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Sharpe's Rifles Hardcover – Mar 1 1988


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Hardcover, Mar 1 1988
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 356 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Canada / Trade; First Edition edition (March 1 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0002232332
  • ISBN-13: 978-0002232333
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 16.4 x 4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 699 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #901,001 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Slow Rider on Aug. 8 2002
Format: Paperback
Cornwell does what he does best in delivering another suspenseful, action-packed Sharpe book. Like all the others, I had a hard time putting this one down once I had jumped into it. It's rare that it takes me longer then 4 or 5 days to get through a Sharpe book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great stepping stone in the path of Sharpe. I read the books first and saw the tv series after and then reread the book, and loved them even more. You wont find a better fight/battle scenes, Cornwell is a master of describing combat and making it feel real. He also creates villians and vendettas that get your blood up.
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Format: Paperback
Sharpe's Rifles is the book in which Sharpe gets his first command. It's the bringing together of two characters that will see the peninsular wars to an end. Sharpe meets Harper for the first time in this book, and it not what I expected. It is however a great tale of how the two soldiers came together.
This book puts Sharpe in Spain, during the British retreat towards Corunna. This is a dark point for the British in the peninsular wars when French victory seems not so far off. Sharpe, while second in command of a detachment of riflemen cut off from the main British force, is soon to face the most challenging point of his career. Sharpe has to learn quickly when his commander gets killed and leaves him in charge. He needs to earn the respect of his men and lead them to victory. It's a great story and a great look at how Sharpe came to be so admired by his men. This book starts of many of the features that make the Sharpe series so great, it's a must read for all Sharpe fans.
4 Stars.
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Format: Paperback
Sharpe's Rifles by Bernard Cornwell is an exciting roller-coaster ride of battles and army life as seen through the eyes of Richard Sharpe, a newly made lieutenant in the English infantry. During the early 1800s most officers in the English infantry were of noble birth, however Lt. Sharpe, a former enlisted man comes from the ranks. He receives little respect from the men in his command and even less from his peers. The setting is in Spain during the French-Napoleonic invasions. The English (and Lt. Sharpe) are supporting the freedom fighters of Spain.
His army has been defeated and the French are pushing the English towards the coast of Spain and into Portugal. Through a series of mishaps he finds himself under the loose command of a Spanish Major who is intent upon flying a holy banner from a major city deep within the French area of control. Sharpe must win the respect of his men, fight an invincible French Colonel, and vie for the attentions of a beautiful English missionary.
I admit that I was a fan of the PBS series before I read the books. However, when you start this book you will have a hard time putting it down. Cornwell writes in plain English and his dialog is great.
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Format: Hardcover
Thanks for this excellent buy. The books in the Sharpe's series by Bernard Cormwell are now "semi-rare" and I was able to find this one on your web listing at a very reasonable price. Of course,it was used, not "hot off the presses," but that just improves its value as it is a First Edition. Many thanks.
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By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on Jan. 24 2009
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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Format: Paperback
This was my first foray into the Napoleonic historical fiction genre (including the Hornblower series as well as the Aubrey/Maturin books) and since I am more of a landlubber I went with the Sharpe series. The writing style can be light and fluffy at times but there is enough period detail to keep the historian in you engaged. The action is quite bloody and there is a certain gritty realism to much of the story. I could have done without the whole chick element that Louisa brings but it does serve to offer some insight into Sharpe's character by the end of the story. A quick read, and hard to put down. I'm looking forward to Sharpe's Eagle.
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