Sharpe's Tiger : Richard Sharpe Novels

  • by Bernard Cornwell
  • Narrated by Frederick Davidson
  • Series: Richard Sharpe Novels
  • 12 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

1799. As the British Army fights its way through India toward a diabolical trap, the young and illiterate private Richard Sharpe must battle both man and beast behind enemy lines, in an attempt to push the ruthless Tippoo of Mysore from his throne and drive his French allies out of India.Posing as a deserter, Sharpe must penetrate into the Tippoo's city and make contact with a Scottish spy being held prisoner there. Success will mean winning his sergeant stripes; failure, being turned over to the Tippoo's brutal executioners or his man-eating tigers.
Picking his way through an exotic and alien world, one slip will mean disaster as Sharpe learns that he must fight his old comrades in order to save his own neck. Along the way, he keeps an eye out for Mysore's beautiful prostitutes, any stray loot he can get his hands on, and the chance to learn his ABCs. But when the furious British assault on the city begins, Sharpe must fight with the fierceness and agility of a tiger himself to foil the Tippoo's trap, and to keep from being killed by his own side.

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What the Critics Say

"Cornwell writes more gripping battle scenes than any other contemporary author." (Kirkus Reviews)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Believe the Hype!

Sharpe's Tiger is chronologically the first of about 20 Richard Sharpe books. About seven years ago, I read Sharpe’s Rifles and subsequently devoured each book in the series.

Fast forward to 2007: It is so hard to find a great listen and I was so desperate that I returned to a dependable, entertaining, consistently engrossing series – Bernard Cornwell’s Sharpe novels but this time as audiobooks starting with the first in the series.

Since Sharpe’s Tiger is chronologically the first book (Cornwell started this series with the Napoleonic Wars in Europe with Sharpe’s Rifles) it remains true to the character and action as the other Sharpe books. Many series start off weak or uncertain before the author finds his pace and the character is developed.

I found that slight weakness to be true with the first two or three Sharpe books that Cornwell wrote. They were very good but I found that as Cornwell became more comfortable with the series and writing, the books got even better. Since Sharpe’s Tiger was written several years after Cornwell started the series, he and Sharpe are in their prime. This is a great book to start the series.

The more books that I download from Audible, the more I realize the importance of a good narrator. Frederick Davidson does an excellent job with different accents in the book including Scot, British (of course), Indian and French. He also differentiates the speech of different people so it is easy to know when the conversation has shifted. Most importantly, Davidson does an excellent job of telling this exciting tale without getting overly dramatic.

As awkward as it sounds, each Sharpe novel is like a gritty Cinderella story, except Sharpe rarely gets to keep the girl or the money.

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- Angela

Exciting Historical Fiction, Beautifully Read

Sharpe's Tiger is an exciting beginning to the novels in the Sharpe series. Bernard Cornwell has done a great job blending a fictional hero, Richard Sharpe, with historically balanced accounts of Britain's wars in India and Europe from the 1790's through 1815. In each tale Cornwell paints a beautifully detailed picture of daily life in the British army, while placing Sharpe in countless dangerous and dramatic situations. Because it is the first Sharpe book and also because of the exotic 18th century Indian setting, Sharpe's Tiger remains my favorite of the series.

Frederick Davidson (a/k/a David Case) does his usual superb job narrating Cornwell's story. It is astounding that a single performer can create so many beautiful voices and thereby give life to so many distinct characters.

I have only three regrets about Audible's Sharpe stories. First, although Cornwell's series unfolds over multiple novels in sequential order, Audible's library does not include every book. The reader is left to seek out the missing volumes elsewhere. Second, among those Sharpe books that Audible does sell, several are provided in only abridged form, with entire scenes and characters left out. Third, although a large number of the Sharpe books are brilliantly read by Frederick Davidson, some of the books are read by other narrators whose performances are not nearly as polished, greatly lessening the reader's enjoyment of those episodes.

Overall, Sharpe's Tiger is highly recommended as first rate historical fiction, superbly performed. And, if you enjoy this tale there are 20 other Sharpe books to seek out!
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- Dennis

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-14-2005
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.