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Waterloo (Sharpe's Adventures, No. 11) Paperback – November 1, 2001

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Waterloo (Sharpe's Adventures, No. 11) + Sharpe's Revenge (Richard Sharpe's Adventure Series #10) + Sharpe's Devil: Richard Sharpe & the Emperor, 1820-1821 (Richard Sharpe's Adventure Series #21)
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Editorial Reviews

Review

'A mighty battle conveyed with convincing clarity' Mail on Sunday 'A brilliantly imaginative novel which sweeps you along at breakneck speed' Mary Wesley Praise for Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe novels: 'Sharpe is a great creation' Daily Mirror 'Consistently exciting! these are wonderful novels' Stephen King 'What makes these books such a successful formula is the blend of action, well-researched historical setting, colourful characterization and a juicy sub-plot' The Times --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Bernard Cornwell's Richard Sharpe series takes its hero to the battle of Waterloo--and beyond. Several novels are the basis of a television miniseries. He was born in London and lives in Chatham, Massachusetts.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 378 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (November 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140294392
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140294392
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #80,265 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Bernard Cornwell was born in London in 1944 - a 'warbaby' - whose father was a Canadian airman and mother in Britain's Women's Auxiliary Air Force. He was adopted by a family in Essex who belonged to a religious sect called the Peculiar People (and they were), but escaped to London University and, after a stint as a teacher, he joined BBC Television where he worked for the next 10 years. He began as a researcher on the Nationwide programme and ended as Head of Current Affairs Television for the BBC in Northern Ireland. It was while working in Belfast that he met Judy, a visiting American, and fell in love. Judy was unable to move to Britain for family reasons so Bernard went to the States where he was refused a Green Card. He decided to earn a living by writing, a job that did not need a permit from the US government - and for some years he had been wanting to write the adventures of a British soldier in the Napoleonic wars - and so the Sharpe series was born. Bernard and Judy married in 1980, are still married, still live in the States and he is still writing Sharpe.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By "p_trabaris" on October 31, 2001
Format: Paperback
Bernard Cornwell's "Waterloo, Sharpe's Final Adventure" is fast paced fun and an action packed thriller. Here Cornwell tells the story of Waterloo; the unbelievable hubris of the commanders (both sides), the complete waste of human life and especially the fear of the average soldiers. Cornwell paints a picture of France and anti-French forces coming together to do battle, somewhat like two huge forces on a collision course. The point of view is more from the average soldier and not from the generals, so don't count on a lot of quotes from Napoleon or Wellington.
This time Sharpe is a lieutenant-colonel in the Belgian Light Dragoons under the command of the 23 year old Belgian Prince of Orange. Sharpe's primary function is to provide military advice to the youthful prince and try to keep himself from killing the idiotic monarch. Really he is there to collect soldier pay. Along the way Sharpe encounters a wife's betrayal, monumental military bumbling, senseless slaughter, and of course battle. For it wouldn't really be a Sharpe story without battle.
However, (and I cannot put my finger on it) "Waterloo" is written differently from Sharpe's other stories. Perhaps the characters are more mature or maybe it is the fact that half of the story is about the actual battle. Cornwell's Sharpe's books usually devote a chapter to the battle and not half a book. But lets face it the battle is one of the biggest in history.
What makes Sharpe stories so great is the writing, Cornwell knows how to convey a story and keep it interesting. I recommend this book to military history buffs, arm-chair generals, and any one else who enjoys a story told well.
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43 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Allan on September 19, 2000
Format: Paperback
I was dining a few nights ago with - oddly enough - a German,an Englishman, and a Frenchman.
The topic came around to Waterloo. The Frenchman told the table that Napoleon didn't lose. He made a strategic defeat, and anyway it was the Prussians who won the battle. The German said the Prussians won the battle, and the French were beaten spitless. The Englishman said that Wellington and his army of scum won the battle, that Napoleon ran like a rabbit, and the Prussians arrived too late to do anybody any good. Before sabres were drawn, I poured another port and laid out an excellent Blue Vein cheese from New Zealand's Kapiti Coast.
No matter what Cornwell did with this Sharpe story, he was going to be in trouble. I loved the book. Great battle! It's hardly a Sharpe book at all: Sharpe's merely the device Cornwell uses to draw the battle together for the reader.
But Cornwell was always going to cop it in the neck from the Dutch (What? The Dutch run? Never! ) He was always going to be mocked by the Germans (Loiter on the way to a battle? Nein! ). The French have never believed they lost the battle anyway, so Cornwell's version would have to wrong, wrong, wrong.
The book's an entertainment, so let's not get our knickers in a twist about "the facts". It's Cornwell's view of the battle - accept that. And when you come to accept it as an entertainment, you'll enjoy it. This is battle on a huge scale - the largest number of men ever committed to battle at the time. And it's described expertly, with a feel for the blood, terror, glory, and unthinking heroism of the day.
Deeply satisfying, dramatic, gory - with a neat wrap-up for Sharpe's adulterous [...] ex. What more could you want for a Sunday afternoon?
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful By David M. Beall on June 20, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was great fun and also educational. I do not give five stars simply because it is not in the same literary category as say a Patrick O'Brien novel. Easier to read though.
I am bewildered by some of the criticism. Obviously Sharpe is a fictional character and only a very confused reader would be led astray by his over achievement on the battlefield. Sharpe is simply the readers tour guide. You don't get the same criticism from readers in the other books which indicate that national pride is causing this shallow concern.
For French historians to attempt to lessen the scope of Napolean's defeat is easily shown up by the fact that the French were subsequently routed and then surrendered. End of Napolean exiled (again) and end of story.
As for the Germans. Did they arrive very late or not? The answers to these basic questions lie in the simple facts. If they were there at the start , and if they shared the leadership responsibilities then they could claim equal credit. But they weren't- so they can't.
Also Look at the casualties - 40,000 French 15,000 British, Belgium, Dutch and 7,000 Germans. Look at the dispatches by Wellington and Napolean immediately after the battle. Wellington's dispatch is modest, brief, understated and credible. Napoleans has a somewhat more colourful, exagerated, self righteous and perhaps understandably self serving tone.
There are colourful criticisms of the Dutch and Belgiums - but there were also numerous insightful observations on the imperfections of the British Army. The landed gentry officer class are endlessly mocked.
Wellington was an extraordinarily successful military leader. He was also somewhat more concerned about casualties than Napolean.
Of course Wellington deserves the credit for the victory at Waterloo.
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