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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And my school teachers convinced me that history was boring
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...
Published on 19 Nov 2003 by Sally-Anne

versus
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. action sequences excellent, brings the siege to life very well indeed. enjoyable read.
Published 14 days ago by jmartincheape


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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And my school teachers convinced me that history was boring, 19 Nov 2003
By 
Sally-Anne "mynameissally" (Leicestershire, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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. One of the things I really appreciate about Cornwell's books, is that (in the ones I've read so far at least), he writes a "Historical Note" at the end and you find that, although you've been reading fiction, it's fiction in a correct historical context. Many of the characters and events are real and have been historically documented and Cornwell is almost apologetic about slight changes he makes to real events to suit his story. Speaking of a huge, dramatic explosion that actually did happen, but in reality a couple of days before the battle began, he says, "I changed the nature of that explosion, and delayed it by two days, because fictional heroes must be given suitable employment". How true!
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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
By 
Spare-Time Critic "Deb" (New Orleans area, LA USA) - See all my reviews
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good book sir, very good, says so in the scriptures!, 17 July 2005
By 
Philip Kane "the_amazing_Phil" (Luton, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A review of Sharpe's Tiger, 20 Nov 2004
Having read the Grail Quest trilogy after recieving Harlequin as a christmas present, I decided to investigate the Sharpe series. After some research I decided to start at the start with Sharpes Tiger. It does not disapoint.
And so we join Richard Sharpe, a bored private in the British ranks, who is in India for the duration of this book. The British forces are about to launch an attack on the Tippoo of Seringpetang when a valued British officer is captured. Sharpe is saved from a flogging, and almost certain death, to go and rescue this officer. This leads him deep into the Tippoo's city and soon it is upon Sharpe's shoulders to save the whole British Army from the Tippoo's trap
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning 'Boys-Own' British Raj romp, 29 Sep 1999
By A Customer
A superb narrative set in India in 1799 with much historical fact as well as a gripping plot, plenty of action, wit, and a hero - Private Richard Sharpe - who is immediately identifiable with, as well as wholly believable. He is the original Redcoat "grunt" who changes the face of soldiering in the British army almost single-handedly as well as carrying out heroic deeds in good-old roustabout manner. "I was so impressed I went out and bought every Sharpe novel to read in chronological order" There's even an almost sympathetic villain in Sharpe's deadly Nemesis: Obadiah Hakeswill. All-in-all, a thoroughly enjoyable read; unreservedly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting introduction to Richard Sharpe., 20 Sep 1999
By 
billski@lineone.net (Coventry, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
Although this was not the first book of the Sharpe saga that I have read, I wasn't left with the impression that I should have read this book first. I couldn't get straight into this book it took me sometime to get hooked. However once I took the bait I found it very difficult to put this book down. The characters meld well together & from the off I found Hakeswill a real nice person...not. The story itself is well written(just like the rest) & I find the "History Notes" at the back of the book really interesting to compare with the incidents that are described in it. The story itself is just like the rest of the Sharpe saga's (fort to attack,woman to save & officers to admire/hate) which for any Sharpe fan is a must.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How did I miss this?, 31 Jan 2007
I had heard of the Sharpe TV series but had never watched it until just over a month ago when it was repeated on UK Gold. And was I impressed? It led me to search the net for the books and find out the chronological order before purchasing Sharpe's Tiger from Amazon. And I was hooked. It may sound like a cliche but I could smell the smoke and fear of each battle and the fact that Sharpe is a flawed hero makes it all the more intriguing. The characters are well drawn ( I really hope Hakeswill gets his comeuppance at some point) and the fact that the battle of Seringapatam is drawn from an actual incident that took place in 1799 just goes to show that Mr Cornwell has done his research.

Fast moving, riveting and historically acurate you could do a lot worse than try this. I have just finished Sharpe's Triumph and am awaiting delivery of the next two installments. They are that good.

Just wish I'd discovered them sooner but hey...The journey has just begun.

FANTASTIC!!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A look at a brilliant book., 17 Mar 2003
By 
Sharpes Tiger is an amazeing book.
I have been a fan of the Sharpe novels and TV series for a long time and this is a great read.
You join sharp on a secret mission which he accepts to escape his enemy Hakeswill and certain death. This misiion will lead him to a confrontaion with a leader, a sergent and a choice of weather to save an army.
It is a gripping tale and i was enthralled from the outset. It is one of those books you cant put down and when you do you cant wait to pick it up again.
The battles jump off the page and the charecters have real depth, all of them you feel you know by the end.
This is a great book if you are a long time fan or new to the sharp series and i sincerely recomend it to everyone.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Amazing Start to an Amazing Series!, 11 Jan 2005
My friend had been reading Sharpe novels for a while and he strongly recommended that I begin reading the series. There was absolutely no doubt that he was 100% correct when he said it was one of the best books he had ever read! After reading Sharpe's Tiger, I invested in the complete DVD Boxed Set, which provided hours of exciting entertainment.
The story follows a young soldier, Private Richard Sharpe. He travels through India under the command of a young Colonel Arthur Wellesley (later in the series becoming the Duke of Wellington) and the evil, scheming Sergeant Obadiah Hakeswill, who will stop at nothing to see the end of Sharpe. When Richard Sharpe is accused of attacking an officer, he is sentenced to a hefty flogging. Young Wellesley brings news to Sharpe of a mission he must attend if the flogging is to be stopped. It seemed suicidal to enter the walled city of Seringapatam, but with the help of his good friend, Lieutenant Crawford and his fiancée, Richard Sharpe successfully infiltrates the home of the Tippoo Sultan and finally saving the day...
An excellent book that is well researched by Bernard Cornwell. Historically correct and well worth a read. Read this. Enjoy it. Then read the rest!
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Sharpe's Tiger: The Siege of Seringapatam, 1799 (The Sharpe Series, Book 1)
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