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The Sharpe Series (20) - Sharpe's Waterloo [Paperback]

Bernard Cornwell
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)

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Book Description

3 May 2005 The Sharpe Series (Book 20)

Richard Sharpe and the Waterloo Campaign, 15 June to 18 June 1815.

It is 1815. Sharpe is serving on the personal staff of the Prince of Orange, who refuses to listen to Sharpe’s reports of an enormous army, led by Napoleon, marching towards them.

The Battle of Waterloo commences and it seems as if Sharpe must stand by and watch the grandest scale of military folly. But at the height of battle, as victory seems impossible, Sharpe takes command and the most hard-fought and bloody battle of his career becomes his most magnificent triumph.

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: 448 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; New edition edition (3 May 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006510426
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006510420
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 17.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 206,221 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

Product Description

Review

‘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

About the Author

Bernard Cornwell was born in London, raised in Essex and now lives in the USA. In addition to the Sharpe series, he is the author of the Arthurian series, the Warlord Chronicles; the Starbuck Chronicles on the American Civil War; Stonehenge; Gallows Thief; the Grail Quest series; and his new series, set during the reign of King Alfred. His latest novel is Azincourt.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Sharpe's Waterloo is quite a different book to the other Sharpe's I have read. Sharpe seems to have been written around the events at Quatre Bras and Waterloo, rather than being central to them. If Sharpe was an afterthought, then Harper was lucky to make it into the pages at all. Whilst he is there, he doesn't add anything to the plot, but perhaps Cornwell just didn't want to leave him out. If anything the battles are the central characters.
I still really enjoyed reading this, the writing style still made it hard to put down, the battle descriptions are detailed, gruesome and gripping as any, maybe more so.
Sharpe's feud with Lord John Rossendale and his dispute with the foolish Prince of Orange thread through the story in true Cornwell style.
It's the end of the Napoleonic wars for Sharpe, Harper and a few others, perhaps a fitting one, though I'm not too sure. Still, I am sure that I'll be reading Sharpe's Devil pretty soon, followed by Sharpe's Tiger et al.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sharpe's 'Insert ABBA Title Here' 27 Jan 2010
Format:Paperback
Like all good things the `Sharpe' series had to come to an end and what better way with the most famous battle of the Napoleonic Wars - Waterloo. Most Bernard Cornwell fans will be well aware that 1990's `Sharpe's Waterloo' was by no means the character's last book, but the author wrote it like it may have been. The Sharpe series have always had a basic structure; battle at the start, Sharpe falls for a woman, Sharpe meets colourful enemy with nickname such as `The Butcher', battle at the end in which Sharpe beds woman and kills enemy. `Waterloo' throws this out of the window and instead is almost one continuous battle from start to finish.

With this in mind the book will appeal to some fans of the series and not others. As a rule I love the way that Cornwell describes fighting and `Waterloo' is a smorgasbord of detail and horror. For me it is the quintessential novel by the author and highlights how brilliant he is at creating atmosphere and making history evocative. However, other people will decry the lack of character development and the way that some storylines are seemingly left to hang in the air. It is true that there is no real structure to the book apart from the battle itself, but when that battle is written so well this is all you need. I would urge people to read some of the earlier book in the series first so that you get to know and love Sharpe and Harper, but for those who do know them - this is their greatest test ever.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, historical and bloody! 3 Oct 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I am a big fan of the sharpe books and the TV dramas. When I started reading Sharpes Waterloo the book instantly sprung alive and you could almost smell the musket smoke. Bernard Cornwell is a superb writer who manages to make the story bounce alive out of the book with his fantastic descriptiveness, especially of Sharpe, portraying him as a 'tramp'.
The battles scenes are excellent, whether it be a small skirmish between the Prussians and the French or the main battle of Waterloo, they remain historically accurate. If you are interested in war, history or just good literature I would highly recommend this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Contains All the Best Elements of the Series 1 Sep 2009
By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
"And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon." -- Revelation 16:16

Waterloo was the last battle of the Napoleonic Wars, a last brilliant gamble by the returned-from-exile Emperor Napoleon to surprise his enemies and gloriously split their forces so they could be destroyed. The best part of the book comes in having Richard Sharpe be present for the key action as the British and Prussians are surprised . . . and almost undone before barely prevailing. The battle story telling reminded me of the best parts of Bruce Catton's distinguished history books of the American Civil War. It's gripping and terribly interesting . . . in that strange way that awful events pull us in.

Bernard Cornwell also remained loyal to his favorite pet peeves, working them into central parts of the story:

1. The gaps between the well-born and the up-from-the-ranks officers.
2. The hypocritical attitude toward honor among the well-to-do.
3. The idiocy of letting aristocrats with no experience make battle decisions.
4. The bravery of the despised common soldier who fought better than any other nation's soldiers.

He also picks up on the disloyalty of Sharpe's wife, dangling in our minds many potential ends for the perfidious lovers.

I was sorry to see the last battle.

If you haven't read any other books in the series, do go back and start at the beginning in order of the chronology of the events . . . before reading this satisfying book.

Charge!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prime stuff, Sharpe's finest hour! 23 Oct 2007
By Didier TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've read quite a few books, both fiction and non-fiction, about the Napoleonic wars in general and Waterloo specifically but in the fiction-category this is probably the best. If you've read the 17 preceding Sharpe-novels you'll be glad to learn that many of the familiar characters of those novels are present at Sharpe's finest hour, the plot is as thrilling as ever (as Cornwell himself says in the foreword, he just stuck to the dramatic events as they unfolded themselves in reality, that's as good a plot as any author could invent), and the book is filled cover to cover with action scenes.

I'm not sure if I'll be reading "Sharpe's Devil" soon because this book is so good and so natural an end to the joint adventures of Sharpe and the Duke of Wellington, which have provided me with many happy hours of reading for precious little money, that for the time being I'm content to let it rest at that.

If you read nothing but this single book featuring Sharpe you'll be treated to a rare experience, and if you decide to read the entire series all the more so.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Sharpe's Waterloo
This book disappointed me. Bernard Cornwell's account of the battle of Waterloo was disjointed and confusing. Too many sub-plots contributed to the confusion. Read more
Published 1 month ago by His Honour J. Qc
5.0 out of 5 stars Sharpes Waterloo
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 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars As usual ,excellent delivery time ,which sometimes can be delayed in...
I've had to read the book discreetly down here ,a lot of the previous book referred to local towns and forts which Wellington sacked . Read more
Published 2 months ago by 229
4.0 out of 5 stars another good read
Nearly finished the whole series now I enjoyed the this one again, will need to see what other stories Bernard has waiting for me
Published 4 months ago by Michael Walsh
5.0 out of 5 stars Sharpe's Waterloo: The Waterloo Campaign, 15-18 June, 1815 (The...
A really good read, certainly up to Mr. Bernard Cornwell's usual standard.
Could not put the book down until finished.
Published 7 months ago by MR. N J CUTLER
5.0 out of 5 stars Sharpe present
Bought the full series of Sharpe for my son from different sellers and he has enjoyed all of the novels
Published 7 months ago by Mr P Dale
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Great story from Cornwell . Plenty of background to the battle and loads of action description of the battle. Sharpe of course excels and plays his part in the victory. Read more
Published 8 months ago by EK
5.0 out of 5 stars Trevor
Great series of books but it's a shame they are a different print run as they are bigger books and don't sit neatly with the previous smaller print run.
Published 9 months ago by TJH
5.0 out of 5 stars sharpe's waterloo
another great read from bernard cornwall i have now completed reading all of his sharpe novels what shall i do now
Published 17 months ago by brian f dolling
3.0 out of 5 stars The penultimate of the Sharpe series and Waterloo too!
The historic detail of the battle of Waterloo is good, accurate and you do get the feeling of actually being there. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Squadron
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