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 loved this book. Patrick Tull (who narrates many of the famous Patrick O'Brian Aubrey-Maturin series).
WARNING - As others have stated this version (on Audible) of the audiobook is lacking a considerable amount of the book. I went through the book 3 times trying to figure out if I missed the part where an important plot member is killed. Alas it's simply missing. Thanks to the other readers who compared this version to Local Library copies and noticed the error.
This needs to be fixed as the book shouldn't be sold as "Unabridged" with missing content.
I bought the download of "Sharpe's Trafalgar" and the death of the lord's secretary was present in all its explicit glory. Apparently someone fixed the problem mentioned in other reviews. The audio was also very clear. I did not have a problem with the narrator's accent but then I watch a lot of PBS and so I am used to British accents.
As was mentioned by Mark, the start of Part 2 is missing a considerable section of the story. I found an eBook version from our county library and filled in the part where the Lord's secretary is killed by Sharpe (pages 172 to 208).
I recommend this audiobook, but get a readable version to fill in this gap.
Haven't read the print version. The whole idea of ordering from Audible is to enjoy books through my EARS - - not to compare/contrast editions.
Cornwell's usual combination of history and fiction.
Patrick Tull tries to (does?) lend an air of legitimacy to "British English" - and even "British English as spoken by British sea men - and, in so doing, renders his reading totally unintelligible in some (too many) passages. His accent becomes incapable of understanding by an American ear and he drops volume below what it audible when listening in an automobile. (Mine would be considered a luxury vehicle by anyone's standards and, still, there was this problem.)
I would NOT make a film of this book. It would cost WAY too much and would not have a large audience.
Fantastic narration by Patrick Tull, but this makes the second book I have tried just because he is such a great narrator, only to be disappointed in the material. These Sharpe books are OK but pale in comparison with the Aubrey Maturin series...they are kind of entertaining but in a totally shallow and predictable way...Cornwell's formula is to get Sharpe into some impossible situation that he then gets out of...so you know that how matter dire the circumstances, he comes out OK....like any half hour TV adventure, then you add a hopelessly corny love affair. As opposed to Aubrey and Maturin who have depth of character, Sharpe is cast as someone who is proud of the fact that he is a complete rube.
For my taste, this is the perfect novel. It is a story that nowhere disappoints. It sent me to Wikipedia where I gobbled up the articles on Battle of Trafalgar, The Victory, Lord Nelson, and it even motivated me to learn the nautical terms for the sails and masts of the "ships of the line."
I’ve been whistling Rule Britannia now for two days even though I’m American and proud of it.
And that Lady Grace, I can’t clear my mind of her!
A good story poorly read! Bernard Cornwells description of the Battle of Trafalgar is excellent. His ability to describe the battle scene and the thoughts of the combatant involved are unequaled. In this book, the 4th in the series, it appeared to me to take too long to get the main battle. There was a lot of filler waiting for something to happen. It may be on purpose as a 3 month sail back home would be quite boring. Once the battle started, Bernard Cornwell was a good as I have read.
I was very disappointed with Patrick Tull's reading of the book. He sounds like a baptist minister with a British Accent. In many spots of the book, he sounded like he had marbles in his mouth. I lost many words and sometimes thoughts because I found his speach difficult to listen to. It was the only real disappointment in this excellent book.
The Battle of Trafalgar is the backdrop for one of Sharpe's most interesting adventures. In the midst of the runup to this pivitol battle, Sharpe is caught up in an affair with the wife of an aristocrat which threatens both their lives. Sharpe's experiences aboard ship also give the reader a graphic understanding of life in Nelson's navy and culminates with the bloody action off Trafalgar. Patrick Tull's narration is superb and brings the characters and events to life. If you follow the Sharpe series or just enjoy a gritty naval yarn, purchase this book.
This was a fairly entertaining story about the British Army in India and Navy in the lead-up to Traflagar. The descriptions of the battle of Trafalgar were exciting and seemed historically accurate. Cornwell does a good job entwining an interesting plot in a historical time line. There are many colorful and engaging characters but little character development. In summary I would describe "Sharpe's Trafalgar" as a Tom Clancy-like treatment of the Napoleanic War Era; Sort of a "The Hunt for Red(white and blue)October - 1805".
Part 2 of this book is missing a large chunk at the beginning. I have compared this to my local public library's print book and book on tape. I believe that Audible needs to fix this as this seems to me simply a technical error and not an issue of "abridged" vs. "unabridged". This is a defective item pure and simple and subscribers should not be charged for a defective item.
Otherwise I agree that Patrick Tull is often difficult to understand as a narrator. I consider this one of the weaker Sharpe novels but they are all enjoyable nonetheless.
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