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Sharpe's Enemy [Audiobook] [Audio Cassette]

Bernard Cornwell , William Gaminara
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

December 1995 Richard Sharpe Adventure

A classic Sharpe adventure: Richard Sharpe and the Defence of Portugal, Christmas 1812.

 Newly promoted, Major Richard Sharpe leads his small force into the biting cold of the winter mountains. His task is to rescue a group of well-born women held hostage by a rabble of deserters. And one of the renegades is Sergeant Hakeswill, Sharpe’s most implacable enemy.
But the rescue is the least of Sharpe’s problems. He must face a far greater threat. With only the support of his own company and the new Rocket Troop – the last word in military incompetence – to back his gamble, Sharpe cannot afford even to recognize the prospect of defeat. For to surrender – or to fail – would mean the end of the war for the Allied armies…

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Review

‘Stirring… imaginative… inventive’ -- Evening Standard --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Born in Essex in 1944 Bernard Cornwell was adopted at the age of six weeks by two members of a strict fundamentalist sect called the Peculiar People. He grew up in a household that forbade alcohol, cigarettes, dances, television, conventional medicine and toy guns. Not surprisingly, he developed a fascination for military adventure. As a teenager he devoured CS Forester’s Hornblower novels and tried to enlist three times. Poor eyesight put paid to his dream, instead he went to university to read theology. On graduating, he became a teacher, then joined BBC’s Nationwide, working his way up the ladder to become head of current affairs at BBC Northern Ireland, then editor of Thames News. In 1979, his life changed when he fell in love with an American.

"Judy couldn’t live here, so I gave up my job and moved to the US. I couldn’t get a green card, and for 18 months the only thing I could do was write novels." The result was his first book about 19th century hero, Richard Sharpe, Sharpe’s Eagle.

Today he has 20 Sharpe adventures behind him, plus a series about the American Civil War, the Starbuck novels; an enormously successful trilogy about King Arthur, The Warlord Chronicles; the Hundred Years War set Grail Quest series; and his current series about King Alfred.

Bernard Cornwell owns houses in Cape Cod and Florida and two boats. Every year he takes two months off from his writing and spends most of his time on his 24 foot Cornish crabber, Royalist.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most helpful customer reviews
By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
I highly recommend that you read Sharpe's Enemy in the order of the chronology that it reflects. Although this book was number six in the original publication sequence, Sharpe's Enemy is fifteenth in chronological order of events.

As the book opens, Sharpe receives an unexpected message that changes his expectations quite a lot. He also gets a surprise when he's asked to evaluate a new unit, one employing Congreve's rockets (a la The Star Spangled Banner). From there, he is asked to perform the dangerous task of delivering a ransom for Lady Farthingale . . . without much expectation that this will work. Ever vigilant, Sharpe realizes that he will need to keep his eyes open for a possible later rescue. The ransom attempt brings two big surprises.

As the story develops, Sharpe finds himself in a typically uncomfortable position operating under a leader who is a fool and treats Sharpe with contempt. Eventually, the story develops into an extremely imaginative battle sequence that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Before the book is over you'll find your emotions going up and down like a yo-yo. It's great fun.

My only complaint about the book is that Mr. Cornwell mostly ignores actual history in developing his story. As a result, the developments lack the impact of realizing that amazing sequences are pretty close to what actually happened.

Pay attention to your instincts!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Marvelous!! May 13 2003
Format:Paperback
Bernard Cornwell just keeps getting better and better as these books progress! This is now the 13th volume on Sharpe's timeline, and the 6th in order of publication. The character development continues to improve as new personae are introduced in each installment. An especially appealing new character is the one-eyed and mutilated rifle captain , "Sweet William", who joins Sharpe and Harper in this highly entertaining novel.
The time is late 1812 with Christmas approaching. A renegade army of British , Spanish , Portuguese , and French deserters have captured the "wife" of Colonel Sir Augustus Fotheringdale (what a name!), another of those rich and aristocratic and enormously egotistical bungling incompotents that seem to pop up regularly in these novels. Sharpe is selected to rescue the damsel in distress who is being held at an old castle and watchtower on the Northern border of Portugal , known as "the Gateway of God". He is provided by Wellington with two additional companies of riflemen and a batallion of Welsh Fusileers as reinforcements. Sharpe , now a Major , commands the rescue operation and manages to effect it with only minimal losses. The subsequent interference by Sir Augustus manages to result in the death of Colonel Kinney , the commander of the Fusileers , leaving Sharpe as the only experienced senior officer present. Also liberated is the wife of a French Colonel , who is returned promptly to her husband . The French seemingly have also mounted a rescue attempt , but only as a cover for an invasion of Portugal. Sharpe manages to uncover the scheme and settles in to thwart the French and brings them to battle , seeking to buy time for Wellington to respond.
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5.0 out of 5 stars best in show March 11 2003
By Emily
Format:Paperback
i've been reading the sharpe books since a little girl and this one has never failed to make me cry. Possibly the most beautifully written ending to any book I have read- proof to the huge empathy that Cornwell evokes in readers for his characters. A wonderful book and one that i shall never tire of reading
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  46 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best of the Sharpe novels! July 23 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I have read all the Sharpe novels and in my opinion, this is the most entertaining. Unfortunately, it is one of the few that is not based on historical accounts, but there is enough realism to make it interesting. From the new-fangled "rockets" that are put to good use to the descriptions of early 19th century Christmas celebrations to the wonderfully evil Hakeswill to incompetent senior officers, this book has it all. Sharpe has a chance to lead a battalion of troops against an enemy of overwhelming numerical superiority and, in the Sharpe tradition, does it through a combination of ferocious and dirty fighting. One has to wonder how much more quickly Britain would have won the Peninsula wars if they had promoted all officers based on merit instead of patronage and cash. To get the full flavor of the book, however, it should not be read out of sequence with the rest of the novels in the series. The twist at the end (which I will not reveal here) is somewhat of a downer, but it provides motivation in later novels.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marvelous!! May 13 2003
By Rodger Raubach - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Bernard Cornwell just keeps getting better and better as these books progress! This is now the 13th volume on Sharpe's timeline, and the 6th in order of publication. The character development continues to improve as new personae are introduced in each installment. An especially appealing new character is the one-eyed and mutilated rifle captain , "Sweet William", who joins Sharpe and Harper in this highly entertaining novel.
The time is late 1812 with Christmas approaching. A renegade army of British , Spanish , Portuguese , and French deserters have captured the "wife" of Colonel Sir Augustus Fotheringdale (what a name!), another of those rich and aristocratic and enormously egotistical bungling incompotents that seem to pop up regularly in these novels. Sharpe is selected to rescue the damsel in distress who is being held at an old castle and watchtower on the Northern border of Portugal , known as "the Gateway of God". He is provided by Wellington with two additional companies of riflemen and a batallion of Welsh Fusileers as reinforcements. Sharpe , now a Major , commands the rescue operation and manages to effect it with only minimal losses. The subsequent interference by Sir Augustus manages to result in the death of Colonel Kinney , the commander of the Fusileers , leaving Sharpe as the only experienced senior officer present. Also liberated is the wife of a French Colonel , who is returned promptly to her husband . The French seemingly have also mounted a rescue attempt , but only as a cover for an invasion of Portugal. Sharpe manages to uncover the scheme and settles in to thwart the French and brings them to battle , seeking to buy time for Wellington to respond.
There are many interesting twists and turns to the plot , in which Sharpe encounters his old mortal enemy , Obadiah Hakeswill , fights a battle , commands a batallion , and suffers a tragic loss.
This is one of the best Richard Sharpe novels ; not necessarily "the best" , but close enough. Five stars.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a Great Story! Sept. 12 2001
By "p_trabaris" - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
�Sharpe�s Enemy� by Bernard Cornwell is probably the best in the Sharpe series. There is nothing lacking in the story: evil and corrupt enemies, damsels in distress, heart breaking pathos and (of course) hard-fought battles. The year is 1812 and it�s Christmas time in Spain. Joining Sharpe in �Enemy� is his trusty companion Sargent Harper, the battle scared Captain �Sweet William� and the often drunk Lieutenant Harry Price. Typical of Cornwell�s Sharpe adventures are the enemy forces that will stop at nothing in their efforts to defeat the brave British soldiers.
Major Sharpe is given the task of liberating two officer�s wives and capturing the forces of Pot-au-Feu, a �Marshal� in the renegade army. During his ransom negotiations with the deserters, he encounters his old nemesis the evil and twisted Obadiah Hakeswill. Other enemies include: Sharpe�s commanding officer the incompetent and cowardly Colonel Sir Augustus and the evil and conniving French Major Ducos. One of the refreshing themes in this story is that the enemies are not just the French army but the people that are supposedly his allies. Surprisingly enough during a temporary treaty he gains some respect for a few of the Napoleon�s officers. Throughout the course of the story he commands a battalion, defends a castle and wins countless battles.
For people that have never read a Sharpe book I would like to quote a couple of sentences as an example of Cornwell�s style.
�Charge!
This was the way to end it! Sword in hand and charging, and even though the battle was lost he could still make these
French regret the day they had come to the Gateway of God. He could put fear in them for their next battle, he would make them remember this place with sourness.�
This is Cornwell�s gritty style. Sharpe is a soldier�s soldier and hero for all ages.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Napoleonic Adventures April 29 1999
By A. Ross - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Somehow, I've been aware for years of Cornwall's series set in the Napoleonic wars, and the BBC productions based on them, but haven't gotten around to sampling either book or video until this. It is obviously in the middle of the series, but the reader does not suffer from this. You can pretty quickly tell which characters are reoccurring ones, and indeed the British hero Sharpe finally has it out with his old enemy Obadiah Hakeswell (great name!) in this volume. Certainly, there would be greater deliciousness if I'd read of their previous encounters, but Cornwall effectively summarizes them so that one is satisfied. The military action centers around a small Spanish village near the Portuguese border, in which a band of deserters are holding hostage a number of innocent women, including the wives of some British and French officers. Sharpe is assigned the task of their rescue, and then later assumes great responsibilities as he must meet a challenge from the French. There is some good stuff about how the British officers operated, and some fun with the first rocket artillery unit in war. Despite all these heroics, Cornwall keeps the horror and senseless waste of war in clear focus. The ending is especially bittersweet, though not unexpected. I'll definitely be looking to read this series in order, or at least check out the videos.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Loved the book, hated the kindle version Feb. 23 2011
By E. Parr - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I probably enjoyed this book more than any of the (chronologically) prior Sharpe stories I've read - good story, exciting, fun to see Sharpe commanding, lots of action well described. But, boy am I sorry I got the kindle version. It looks like it was badly scanned and quickly OCR'ed: Typos, wrong words, words strung together without spaces, sentences without punctuation, etc., etc., and on almost every single page. You would think that Amazon could hire some college kids (maybe even high school students!) for minimum wage to read the books and correct the typos - it's truly embarrassing that something so poorly edited could be distributed.
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