A guttersnipe who has risen through the ranks of the British army, Ensign Sharpe is sailing home to England from his latest campaign against Napoleon. Anticipating an uneventful voyage, the dashing young maverick discovers the intriguing and very married Lady Grace Hale on board the Calliope. But just as he wins his way into her heart, the ship is fired upon and, suddenly, he finds himself in the thick of one of history's most spectacular incidents: the Battle of Trafalgar.
Patrick Tull's vibrant narration bedazzles listeners with this breathtaking retelling of one of Europe's most ferocious sea battles.
©2002 Bernard Cornwell; (P)2002 Recorded Books
I have read all the Sharpe books. A while ago I listened to Patrick Tull read a couple of them and I just gave up. I kept wanting to like Tull but in the end I couldn't really follow him. I read another review in which the writer said he sounded like he had marbles in his mouth and I think that's spot on.
Anyway, Davidson is a hudge improvement. When he is doing the voices of the different characters he is especially great. When he is reading the narrative portions of the book he can adopt this bored upper crust British tone that is not only irritating but seems out of place in these books. I got used to it and his voices balanced things out for me.
I would like to see all the Sharpe books re-issues with his narration. I just listened to I and II and was all set to move on to Sharpe's Fortress only to find that there is no narration of it. Both Sharpe's Trafalgar and Sharpe's Prey are only available with Tull reading.
Sharpe's Trafalgar is a decent entry in the Sharpe series, though Sharpe is a little on the sidelines, since he's not actually a sailor. But the narration was really weak. Tull makes... long... pauses... constantly, and it got very annoying very quickly.
Though I love the Sharpe series and enjoyed this novel, I found the recording to be abomidably low in quality and the reader's accent to be very difficult to understand, especially given the low level of audio throughout. I had to push my Ipod to the limit, and then there was still a great deal I missed while listening. Also, the reader feeling that he missed an important part concerning a character's death did not miss it, it is done off-camera, as it were, and amply described by those involved.
The Sharpe books are lots of fun (not deep) and Tull is a fine narrator. I'm wondering if there something missing from this audio book, however. In part 2 of the book (on my iPOD), the characters start discussing someone's death and, from the importance of the event, I would have thought we would have heard about it in detail as it occurred. This seemed out of keeping with the generally linear Sharpe books. Did I somehow fail to download a chapter or two?
I really enjoy the Sharpe books, don't get me wrong. But I had to go back and read this one in print. The narration for me was totally unintelligible.
I've listened to the entire series except for a couple which are not offered. This version of Sharpe's Trafalgar is only available "read by Tull". If I could have found another read by Frederick Davidson, I would have gladly erased this copy, and finished the book via Davidson.
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