The author of the popular Hornblower series writes on Napoleon's peninsular war. This 1933 novel was the basis of the movie The Pride and the Passion (Cary Grant, Sophia Loren and Frank Sinatra).
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.46" Width: 5.54" Height: 0.79" Weight: 0.99 lbs.
Publisher Simon Publications
ISBN 1931313253 ISBN13 9781931313254
Availability 145 units. Availability accurate as of Mar 28, 2017 08:15.
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More About C. S. Forester
Cecil Scott "C.S." Forester, born in Cairo in August 1899, was the fifth and last child of George Foster Smith and Sarah Medhurst Troughton. After finishing school at Dulwich College he attended Guy's Medical School but failed to finish the course, preferring to write than study. However, it was not until he was aged twenty-seven that he earned enough from his writing to live on.During the Second World War, Forester moved to the United States where he met a young British intelligence officer named Roald Dahl, whom he encouraged to write about his experiences in the RAF.Forester's most notable works were the Horatio Hornblower series, which depicted a Royal Navy officer during the Napoleonic era, and "The African Queen" (filmed in 1951 by John Huston). His novels "A Ship of the Line "and "Flying Colours" were jointly awarded the 1938 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction.
C. S. Forester lived in the state of California. C. S. Forester was born in 1899 and died in 1966.
C. S. Forester has published or released items in the following series...
Here is a book that is not exactly a novel, not exactly a history, not exactly an adventure tale; in fact, the main character is literally three tons of finely worked brass. I prefer to view the work as an examination of the use of force. Not being particularly well read or skilled in military strategy, I will leave it to other reviewers to judge as to whether it succeeds as an exposition of method but I will say that it was a very interesting read.
The Gun is, of course, the force. Dropped along a mountain road by a retreating army it is picked up by Spanish guerillas fighting against the French occupation of Spain and the later history of the Gun becomes the book. What is startlingly modern about this book is that it demonstrates conclusively that war requires the will to match forces. When one side is allowed to retain an advantage the fighting concludes. For some reason not quite explained, the French have been allowed uncontested possession of a fertile plain in the south of Spain. When guerillas manage to obtain this huge piece of artillery, figure out how to obtain ammunition, as well as how to move the thing, they promptly upset the balance of power by assaulting the hitherto untouchable French fortifications. Their efforts throw both sides into disarray. The Gun provides a focus to the Spanish attack as well as the necessary power to press the advantage. Instructively, the very existence and control of power, i.e. the weapon, is itself the source of further power--the allegiance of other irregulars who are emboldened by their newfound ability to succeed. The means whereby the Gun is brought to bear are thought-provoking and lead one to ponder on the usefulness of modern weaponry given the utter lack of societal will to bring any force to bear on the problems at hand. The will to fight with nuclear and chemical weapons (chemical weapons make a surprising and gruesome appearance in this work) is thankfully gone--but have we risked descending into a perpetual detente only to be nibbled continually at the edges by less-circumspect powers?
Perhaps some readers find the denouement of the book somewhat unsettling. The ending is quite abrupt. But by the time you reach the end you realize that you have been exposed to various styles of leadership--some more successful than others, various kinds of battle--again with varying degrees of success, siegecraft, the use of artillery, etc. Forester is a gifted author--his narrative decisions are purposeful and directed towards an end that seems to be lost on many readers. In my opinion the author's purpose was to use this interesting episode in a very long conflict to invite debate on leadership styles and the very nature of war itself.
I found the book fascinating and it has sparked a desire to read more military history as it is clear that as a country and people we Americans at least are continuing to place ourselves into situations that require an historical context in order to understand the value of the position. Absent a context in history, we risk being diverted from worthly goals by a cost that is misunderstood. Wars are fought for a reason that has not disappeared with the rise of modern technology. We cannot win merely by churning out fantastic weaponry--"The Gun" teaches that it is not enough to merely possess force, once must understand how best to press the advantage thereby created.
Another Classic from Forester Jan 28, 2006
I'm a huge C.S. Forester fan, so you will know where I'm coming from as I write this. If I could give it 4.5 stars, I would, but I shall round up. The only negative aspect of this short novel is the very thing that makes it quite unique; instead of having a compelling charector such as Hornblower, Captain Peabody or Rifleman Dodd, the central charactor is... you guessed it... a gun. I certainly did not find this story as compelling as some of his other works (since it is somewhat difficult for a gun to be compelling), but I did appreciate it as a different approach to the story of war. The story begins and ends with "the gun" and follows the many charactors whose lives revolve around it. If you like either C.S. Forester or War Stories in general, I highly recommend this tale.
One interesting note; I just read this in the first edition published in America (right in the middle of WWII); it was great to have it compared to the Hornblower "Trilogy." Even though I've always become sad when ending the Hornblower series, I am so grateful that Forester returned to write many more than the original "Trilogy." C.S. Forester is dead... Long live C.S. Forester!
A novel set in Spain during the Napoleonic wars Aug 9, 2004
This is a much overlooked novel by the author. Most people are familiar with the Hornblower novels, but the author also wrote other novels set in the same time period including "Rifleman Dodd" and "The Gun."
I first read this novel many years ago, and the plot has stayed in my mind (the sign of a good novel). A large gun is acquired and moved with great difficulty to assault a fortress. Alas, the best made plans of mice and men... The story is in the attempt, rather than its success or failure.
A wonderful book Jun 26, 2003
The tale of a large cannon that falls into the hands of Spanish Guerilla's during the Napoleonic war. This books provides great insight into the conditions during the Peninsular War. It is not a dry history and not your typical Forester book. It focuses on the cannon's impact on many people instead of one individual like the Hornblower series. I have enjoyed rereading this book several times over the years.
Another Forrester failure Dec 28, 2001
I read this one many years ago, and like his other works, Forrester fall flat. The characters come across more like cartoons than people, There are a number of inaccuracies in this one like so many of Forrester's works. The idea of Spanish guerrila troops with an oversized cannon wreaking havoc on a Regular Standing Army smacks of a lame Hollywood movie plot. If you are a fan of Forrester and like to throw your money away, have at it. If not, pass this one by