Qty:1
  • List Price: $15.00
  • Save: $3.45 (23%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by Bluesky Media
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Very Good condition! Covers show gentle wear, crisp, clean pages.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Hornblower: Beat to Quarters (Hornblower Saga) Paperback – September 30, 1985


See all 31 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$16.07
Paperback
"Please retry"
$11.55
$3.05 $2.16
Audio CD, Audiobook
"Please retry"
$95.00
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"
$3.82
Year-End%20Deals%20in%20Books


Frequently Bought Together

Hornblower: Beat to Quarters (Hornblower Saga) + Ship of the Line (Hornblower Saga) + Flying Colours (Hornblower Saga)
Price for all three: $34.03

Buy the selected items together
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Year
Best Books of 2014
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2014's Best Books of the Year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.

Product Details

  • Series: Hornblower Saga (Book 6)
  • Paperback: 324 pages
  • Publisher: Back Bay Books (September 30, 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316289329
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316289320
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.8 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,442 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

8 1-hour cassettes --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

C. S. Forester (1899-1966) wrote several novels with military and naval themes, including The African Queen, The Barbary Pirates, The General, The Good Shepherd, The Gun, The Last Nine Days of the "Bismarck," and Rifleman Dodd. But Forester is best known as the creator of Horatio Hornblower, a British naval genius of the Napoleonic era, whose exploits and adventures on the high seas Forester chronicled in a series of eleven acclaimed historical novels. Over the years Hornblower has proved to be one of the most beloved and enduring fictional heroes in English literature, his popularity rivaled only by Sherlock Holmes.

Born Cecil Louis Troughton Smith in Cairo, Egypt, Forester grew up in London. At the start of World War II he traveled on behalf of the British government to America, where he produced propaganda encouraging the United States to remain on Britain's side. After the War, Forester remained in America and made Berkeley, California, his home.

The character of Horatio Hornblower was born after Forester was called to Hollywood to write a pirate film. While the script was being drafted, another studio released Captain Blood, starring Errol Flynn, based on the same historical incidents about which Forester was writing. Rather than seek another movie project, and to avoid an impending paternity suit, Forester jumped aboard a freighter bound for England. By the end of the voyage he had outlined Beat to the Quarters, which introduced the now legendary character Hornblower, Bush, and Lady Barbara.

Forester died in 1966 while working on Hornblower During the Crisis.

Back Bay's editions of the Hornblower novels are numbered according to the chronology of Hornblower's life and career, not according to the sequence in which they were written. The series is comprised of the following titles:


Mr. Midshipman Hornblower
Lieutenant Hornblower
Hornblower and the Hotspur
Hornblower During the Crisis
Hornblower and the Atropos
Beat to Quarters
Ship of the Line
Flying Colours
Commodore Hornblower
Lord Hornblower
Admiral Hornblower in the West Indies

Customer Reviews

You should start with the first of the series and read right through.
Milo of Croton
You could actually start reading the novels with this one, but it is better to start with Mr. Midshipman Hornblower, and follow Hornblower's career from the beginning.
Fred Camfield
Although it was the first book C.S. Forester wrote, Beat To Quarters is chronologically the sixth book in the Hornblower Series.
Michael H. Siegel

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

139 of 144 people found the following review helpful By bruce horner on August 3, 2000
Format: Paperback
If you're new to the Hornblower series, start with this one. Then read Ship of the Line, then Flying Colors. The three are practically a triptych, whereas the others all feel like they have space between them. Also, since Forester actually wrote Beat To Quarters first, there's in 'introductory' quality to it that no other book in the series has. The series compares favorably with the Aubrey/Maturin series I think. Odd that they were both cut short by the deaths of their respective authors.
In short, start with this and the next two as a trilogy, then proceed in any order you want.
3 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
71 of 75 people found the following review helpful By bensmomma on May 27, 2002
Format: Paperback
...or, to be more precise, I sat within yards of a major Civil War re-enactment so engrossed in this book that I managed to ignore artillery and musket fire. I am a big fan of the Aubrey/Maturin series by Patrick O'Brian, but previously looked down my nose at Hornblower, I think because I knew it solely from TV and movies. This book never slows down for a minute--not just battles but ship repair and revictualling seem gripping in the hands of Forester.
Based on the films, I was not expecting Hornblower to show much internal life--he always seems to be superhuman on screen, but in the book he must struggle with his softer nature to develop his imperious style. Likewise I expected nothing interesting in the way of female characters, but it was a happy surprise to find Lady Barbara Wellesley on board ship.
If you will forgive a few O'Brian/Forrester comparisons: O'Brian is funnier. Forrester's battle scenes are a bit easier for me to follow. Hornblower is a more interesting or at least complex character than Aubrey, but O'Brian has the advantage of Maturin, who not only adds character but allows for dialogue rather than the perennial internal monologues Hornblower has with himself because he has no one of rank to talk to.
I hope that more seasoned readers of the series will agree with this appeal to newer readers: Even if you have read neither author, this book is a good place to start.
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 9, 1998
Format: Paperback
I first read BEAT TO QUARTERS when I borrowed it from a public library in 1940. It is now 1998 and the third copy of the book is in my book case, the other two copies, being paper-backs, having been read until worn out.
I might add that, in my opinion, any aspiring writer would do well to read Forester, not to copy his style, but to realise that any good author can entertain, but only the great can enthrall; and only the greatest can make you "see" a character (even a minor one) in only two short lines of print.
His death robbed the reading world of one of its most readable authors.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Michael H. Siegel on May 29, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although it was the first book C.S. Forester wrote, Beat To Quarters is chronologically the sixth book in the Hornblower Series. One can see instantly why the series took off when this book hit the press. It is not only a thrilling adventure but establishes a depth of character rarely seen in its genre.
This book is the first of a trilogy of connected titles that cover Horatio's rise from an unknown frigate's captain to one of the most famous officers in the Royal Navy. Posted to duty west of Central America, he is expected to navigate not only the water of the Pacific, but the troubled political waters of rebellion and shifting alliances that characterized the Napoleonic wars. He's required to engage a ship of twice his might not once but three times. And of course, he meets Lady Barbara -- destined to become one of the most intruiging characters in his life.
I was surprised to find little discontinuity with the "prequel" books that were written after Beat to Quarters. The book almost seamlessly blends with the cannon of Horatio's life, referencing his previous adventures with the Castilla and Captain Pellow. The only real continuity problem is that Bush seems to have lost his memory of the events in the second and third books.
This books works because it doesn't try to confine itself to a simple genre. It is, of course, a splendid action adventure and wonderful historical fiction. But it also works as a simple character drama -- establishing three powerful characters -- the taciturn Hornblower, efervescent Bush and charming Barbara -- and creates memorable scenes built solely from conversation and interaction.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 3, 2000
Format: Paperback
The first Hornblower book that Forester wrote, and the best. Exciting action, wonderful characterization--particularly Hornblower himself, who is a three-dimensional human with failings, not a cardboard cutout action hero--and even a bit of romance for those who like that sort of thing (me! me!). The scenes with Hornblower and Lady Barbara were so evocative and delightful--I felt as if I was sitting on the deck with them under the stars, listening to their conversations. I would recommend that the series be read in chronological order of Hornblower's career, rather than the order in which Forester wrote them, but BTQ is the jewel in the crown.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 12, 2001
Format: Paperback
One of the strengths of the C.S. Forester series about Horatio Hornblower is that Hornblower's character is developed in great depth in a variety of different ways in each book. Beat to Quarters places Hornblower at the center of a spectrum between madness and mental incapacity on the one hand, and being ruled by the emotions and passion on the other hand. Hornblower finds it quite challenging to deal with both extremes, and you will enjoy reading about his reactions.
To make the story even more delicious, it involves a series of misadventures based on the slowness and uncertainty of communications. Those who have studied the War of 1812 will probably remember that the Battle of New Orleans was fought well after the British and Americans had already made peace. But the word had not yet gotten to New Orleans. Similar issues are involved in this book.
Unlike most of the other books in the series, Beat to Quarters will probably be as appealing to female readers as to male ones. For over half of the book, Lady Barbara Wellesley is a central character. Unlike the earlier books where male-female relations are made as simple and brief as possible, Beat to Quarters shows how two outstanding people of opposite sexes might come to respect and appreciate each other, despite vast differences in their circumstances and social standing.
Beat to Quarters is an extremely important book in the series, because it sets up major plot developments in Ship of the Line (the next book chronologically in Hornblower's life in the series) which many people feel is the best action book that Mr. Forester wrote about Hornblower.
If you have not yet read any of the Hornblower novels, I strongly urge you to begin with Mr.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?