Sharpe's Prey

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Sharpe's Prey

Post by Govi » Mon Oct 08, 2007 5:19 am

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 :
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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Post by Eryndil » Mon Oct 08, 2007 4:20 pm

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.
rocknrollheart49

Post by rocknrollheart49 » Wed Oct 10, 2007 6:40 pm

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.

:runaround:
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Sharpe´Prey

Post by Czechmade » Thu Nov 08, 2007 9:17 am

I would like to comment just on several things from Sharpe´s 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 Sean´s Sharpe, not the book version...
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Post by hklettuce06 » Fri Nov 09, 2007 4:26 am

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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Post by Czechmade » Wed Feb 18, 2009 7:12 pm

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 Richard´s 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 didn´t 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 Grace´s 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 didn´t know the book then...and this may be only for good because otherwise I would have neglected my duty and chased for Sharpe´s experience instead!!! :lol:
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!!! :wave:
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Post by Donnadoobie » Wed Feb 18, 2009 8:24 pm

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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Post by Czechmade » Wed Feb 18, 2009 8:43 pm

You are welcome, DD, I really like it!
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Post by Astrid Hagen » Fri Feb 20, 2009 1:11 pm

Czechmade wrote: then in a doomed attempt to settle with Astrid
:shock: Really? Why didn't you tell me before? I'd do something to keep him (like chaining to the radiator) :lol: :lol:
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Post by Czechmade » Sat Feb 21, 2009 5:23 pm

:lol: :lol: :lol: My dear, I have just recovered from a bout of an insane laughter. Well, Astrid, don´t forget a well-known Richard´s aversion to heating devices...you should think of anything better...um...a bed, maybe? :oops: :lol:
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Post by Astrid Hagen » Sat Feb 21, 2009 7:12 pm

:sigh: Why does my stupid imagination keep showing me a vision of Sharpe running away with a heavy four-poster on his back...?

:dunno: :rotfl:
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Post by Czechmade » Mon Feb 23, 2009 9:02 am

:rotflmao: :rotflmao: Astrid, you havé just snatched this four-poster from my mind!!!! :runaround:
Um...you know: great minds... :highfive: :rotflmao:
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Post by LadyIce » Sat Jul 17, 2010 2:18 pm

Czechmade wrote:I realised that Prey is actually a turning point in Richard´s 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 didn´t 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 Grace´s 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, :agree: 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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Post by Astrid Hagen » Sat Jul 17, 2010 9:09 pm

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 :lol: :lol: :lol:

:sigh: :lol:
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Post by LadyIce » Mon Jul 19, 2010 11:24 am

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 :lol: :lol: :lol:

:sigh: :lol:
Although, tying him down could be fun . . . I wouldn't mind trying. :tongue: :highfive:
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