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Sharpe's Prey
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Govi
Sean's Celestial Angel No 1


Joined: 31 Jul 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2007 5:19 am    Post subject: Sharpe's Prey Reply with quote
This was posted by hklettuce, but I repost it as a new topic. Please start a new topic for every other book, that will be so much easier to read than one enormous topic !

So by hklettuce06 :

Quote:
Carol - Thanks so much for this.

Since I suggested it,I'll try to start it off by talking about one of my favorite of the books.

I recently read again "Sharpe's Prey" which takes the young Richard Sharpe from home in England after India, to Denmark in 1807.

I love the book because, like many of the Sharpe books, it introduced me to a historical event I knew nothing about and peaked my curiosity to find out more. It also introduces he 95th Rifles, Harper, and some of the Chosen Men, and gives a taste of Sharpe's future. (Though the book itself was written 2001 after the Peninsular War books). We also get a glimpse of Sharpe's life as a child and his sordid past.

Though the physical Richard Sharpe in the book (dark hair, etc.) is not the same as Sean's Sharpe, you can also see where Bernard Cornwell has tweaked the Sharpe story to be more like the TV series.

So, anyone else have a favorite Sharpe book?

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Eryndil
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2007 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
After reading the whole series, "Prey" wasn't exactly my favorite. I think reading the whole series is the key. the placement of the characters seems some how forced. They didn't belong in that area at that time and didn't really have a whole lot to do except get into trouble. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but there are others that are more my personal favorite.
I did like how it cleaned up a few loose ends from other books, but I won't spoil it any more for anyone who hasn't read it yet.
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rocknrollheart49
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
hklettuce & Eryndil......

Enjoyed reading your reviews and comments about Sharpe's Prey. I also liked the way RC starts the book out in England so that we find out what happens between RS and Lady Grace. Wont give away any other details so as not to spoil the book for anyone who hasnt read it yet.

IMO. once RS was in Denmark, then the story seemed to slow down a bit. Even so I still liked the book, since as you mentioned in your comments, it did explain some things that will come up later.

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Czechmade
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 9:17 am    Post subject: SharpeīPrey Reply with quote
I would like to comment just on several things from Sharpeīs Prey: you get a view on his childhood in this horrible orphanage in London and what Richard does about it...which influences a further development of the story. But what is a real gem, is an exclamation from Scottish General Bairns (spelling?), when he discoveres RS in a pub: "Well done, God!"
This is but priceless! And all the books are full of such things!
Of course I agree one sees Seanīs Sharpe, not the book version...
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hklettuce06
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 4:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Yes, one of the things I like about Prey is Sharpe's return to London and learning about his life as a boy in the orphanage. The book gives us reason for the "bad" Sharpe, the killer in Sharpe. But we also see the gentleness in him when he's with the children in the orphanage in Denmark.

I think Cornwell wrote the book as a bridge between Sharpe the young soldier, and the more mature Sharpe we meet in Portugal and Spain.
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Czechmade
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
We are silent here, our need appeased...
However after that frantic Sharpe-reading marathon, I returned to re-reading all the books again, slowly now, and as I suspected, there are so many things I missed!
Prey deserved more than just a glimpse and you were all right. Maybe is is just that place - who would look for Sharpe in Denmark - and the absence of so familiar details from the main stream - Chosen Men, Spain, real "soldiering" - I hope you understand, it is that Sharpish "feel" that is slightly out of place.
I realised that Prey is actually a turning point in Richardīs carrer: he was about to quit, and twice: firstly overwhelmed by the grief from a loss of Grace, then in a doomed attempt to settle with Astrid - oh yes, he didnīt believe it himself!
Yes, he was ruthless - but not insensitive. all his wrath accumulated over the years, his vision of walking in the orphanage as an officer, his decision to pay back to those bastards who stole his childhood...and still he cared about that poor girl, he saved her and even prevented her from seeing a murder ( and the murder it was).
Here is his fierce honesty with himself, his resourcefulness, his skills, his quick intellect, his stubborness, his passion, his soft side (yes, the children), his dreams - here is Richard Sharpe, who will go to Portugal and Spain, over the hills and over the main!
Also, he will never grieve for a woman so much as in this book. Not even for Teresa, his true love! He is deeply hurt by Graceīs death, and by a loss of his child. He will never cry so much and so easily later.
He experienced a rise to fall down again - and at first it seems he will give up, selling his commission. But no, no - he is a fighter, he may not know it but his destiny is that "soldiering" - and he is one of the best!
Glimpses of his sad and cruel and dramatic past, all that will help him later too, no matter if it is a picklock or climbing a chimney or his sympathy for the weak and poor.
I was reading about the bombing Copenhagen and I realised that I actually was in the Citadel, walked on the pier, through Amalienborg , saw the bay where the ships were, walked probably the same streets as he did because I visited the town in 2000 with UNESCO representatives. Alas, I didnīt know the book then...and this may be only for good because otherwise I would have neglected my duty and chased for Sharpeīs experience instead!!! Laughing
Richard survived this mission only because he was that unique man who never gives up - and he was ALONE here, no Harps, no CHosen Men, just SHARPE. It would make and excellent film with Sean, what do you think???
Um...this is not a review, no, just I felt like sharing my thoughts with you!!!
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Donnadoobie
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Sharpe's Prey is one of my favourite stories CM. A part of British history that not many people know about, probably because of it's shame!!

You are right about Grace, I hadn't really thought about it before. I like the way that part of the story is introduced slowly, it is a while before you know what happend to Grace.

Thanks CM for causing me to think about this wonderful story again!!
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Czechmade
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
You are welcome, DD, I really like it!
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Astrid Hagen
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2009 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Czechmade wrote:
then in a doomed attempt to settle with Astrid

Shocked Really? Why didn't you tell me before? I'd do something to keep him (like chaining to the radiator) Laughing Laughing
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Czechmade
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2009 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Laughing Laughing Laughing My dear, I have just recovered from a bout of an insane laughter. Well, Astrid, donīt forget a well-known Richardīs aversion to heating devices...you should think of anything better...um...a bed, maybe? Embarassed Laughing
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Astrid Hagen
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2009 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Why does my stupid imagination keep showing me a vision of Sharpe running away with a heavy four-poster on his back...?


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Czechmade
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 9:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Astrid, you havé just snatched this four-poster from my mind!!!!
Um...you know: great minds...
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LadyIce
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2010 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Czechmade wrote:
I realised that Prey is actually a turning point in Richardīs carrer: he was about to quit, and twice: firstly overwhelmed by the grief from a loss of Grace, then in a doomed attempt to settle with Astrid - oh yes, he didnīt believe it himself!
Yes, he was ruthless - but not insensitive. all his wrath accumulated over the years, his vision of walking in the orphanage as an officer, his decision to pay back to those bastards who stole his childhood...and still he cared about that poor girl, he saved her and even prevented her from seeing a murder ( and the murder it was).
Here is his fierce honesty with himself, his resourcefulness, his skills, his quick intellect, his stubborness, his passion, his soft side (yes, the children), his dreams - here is Richard Sharpe, who will go to Portugal and Spain, over the hills and over the main!
Also, he will never grieve for a woman so much as in this book. Not even for Teresa, his true love! He is deeply hurt by Graceīs death, and by a loss of his child. He will never cry so much and so easily later.


I just finished reading Sharpe's Prey for the first time this past week and I loved your comments, Czechmade, in particular. I also see this book as a real turning point for Richard Sharpe.

He starts out the book as a lone wolf who is disliked by his colleagues, destitude, grieving for the loss of Grace and his child, and hating his job and his life, too, it seems.

But external forces are a work to direct his energy towards Denmark and the villain he must pursue and he becomes a different person -- the officer we will come to know in the 95th Rifles.

What I like, is that Cornwell forces Sharpe back into relationships with other people even when he thinks he doesn't want human contact; when he's feeling so sad and depressed in England. His meeting of Astrid is significant. It's not important that he stay with her (Sorry, Astrid!!!), because it's through his connection with her that he reconciles his past as an orphan, finds his heart again, and learns what he is meant to be -- always a soldier, and definitely a leader of men.

The story is beautiful really -- in a Sharpe kind of way. And I, yes, It's always Sean's voice I hear, Sean's manner that I feel as I'm reading the books despite the fact that Cornwell intended Sharpe differently when he first wrote about the character.
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Astrid Hagen
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2010 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
LadyIce wrote:
It's not important that he stay with her (Sorry, Astrid!!!)


No problem, dear. I'm old enough to know it's easier to catch a lightning by the tail than tie down a man like Sharpe Laughing Laughing Laughing

Laughing
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LadyIce
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2010 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Astrid Hagen wrote:
LadyIce wrote:
It's not important that he stay with her (Sorry, Astrid!!!)


No problem, dear. I'm old enough to know it's easier to catch a lightning by the tail than tie down a man like Sharpe Laughing Laughing Laughing

Laughing


Although, tying him down could be fun . . . I wouldn't mind trying.
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