful

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  • C. Jenkins
  • 17-07-2019

Thoroughly good book.

Great book. Listened to it in a few days it was so gripping! Definitely a recommended download!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Nile_Etland
  • 16-01-2019

A thoroughly enjoyable read

One of my favourites of the Hornblower books - good to have Hornblower on the receiving end of some good fortune for a change. Good too that this series is well read. Too many audio books are spoilt by their readers: improbable accents and rushed delivery are the most common offences, but Christian Rodska has delivered an excellently paced read once again.

2 people found this helpful

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  • VNHSUMMERS
  • 12-04-2017

First rate

This is a first rate story, very well written and very well read. Try it if you have not read any C S Forester before or better still, start with the first of his Hornblower stories.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Jamie
  • 19-08-2016

Boring

Found this one pretty boring compared to others in the Hornblower series. Narration good as always.

2 people found this helpful