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Sharpe's Tiger: Richard Sharpe and the Siege of Seringapatam, 1799 [Sharpe 1] [Paperback]

Bernard Cornwell
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (112 customer reviews)

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Book Description

4 Jun 2007

The prequel to the series, describing Sharpe’s experiences in India, repackaged to tie in with the fantastic new Sharpe look.

When a senior British officer is captured by the Tippoo of Mysore’s forces, Sharpe is offered a chance to attempt a rescue, which in turn offers an escape from the tyrannical Sergeant Obadiah Hakeswill.

But in fleeing Hakeswill, Sharpe enters the exotic and dangerous world of the Tippoo. An adventure that will require all of his wits just to stay alive, let alone save the British army from catastrophe.

Soldier, hero, rogue – Sharpe is the man you always want on your side. Born in poverty, he joined the army to escape jail and climbed the ranks by sheer brutal courage. He knows no other family than the regiment of the 95th Rifles whose green jacket he proudly wears.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; (Reissue) edition (4 Jun 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006490352
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007774005
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 17.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (112 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 237,041 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


‘Sharpe and his creator are national treasures.' Sunday Telegraph

'Bernard Cornwell is a literary miracle. Year after year, hail, rain, snow, war and political upheavals fail to prevent him from producing the most entertaining and readable historical novels of his generation.' Daily Mail

'Cornwell's narration is quite masterly and supremely well-researched.' Observer
‘The best battle scenes of any writer I’ve ever read, past or present. Cornwell really makes history come alive.’ George R.R. Martin

From the Publisher

Set against the background of dazzling wealth, ruinous poverty, gorgeous palaces, sudden cruelty and pitiless battles, Sharpe’s Tiger is his greatest adventure yet.

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It was funny, Richard Sharpe thought, that there were no vultures in England. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
The year is 1799. The location is Southern India. Richard Sharpe is a young Private soldier of 22 (give or take a year) at this point. He's not sure precisely how old he is because his mother, "a Cat Lane whore", had not passed that information on to the staff of the foundling home where he grew up. As the story begins, he's considering running away and wondering whether one of his mates and his girl can be persuaded to join his escape from the British army's 33 regiment. Life in the army is hard for a common soldier and Sharpe's life is being made even harder by his sergeant, Obadiah Hakeswill, who seems to be a psychopath. Hakeswill and Captain Morris want to sell Sharpe's girl friend to a pimp and when Hakeswill tells Sharpe so, in order to provoke him, Sharpe takes the bate and is sentenced to 2,000 lashes. Fortunately, he only receives 202 because Colonel Arthur Wellesley (later to become the Duke of Wellington) stops the flogging, not because he's a nice chap but because the army has a use for Sharpe. They want him to rescue a British officer who is being held prisoner by the Tippoo Sultan, ruler of Mysore, on the island of Seringapatam, that the British army is planning to attack. Sharpe accepts the mission and as difficult and dangerous as it is, it's a lot safer than being at the mercy of Hakeswill and Morris.
This is the 5th of Cornwell's books that I've read. I find his tales so gripping that I frequently find I'm still reading them at 4am, trying to discipline myself to close the book and get some sleep, but thinking "just to the end of this chapter", or "just a couple more pages". Sharpe's Tiger is another of his gripping, ripping yarns and a very enjoyable read.
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47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Just for the Boys 17 May 2002
I picked up "Sharpe's Tiger" solely because I'd run out of books of my own. My husband had devoured the entire Sharpe series, but his taste in reading material isn't something we always shrare. Nevertheless, I couldn't find any better candidates among his book collection, and a quick scan assured me it would at least be a quick read.
Was I pleasantly surprised! I've since read four additional books in the series, and am working on a fifth. Bernard Cornwall makes war interesting, and the first four books (the prequels to the original series) include handy sketch maps to help keep track of things. Even details like the steps required to load a musket, which I would have expected to be achingly dull, are presented in a straightforward and entertaining manner. You never get the impression that Cornwell is trying to fill up space or show off his (obviously vast) knowledge.
Sharpe himself is a believable hero -- or would you call him an anti-hero? He's certainly no Dudley Dooright; he's lowborn, unmannered and uncultured, but you end up rooting for him just the same. The women in the series so far are usually in need of rescuing, but they aren't the typical delicate blossoms of femininity. Instead, Cornwell portrays them as intelligent, pragmatic, hard-edged, and more likely to trade in our hero for a better deal than the other way around. The only (minor) criticism I can make of this book is that Sharpe's nemesis, Hakeswill, seems a bit overboard. But nobody's perfect. ;)
Sharpe's Tiger had a tough time working its way into my reading list but, once it did, I was hooked. I'll continue with the series, and I won't be as put off by historical fiction as I was, thank's to Bernard Cornwell's talented contributions.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life Before Portugal 14 Jan 2004
When you read any of the Sharpe novels, it's difficult to believe that Bernard Cornwell wasn't there himself. The depth of the research is evident at all times, but what really strikes me is the superb way in which Cornwell manages to portray battles throughout the series (and Sharpe does get into a lot of fights).
It's good that Cornwell has chosen to extend the series leading up to Sharpe's time on the Peninsula. It's a rich source of new adventures, as he has shown in the novels leading up to Sharpe's Rifles, even if he does end up being involved in Trafalgar (but that's another story).
India is a mystical place to many, and here Cornwell paints a vivid picture of a land filled with magical intrigue but still overbearing with the discomforts of the ordinary soldier. Sharpe is once again picked out, though not as an officer. It's always nice to see him get one over on the upper class idiots running the British army, but also nice to extend his background.
The story is up to Cornwell's usual high standards and although you know all along that Sharpe will survive and succeed (due to the fact that there's a 17+ book series ahead of him), there's still some tension you feel when he gets into trouble. A true classic.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
This book is so intricately detailed and deep you've really got to wonder if bernard's got a time machine locked away somewhere. Though chronologically speaking, this is the first book, it's not the first Sharpe book he's written but more of a prequel. As such the characters are all fully developed, but we get to see them as they were when they were younger in India.
Sharpe is as good an anti-hero as you'll ever find and Obediah Hakeswill is quite possibly the biggest b*st*rd you'll ever find. The lazy foppery of the "gentlemen" officers contrats greatly with the grim competance and generally low behaviour of the common soldier and the setting is vivid, it feels almost as if you're there.
I won't spoil the plot, but the twists are twisty, you end up wanting to throttle Obediah as much as ever, and the characters are all well written, and yes, you will picture Sharpe as Sean Bean no matter how hard you try not to!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
nothing outstanding but very readable
Published 12 days ago by pip
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
20/20, As described, pleasure to deal with, no problems here- highly recommended
Published 14 days ago by Mr. John M. Hughes
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
An enjoyable read
Published 1 month ago by BEV
3.0 out of 5 stars sharpe's tiger
good place to start. written after the original novels but set earlier in sharpe's life. hes a rogue but a brave one. Read more
Published 1 month ago by jmartincheape
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good buys
Published 1 month ago by john brittain
5.0 out of 5 stars Rip roaring read
A good read, in my opinion well written and historically accurate. It's hooked me into moving on to the next volume in the series.
Published 2 months ago by Phil
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read
Sharpe,s Tiger was a great Book to Read , Once you Start You Just Cant Put It Down, Exciting to the end , Cant Wait To Read More About Sharpe,s Adventures in Bernard Cornwell ,s... Read more
Published 2 months ago by neil cartwright
5.0 out of 5 stars Re-reading Sharpe - having watched all the DVDs several times
I love Sharpe and have reada all the books once and decided it was worth a re-read and had to buy some as last time I gotr most from the library. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars great read
Best book I have read in a long time, can't wait to get hold of the rest.

I now see why my dad loves the sharpe books!
Published 3 months ago by anthony edwards
5.0 out of 5 stars Reason to buy
Had already read the book and wanted to read it again so chose to put it on my new Kindle
Published 4 months ago by Jungle
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