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Sharpe's Rifles [With Headphones] [Preloaded Digital Audio Player]

4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Preloaded Digital Audio Player
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1433272180
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433272189
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 1.2 x 0.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)

More About the Author

Bernard Cornwell was born in London, raised in Essex, and now lives mainly in the USA with his wife. In addition to the hugely successful Sharpe novels, Bernard Cornwell is the author of the Starbuck Chronicles, the Warlord trilogy, the Grail Quest series and the Alfred series.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 21 Jan 2006
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Sharpe's Rifles is the story of Richard Sharpe and the French invasion of Galicia. From the outset this is a fast-paced story of faith and determination that is hard to put down.
Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe series is a fantastic example of engaging historical fiction. I especially like the historical note at the end of each book explaining which parts of the story were fiction and which were genuine events. These books bring the Peninsular War (and the Indian campaign) to life.
I recommend reading the books in chronological order - not always easy as there are new ones written quite often. Enjoy!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Many people compare the Hornblower books to the Sharpe novels and vice versa. The two series have little in common other than covering similar time periods in British history, one from the naval and the other from the military perspective. As his name suggests, Sharpe is quick-witted and as adaptable as a Swiss army knife. Hornblower is more cerebral and comfortable in his officer's role. Sharpe is initially a fish out of water when leading his men, and he knows it.

If you are like me, you've been reading these books in the order of the events they portray (rather than the order of publication). From that perspective, Sharpe's Rifles is the sixth in chronological order of events.

Since Sharpe was raised to be an ensign by saving the life of Sir Arthur Wellesley as the Battle of Assaye, he's been struggling. The Scottish regiments in India didn't want him because he is English. Posted to the 95th Rifles in England, the officers don't want him because he's not a gentleman born and the men don't respect him for the same reason. But he's seen as valuable in a quartermaster role where he can keep an eye on the tricks that soldiers use to fiddle the stores. Sharpe is a good quartermaster, but he wants to fight instead.

In Sharpe's Rifles, Sharpe comes unexpectedly to command a small group of the 95th Rifles during a disastrous retreat from the victorious French. He decides to take his men to Lisbon to find transport, but the men plan to head north instead. Immediately, Sharpe's authority is challenged and he fights back the only way he knows how . . . with his fists. Into that perilous moment steps a Spanish grandee, Major Blas Vivar, who persuades Sharpe to join forces with his cavalry troops who are carrying a mysterious chest to Santiago de Compostela.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great story, well told 16 April 2013
I'm reading Sharpe for the first time, chronologically. This is the sixth in the series and covers Sharpe's adventures during the retreat to Corunna, when he finally comes to terms with the Rifles, gets involved with Spanish resistance to the French, and learns a lot about how to be an officer. This is easily the best-written of the 'retrospectives', not surprising since it was written long before the others, being 9th in order of writing. Cornwell is not the only prolific author whose quality suffered a little in his later career. There are several things that make this stand out in comparison to its chronological predecessors. The technical quality of the writing is better - with less use of stock phrases, a more consistent and believable plot, and a better balance between descriptive prose and dialogue. The attention to detail is superb, and the sympathetic treatment of Sharpe's problems with being being an officer makes him a much more rounded character than the cardboard super-hero of the India series, for example. Also, whereas in the previous books Sharpe simply has to look at a woman and she is his, here he has to cope with rejection - which he does like a gentleman. The scene-setting is second to none, Cornwell's painting of Galicia during a particularly savage winter is almost painful to read, and the fight scenes are drawn with more patience and faultless pacing - utterly unlike the frenetic whizz-bang (almost Tom and Jerry) efforts of novels written a decade later.

A very good read, probably worth 5 stars, but I had to leave a bit of leeway for those stories written before this one which are probably even better. I must say I admire the skill with which the author writes these novels to fill gaps in the chronology. It must be a nightmare to do, being consistent with books written several years earlier.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Winter action in Spain 30 July 2007
By Didier TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Sharpe (by now a Lieutenant) is covering the retreat of the British army towards Corunna in the bitter winter of 1809. The French army is in relentless pursuit when Sharpe and his men become isolated and have to face an enemy of their own...

As with any Sharpe-novel, do not expect lots of philosophical ponderings or in-depth exploration of characters and emotions, but rather: a good plot, plenty of action, and Cornwell's easy story-telling talent that will keep you up at night, desperate to find out what happens on the next page!
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25 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The start of a great series of adventures 11 Sep 2000
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Although not the finest book in the Sharpe series, Sharpe's Rifles lays the foundation for the entirety of the Sharpe adventures. Cornwell manages to give the reader an informed opinion about all of the major characters, and also sets the scene for the Peninsular and Napoleonic conflicts that follow. Essential reading for anyone wanting to get into Sharpe, and for anyone who saw the TV series.....the books are far better!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars sharp !
bernard cornwell writes a good book at all times and as always sharpe comes out well worth the read.
Published 15 days ago by colin john allen
5.0 out of 5 stars All the Sharpe stories are an excellent read
Good condition and good value. The stories are wonderful and I'm collecting the whole series. Bernard Cornwell's an excellent story teller with good attention to historical facts
Published 1 month ago by wendel
5.0 out of 5 stars Sharpe's Rifles
I am a devoted fan of the tv series and actually watch it every time it is on no matter how many times I have seen it. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
2.0 out of 5 stars book condition
the condition of the book is rubish very very well worn ,bent and torn pages and some pages missinng.not good enough for amazon
Published 4 months ago by Charles
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than Sharpe's Fortress
I enjoyed this book more than Sharpe's Fortress as it was almost continual action.
Following a small battle, Sharpe is left as the senior officer of the 95th Rifles. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Mrs. Bruce
5.0 out of 5 stars Sharpe Present
As with all the other Sharpe reviews once again this was my sons present and something he appeared to enjoy
Published 7 months ago by Mr P Dale
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
I am still addicted to the sharpe series, another good read and can't wait to start the next adventure. The whole series is well worth a read.
Published 8 months ago by Michael Walsh
5.0 out of 5 stars Another exciting read
Great, but there again I am a great fan of Bernard Cornwell who consistently excels in this kind of genre.
Published 10 months ago by MR E J CHERREY
5.0 out of 5 stars Rifles GREAT
Having seen all the Sharps films can picture the scenes. With all the smoke,blood,and great acting from start to finish.As normal.
Published 11 months ago by jeff garrod
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!
this isn't the first time I've read this book but it's as fresh, exciting and as well written as the first time. Would thoroughly recommend it!!
Published 11 months ago by Margaret Croucher
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