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 haz reading likes!
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.
Bernard Cornwell manages to get Richard Sharpe into every major battle or war possible, and now even has him at the Battle of Trafalgar aboard a British 74. With the obligatory female interest, of course.
Sharpe is headed to Englad from India to join the Rifles, but meanwhile he manages to get his goods stolen and recovered, be captured by the French and recaptured by the British. All everyday events for our intrepid Ensign Richard Sharpe.
The history is sound, even if this particular 74 gun man o'war didn't actually participate in the Battle of Trafalgar, and the story well told, as always with Cornwell. As one would expect, Patrick Tull's narration is superb. Simply superb.
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.
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.
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".
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!
I am an avid eclectic reader.
I am enjoying this series but wished I had been able to start at the beginning and go in order but I am still able to keep up on it. This book is the story of Sharpe's ship voyage home from India. I have read all I can find on Admiral Nelson so this is a story I jumped at. The battle scene was the best I have ever read on the Battle of Trafalgar. You will not be disappointed in this story and Patrick Tull is the voice of the old sailing vessels.
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.
Sharpe finishes his campaign in India and heads home to Britain. If you like the Master and Commander Series by Patrick O'Brian and the Horatio Hornblower you'll enjoy this book being put into the mix. I appreciate that Cornwell explains some of the concepts of battle at sea and why they do things a particular way so land lubbers like me can understand.
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