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Any Sharpe Fans?

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message 1: by Kristin (new)

Kristin (kristinbattestella) | 2 comments Hey folks. Just joined, the dastardly young girl who reads Hornblower and Sharpe! Whodathunkit? I'm just starting out with Sharpe, and of course I'm comparing everything in it to Hornblower? Any takers?

Kristin


message 2: by Brad (last edited Jan 02, 2009 07:33AM) (new)

Brad (judekyle) | 19 comments I haven't read Hornblower, but I plan to. I am a Sharpe fan, though. I think he is a nice foil for Aubrey/Maturin (even if Cornwell isn't quite the writer O'Brian is); he is much darker and I really enjoy his struggle to come to terms with his personal ethics.


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

I love Bernard Cornwell and Sharpe. I agree with Brad that he is not as strong as O'Brian is, but his novels are much better than a lot of the other fiction that is out there right now. The battle scenes are always excellent and detailed. Cornwell always said he was inspired by reading Forester's Rifleman Dodd (aka Death To The French), because he wanted that to be its own series a la Hornblower.


message 4: by Bob (new)

Bob (bobwhitson) | 9 comments I take Sharpe for the same reason I take medicine. Even though it tastes bad, I know it’s good for me and makes me a better person. :)


message 5: by Kristin (new)

Kristin (kristinbattestella) | 2 comments Yes the more recent Sharpe Books I've found to be lower in quality, but I've still got plenty to read. The original core of books I really love, though. I like Cornwell's battle action, but I like the intimate feel of Sharpe more-his thoughts and motivations. That's probably from reading too much Hornblower!

fwiw, I have reviewed a few sharpe books along with the telemovies. Keeps me occupied!

http://ithinkthereforeireview.blogspo...


message 6: by Eric_W (new)

Eric_W (ericw) | 6 comments As long as we've tacked slightly to leeward, I heartily recommend Cornwell's Civil War Starbuck series. It's excellent.


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

Eric wrote: "As long as we've tacked slightly to leeward, I heartily recommend Cornwell's Civil War Starbuck series. It's excellent."

I will second that and recommend anything that he writes. From ancient history to modern day thrillers, he has yet to disappoint me.


message 8: by M. (new)

M. Kei (kujakupoet) | 11 comments I am watching the Sharpe movies courtesy of NetFlix. My family does not share my interest, and frankly, some of the movies are not that great, but I love the soundtrack. What I like about them is that they take concepts like honor and duty seriously and don't try to make them campy or sarcastic.


message 9: by Brad (new)

Brad (judekyle) | 19 comments I haven't seen any of the movies yet, but I DVRed a couple of them that were on PBS over the past couple of weeks. I am definitely looking forward to finding the time to just chill and watch Sean Bean kick some ass.


Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) Brad wrote: "I haven't seen any of the movies yet, but I DVRed a couple of them that were on PBS over the past couple of weeks. I am definitely looking forward to finding the time to just chill and watch Sean B..."

The two recent Sharpe episodes shown on PBS's Masterpiece were just terrific! I loved 'em both, and hope that you do as well. Cheers! Chris


message 11: by Jamie (new)

Jamie Collins (jamie_goodreads) | 22 comments I've been re-watching the Sharpe episodes lately with my 13-yr-old, and he's enjoyed them more than I expected. They're low budget, so you have to accept battles being fought with about 20 extras (the French column is always approaching from around a bend) but I really like them.


Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) Jamie wrote: "I've been re-watching the Sharpe episodes lately with my 13-yr-old, and he's enjoyed them more than I expected. They're low budget, so you have to accept battles being fought with about 20 extras (..."

Jamie, I know what you mean. My wife thinks they're pretty cheesey, but I still love them! Each episode always has a pretty darned good plot, and it is easy to look beyond the low-budget elements. It is interesting too that these were all filmed in the Ukraine. The two recent episodes shown on PBS were actually filmed in India which was pretty nifty.

I wish someone would tackle the Aubrey-Maturin series like that! Now that would be awesome! Have a great weekend, Jamie! Cheers! Chris


message 13: by Sherwood (new)

Sherwood Smith (sherwoodsmith) | 8 comments I've enjoyed the movies more than the books, which tended to get repetitive, and the writing not always that great. Fun flicks to watch, though!


message 14: by Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (last edited Apr 30, 2010 12:15PM) (new)

Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) If any of you are interested, I have included three of Bernard Cornwell's novels into the GR Bookswap collection. They include: Agincourt (new hardback), Sharpe's Fortress (paperback), and Sharpe's Havoc (paperback). They are free for the asking; and all you need to do is go to Bookswap, ask for them, and pay the postage! Let me know if you'd like one, or all of 'em. Cheers! Chris


message 15: by Rick (new)

Rick Spilman | 8 comments I have been reading Sharpe for years and have been amused as Bernie has had to double back and fill in some blank spots in the Sharpe chronology. As he has, Sharpe seems to look more and more like Sean Bean.

My wife and I discovered Sharpe when our local PBS station showed "Sharpe's Rifles" on "Masterpiece Theater." I am amused but not surprised how many female readers of Cornwell were first attracted by Sean Bean's portrayal.

Has anyone ever read "Rifleman Dodd" by C. S. Forester? (Released as "Death the the French" in the UK and Europe.) Cornwell is a great fan of Hornblower and it is clear to me that Sharpe was inspired by Dodd. (Cornwell wrote a much better character than Forester.)


message 16: by Sherwood (new)

Sherwood Smith (sherwoodsmith) | 8 comments I read the Foresters as a teen, which set my taste for the period, and for sea tales in specific. After I discovered O'Brian (and read the Aubrey Maturin series through three times) I went back to Forester and was surprised at how relatively monotone they were, after O'Brian's brilliance.


Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) Amen to that, Sister! No one -- I repeat -- No one can top the brilliance of O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin series! After I read the Aubrey-Maturin series the first time through, the Hornblowers went to the used bookstore.


message 18: by Jamie (new)

Jamie Collins (jamie_goodreads) | 22 comments Richard wrote: "My wife and I discovered Sharpe when our local PBS station showed "Sharpe's Rifles" on "Masterpiece Theater." I am amused but not surprised how many female readers of Cornwell were first attracted by Sean Bean's portrayal."

I'd have watched them anyway, but I'll admit that Sean Bean was icing on the cake.

I like the Forester books, but I'm sometimes annoyed by Hornblower's personality. Jack Aubrey seems to have been written as the antithesis of the abstemious, self-conscious, tone-deaf Hornblower. I haven't read Rifleman Dodd.


message 19: by Alaric (new)

Alaric | 4 comments Strange the number of times this happens; John le Carré has stated on several occasions that, when he thinks of his character, George Smiley, he "sees" Alec Guinness. Likewise Colin Dexter with Inspector Morse. The actor who plays a fictional character has a great responsibility; when, as in these instances, they take the character over, it is a tremendous compliment.
Incidentally, I feel Peck was the best Hornblower by a long way.


message 20: by Rick (new)

Rick Spilman | 8 comments Two more examples of television driving people to books. My wife is a member of the Republic of Pemberley, a Jane Austen on-line community which formed in response to an A&E Pride & Prejudice mini-series. Likewise, the Horations was organized after the A&E Hornblower mini-series. Ioan Gruffudd's boyish good looks apparently had something to do with attracting a new generation of female readers to Forester.


message 21: by Brad (new)

Brad (judekyle) | 19 comments Christopher wrote: "Amen to that, Sister! No one -- I repeat -- No one can top the brilliance of O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin series! After I read the Aubrey-Maturin series the first time through, the Hornblowers went t..."

I read Aubrey-Maturin first and now I am doing the Hornblowers, which is not the way to read them. The Hornblowers aren't anywhere near the same league, and I find it very slow going, although I am determined to read them all someday .


message 22: by Rick (new)

Rick Spilman | 8 comments I read Forester in high school and agree about some of the character issues mentioned here. I love O'Brien but occasionally get annoyed by his wandering narrative structure and his faux-Regency style which at times gets 'Austen-tatious.'

I really enjoy and admire Cornwell's clean and direct narratives. His battle scenes are exceptionally well done. He has managed to create a highly entertaining and engaging character in Sharpe. His books set in the the American Revolution, Civil War and Arthurian times have been good but, at least to my eye, have never quite managed to have the spark evident in many of the Sharpe books.


message 23: by Jamie (new)

Jamie Collins (jamie_goodreads) | 22 comments I discovered Aubrey-Maturin after seeing the movie. It's funny that the friends who drug me to see that movie (I don't go to many) didn't enjoy it, while I ran out and bought the whole series of books.

I agree about Cornwell's battle scenes. Sean Bean is great, but he doesn't fight like the Sharpe of the books.


message 24: by Rick (new)

Rick Spilman | 8 comments Jamie wrote: "I discovered Aubrey-Maturin after seeing the movie. It's funny that the friends who drug me to see that movie (I don't go to many) didn't enjoy it, while I ran out and bought the whole series of bo..."

Jamie wrote:

I agree about Cornwell's battle scenes. Sean Bean is great, but he doesn't fight like the Sharpe of the books.


I love the cinematography of "Master & Commander - Far Side of the World" but the plot makes zero sense. I have learned to ignore the plot in the movie and enjoy the pretty scenery.

It is fun to watch the Grenada "Sharpe" series while reading the book being dramatized. Cornwell describes huge battles while Grenada's budget allows for a cast of dozens to play all sides. And as Sharpe rises in the ranks, in the TV series, he remains in command of the same eight guys. All good fun.


message 25: by Ross (new)

Ross (rossscann) | 29 comments I was given "Master and Commander" about 30 years ago and having read the Hornblower series a couple of times, I thought oh good more Napoleonic war sea action. So I started reading at high speed looking for the action. After about 50 pages and little or no action I was thinking of giving up on the book, until I suddenly realized I am reading this much too fast. This is Austen and Trollope quality prose, not pulp fiction I am reading here. I have since been through the series 6 times, but have never bothered with Hornblower again. Sharpe only once.


message 26: by Tom (new)

Tom Behr) (tom_behr) | 10 comments Oh why not...
My very first, great sea novel was Kenneth Roberts' Lively Lady (War of 1812). Stunning many decades ago, still a delight now. If you don't know it, check it out.
I fell hopelessly in love with Hornblower in my early teens. One never forgets one's first love. But the experience of encountering O'Brien at the top of his game (about 75% of the time - not bad for 21 novels) after reading Hornblower was like the Guerriere with her 18 pounders and pressed crew encountering Hull's Constitution. Love Forrester as I did, O'Brien blew him out of the water. ps. Gregory Peck absolutely WAS Hornblower. pps. How about Jack's culture shock in the battle between HMS Java and Bainbridge in the Constitution?


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