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I don't like Sharpe!

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stu1883
Avid Reader
Location: I live in Bristol, England with my wife Nicki & our kittens Boomer & Magic
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I don't like Sharpe!

Postby stu1883 » Wed April 15th, 2009, 11:41 am

Hi everyone,

I'm sorry to upset you - but I love BCs books.....just not the Sharpe stories!

The Harlequin trilogy is superb and the Arthurian books are some of my absolute favourites.

The Sharpe books (to me) are all a bit samey, but his other books are superb.

Carla
Compulsive Reader
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Postby Carla » Wed April 15th, 2009, 5:53 pm

Don't worry, it's not compulsory to like Sharpe :-)
PATHS OF EXILE - love, war, honour and betrayal in Anglo-Saxon Northumbria
Editor's Choice, Historical Novels Review, August 2009
Now available as e-book on Amazon Kindleand in Kindle, Epub (Nook, Sony Reader), Palm and other formats on Smashwords
Website: http://www.carlanayland.org
Blog: http://carlanayland.blogspot.com

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Carine
Compulsive Reader
Currently reading: Jonkvrouw - Jean-Claude Van Ryckeghem
Interest in HF: I love history
Favorite HF book: Can't pin that down to only 1 :-)
Preferred HF: Medieval, Tudor and Ancient Egyptian
Location: Ghent, Belgium
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Postby Carine » Thu April 16th, 2009, 7:32 am

I didn't read the books, I don't think it's my kind of thing to read, but I've seen the series and I liked them.

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Volgadon
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Location: Israel
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Postby Volgadon » Thu April 16th, 2009, 8:04 am

You don't have to love Sharpe, I like a lot of the books, but think Cornwell should have given up the formula a few years ago. I really don't like the Harlequin trilogy, but Gallows Thief is the best he's written. The Arthur trilogy is fantastic too.

annis
Bibliomaniac

Postby annis » Thu April 16th, 2009, 7:32 pm

I enjoy the Sharpe books, but to be honest I think that Bernard Cornwell has been rather going through the motions for some time- several of the later Sharpes have a rather perfunctory feel about them. I suspect pressure from fans leads him to churn out yet another Sharpe to keep everyone happy (though I'm sure the money from sales wouldn't hurt either!)

I feel that in his mind he moved on from Sharpe quite a while ago, and I can see him impatiently dashing off another Sharpe to keep the Sharpe fans off his back so that he can get back to his current interest, the Uhtred stories. He has said that after the Saxon stories he has it in mind to write another novel set, like "Redcoat", during the American Revolutionary period, so that will be interesting.

I enjoyed "Gallows Thief" as well, though I noticed BC still managed to slip in a Sharpe-ish character in the form of Sandman's sidekick, Sam Berrigan. He hasn't ruled out another mystery featuring Rider Sandman.
Last edited by annis on Thu April 16th, 2009, 7:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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cesco
Scribbler
Location: Chicago

Postby cesco » Fri April 17th, 2009, 2:26 am

The original 11 were quite thrilling, for me. Back then, the story had momentum, and while the character did not grow - he is a James Bond type, after all - at least things around him could change. And the stories were inventive enough to have a variety of influences. I know the final fight in the film ROB ROY was based on the fight in the belltower at the end of Sharpe's Gold.

With the new books, however, there is no chance for any forward momentum to the story of Sharpe's life. We already know how it all comes out. So, yeah, he's going through the motions. I still buy them, because I like the Sharpe/Harper relationship, just as I still read the Spenser novels for the Spenser/Hawk dialogue. But at this point, it's comfort food, not compelling reading.

BC's best books are the Arthurians. I yawned my way through the first two Harlequins - those felt just as perfunctory as the recent Sharpes. And Stonehenge is - well, best not talk about it. Sad that it's his biggest seller to date.

Oddly, I keep putting the Uhtred books down. Not sure why. Keep meaning to go back, and find reasons to avoid it. But am looking forward to reading Azincourt during some travels in May.

annis
Bibliomaniac

Postby annis » Fri April 17th, 2009, 3:15 am

Posted by Cesco
I still buy them, because I like the Sharpe/Harper relationship, just as I still read the Spenser novels for the Spenser/Hawk dialogue.


Me, too, even a less-than-brilliant Bernard Cornwell is pretty readable. I'm a bit surprised, though, that "Stonehenge" is a bestseller! His modern sea-thrillers are a lot of fun (and quite brutal at times)- very much in the James Bond tradition.

I enjoy Robert B Parker's "Spenser" as well - also really like his "Sunny Randall" series.

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cesco
Scribbler
Location: Chicago

Postby cesco » Fri April 17th, 2009, 4:25 am

"annis" wrote:
I enjoy Robert B Parker's "Spenser" as well - also really like his "Sunny Randall" series.


I like Sunnny, too. I just noticed today that there's a new Jesse Stone novel out, but I'm strangely ambivolent. I like Jesse, but loathe his ex-wife, and wish Parker would just let the poor sap move on!

This charming manc
Scribbler

Postby This charming manc » Fri September 11th, 2009, 12:06 am

I'm a big Sharpe fan and I think some ofhis books suffer as has been suggested from formula writing, others really lift themslves out of the formula and really do deliver.

I would agree with you also that the Warlord series stands way above anything else Bernard has written, and judging form his website he prefers it to.

Kate Quinn
Scribbler
Location: San Diego, California

Postby Kate Quinn » Wed March 24th, 2010, 6:10 pm

I think the Arthur trilogy is the best too - though his Uhtred series is getting up there. His Starbuck series is splendid, but it's looking increasingly unlikely that he will ever finish it.


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