Like many, the character of Sharpe was not new to me, but I had always seen and read various stories in an order very different than the series progressed. This book is where it all starts, and it is a must read for those interested in the series and the character of Sharpe. As with most, if not all, of Cornwell's works, this is well researched and written.
Unfortunately, this is one of the rare cases where the narrator detracted from the story. I found his cadence disjointed, with frequent pauses in areas that interrupted the flow. Inflection and modulation was also missing, no matter how urgent the action or scene. Maybe it was just me, but I found the audio version hard to listen to.
My final recommendation: read the book. The book itself is a "must" for fans of the series, but avoid the narration.
Dubiously believing in humanity and hockey
I've read all the Sharpe books - but this is my first audio book of the series - and it does not disappoint!
Sharpe is always the best - but Mr. Davidson does an excellent Hakeswell
Sharpe of course!
I found this story to be exceptionally entertaining. I find that most historical fiction is good, but Cornwell did an exceptional job bringing each character to life. Frederick Davidson's broad range of realistically reproduced dialects truly took the story to an entirely new level. Several British army characters, privates, sergeants and officers, a woman, French, and several Indian characters, including a King, each faithfully crafted to make the impact of the story as full as possible. I am in the process of downloading the remainder of the Sharpe series. It's just that good.
I don't know how many times I have read the Sharpe series, but each time it is a profound pleasure. This book is no exception. I so regret that there will be no more.
This book was very entertaining and fun to listen to. It also set a record for use of the word "Bugger."
I'm looking forward to reading more of this author's books.
This is no doubt a great listen and should be on everyones list interested in historical fiction. As another reviewer points out the narrator is doing a great job with different characters and accents. I actually thought this was the best narration I heard on any Audiobook (Bill Bryson does an excellent job as well but he writes different books altogether).
The one problem with the book I thought is that the Hero of the story in the end turns more into a superhero and succeeds in all his challenges with such an ease that you start thinking he is indestructible. His by fighters should have been given more strength or involvement in my opinion.
But I really enjoyed this well written and well read book!
I switched to Amazon after they added Whispersync. I read and listen to most of the books I go through. I prefer to read but I spend 90 minutes a day in a car so I can get through a lot of audio.
I have read/listened to several of Cornwell's books in the last year. I have really enjoyed them all so far...until this one. I can't get past the narration in this book. I have had a few other books where it took a little to get used to the narrator's voice. I can't quite define what it is about the narrator, but I can't listen for more than about 5 minutes. I will purchase a copy I can read because I'm sure the story is as good as his other books.
It's unfortunate that there is not an alternate recording of this novel. Frederick Davidson has done excellent readings of other novels. But in this one, he is a serious detriment to the story.
It may not be so apparent from the sample recording, but Davidson chooses an oily, languid, effete tone for the third person narrator. He lazily draaaaws out syllables and ends phrases with rising inflections, making them sound like questions?
Perhaps he intends to portray some cynicism of the main character, but he really goes too far. An otherwise gripping first battle scene sounds almost satirical.
The story, like all Cornwell novels, is top notch. He has a knack for describing battles like no other.
What is the audio equivalent of a page-turner? This is it.
The narrator's creation of character voices is a major asset.
I wouldn't be surprised to see Sharpe as the next Indiana Jones movie series.