Cornwell wrote the book so everyone knows that the story will be amazing. However, this amazing plot is magnificently narrated by Jack Hawkins. His voices for the characters are varied, realistic and completely add to the story. He does Scottish characters, French women, boys, British men and women, Irish character, unread commonors, princes, French, Latin, English - his narration and accents are phenomenal.I hope that the book publishers re-make the abridged versions into unabridged and have Mr. Hawkins narrate. He is exceptional.
I have nothing to offer anyone except my own confusion.
Thomas of Hookton becomes a Knight. I loved the Grail Quest series and, if possible, this novel topped those. I initially read this before the Grail Quest novels (I honestly wasn't aware they existed) and immediately devoured the other three novels and then read this again to understand all that I missed the first go around.
The author has written numerous books similar to 1356, though I consider this among the top two or three of his novels, and with one exception, the best of his non-Sharpe novels (the exception being The Pagan Lord).
The battle scene at the end, which does a great job of bringing a medieval battle to life in the mind's eye of the reader.
If you like historical fiction, this is a must read. It tends towards the pulp novel at times but is still thoroughly enjoyable. The reader does a fine job of bringing the characters alive.
I really enjoy well researched historical fiction. I love non fiction too but the personalities that Cornwell writes are believable, the a gore is also classic of the period - but don't read it you dislike swearing and gore. These are not great literature and Cornwell certainly has a "typical" male and female characters which nearly all his books have, but someone this pulls one in as you can (hopefully) relate in the honor or at least nobleness of the characters outcome. Here we go to one of my favorite battles of the Hundred Year's war in Poiters, but getting there is loads of fun.
Enjoy, worth a listen.
This is a cracking story. I've listened to the original three grail quest stories on audiobook over the years. The first two had me gripped with a great story and good narrator, but the third was a real let down only because of the truly horrendous attempts of the narrator to put on Scottish and French accents.
They've made the same mistake here. Jack Hawkins as an English man can do justice to all of the English characters, especially Thomas of Hookton, but listening to him butcher the French, Scottish and especially Irish accents (i'm Irish) is equivalent to taking a grater to my ears.
There are many far more talented narrators out there who could really make this audiobook shine but this narrators attempts ruin the listening experience.
" I have my mind... & a mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge." -T.L.
Cornwell takes a favorite character (Thomas of Hookton) & blends this historical fiction into a fantastic novel that is also well read... From the naïve, nasal voice made for the king & princess of France to the strong voices of Hookton & the Irishmen the author gets better as the book progresses, Cornwell is one of the few authors that can take a huge battle of ten thousand plus troops be astounding & add so many side stories that you wait to be resolved.
I've listened to the final battle at least a few times & its always great, In terms of 'battle vision' he does it better then HHM, few can compete with him, HHM brings the undercurrent, behind the scenes of court politics along with large scale battles, but this book is more adventure/battle then the Tudors/battle if it can be an accurate distinction. I love his stand alone books even though the grail series & Sharpe series are great as well... although it does leave me WANTING MORE lol....
I'd recommend reading some of Cornwell's other books regarding Hookton to get a better feeling for the story although you absolutely don't need to read them to enjoy this book... When you compare this to the actual history of the battle it was a GREAT fictional historical roller coaster ride
Basically a good story and interesting historical fiction, but it kinda wrapped up and ended just as I was getting into it. A little hard to keep the characters straight with the narration, but I recommend it as a worthwhile listen.
A good story well told. If you like any of Bernard Cornwell's books or Ken Follett's stories you'll probably like this.
Historical Fiction, Sci-fi, fantasy
I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the book. Great voice reading it, and the book itself was great. It was well written, and well performed. The only negative is that the audio book didn't include the historical notes at the end. That is a must in a historical fiction book. Other than that I loved it.