The Bernard Cornwell Thread.

Discussion in 'The Book Club' started by DrStealth, May 23, 2008.

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  1. i know 'Sharpe' has been discussed to death on this forum, but has anyone read any other of Cornwells works?

    I'v just finished 'Sword Song' the 4th and latest in his King Alfred series, its about a pig headed (BFO) bloke named Uhtred whos good at the 'ol ultra violent with a touch of the smarts for the sneaky ops too.
    hes a northumberland saxon who was captured as a child by the danes and raised as a viking, a believer of old gods (Thor and Odin) who has given his oath of service to King Alfred, who is portrayed as a meglomanic pious manipulator. so you can guess at the personality and belief conflicts of the plot line. good stuff.
    following the same formula of his other works (another BFO pigheaded basterd whos good at killing peeps who pi*s him off) its enjoyable and easy reading (kill Uhtered kill!)

    another of Cornwells I'v enjoyed is the 'Starbuck' series set in the American civil war (not that there was anything civil about it), I just wish he would get around to writing the next one and finishing it off, its been a few years now. I fu*king hate it when authors leave a series hanging for ages and you are left waiting for the next book.

    a lot of people dont like this type of historical novel were imaginary characters are added too, or factual players from history are used in novel form, but Cornwell (and GMF too) have probably done more for teaching the general populance history than the high school curriculum has done over the last 20 years.

    and once again i'm left hanging for the next blo*dy book in the series to come out in paperback to find out what happens.

    its not easy being a peasant.
  2. Read them all, have done since I stumbled on Sharpe in a hospital shop in 1990. I too liked the Starbuck series, but found the winter king and grail series not as good. Now watching sharpe re-runs on tv intersped with dvd. lol, god they were made on a shoe string
  3. Sympathetic_Reaction

    Sympathetic_Reaction LE Book Reviewer

    I've got all the books excempt for the Starbuck ones (never liked the look of them, might have to try them) and the Sharpe DVD set.

    The tv series was made with about 12 people in total wasn't it...massed battalion attacks carried out with 3 actors and a handful of unwashes from the dole center..great fun.

  4. I've read most of the Sharpe novels and loved them all, and like you I've been waiting impatiently for more in the Starbuck series.

    I've been hoping for a Crimean War series from him too at some point, (I thought it might be on the cards after meeting the 'French' liason officer in the Starbuck novels).
  5. I haven't read any Sharpe's - but watched the series when it was on TV. Can always keep the books in mind for a rainy day, so to speak.

    The Saxon chronicles with Uhtred around the time of King Alfred are well worth a read, as are the Enemy of God/Warlord Chronicles dealing with a far grittier (supposed) Arthurian period than the usual Hollywood'ised crap you see. Probably amongst my handful of favourite books series.

    Although I was interested in the American Civil War and used to read some histories covering that period, I have never been able to bring myself to buy anything where the lead character is called 'Starbuck' :roll:

    The "Stonehenge" book he wrote can be avoided - it is dire. It is a though he typed up a quickie in a tea break because he was bored.... truly awful book.
  6. Read them all but like others here didn't like the Starbuck books at all.
  7. Am i the only one who enjoyed the grail books i thought they were a good take on the arthur legend
  8. Only found out about them recently.... I think before I had overlooked them through muddling them with the 'other' Arthurian series which was the Warlord Chronicles.

    The Grail series is set much later I believe, c14th Century and the main character is some chap with the name Hockett or something like that....

    Will have them added to my "to read" list shortly..... but meanwhile am about to start on Clavell's "Shogun" (again), another damn fine read.

    EDIT: Hookton, as in 'Thomas of' is the chap in the Grail series, just looked it up. The power of this interweb thingy.... :lol:
  9. I really liked the Starbuck ones actually-the French Military Attache is supposed to be Sharpe's son! Would be nice to see the next in the series...has anyone read Hellequin by Cornwell? About English longbowmen in the Hundred Year War, pretty dark & mean stuff! I'd love to see Cornwell do a WW2 series, about Sharpes great-great-great grandson, start him off in France 1940 in a rifle battalion, then back to Britain after Dunkirk and join the Commandos, it'd be great! And through the power of literary convenience have all the Chosen mens descendents turn up in the same unit!

    'God is not with the big battalions, but the best shots...'
  10. I too have read them all, love Sharpe, books much better than TV series. Although two characters that were played brilliantly were Harper and Obidiah Hakeswill.

    I was not fond of the Starbuck books but I also loved the grail quest series. I think those would make a really good film/tv adaptation. These books illustrate just what a brilliant weapon the english longbow was.
  11. Obadiah Hakeswill, what a guy

    'they hates me mother, They thinks I'm mad , but I'm not mad, not so I don't know!'

    'Its Sharpeys wh0re mother, I must 'ave 'er...'
  12. Thomas of Hookton - the Grail series (Harlequin, Vagabond and Heretic), is excellent reading, for anyone with any intrest of longbow archery and the history of English (and British) warfare its a must.
    point blank, highly strung, straight as an arrow, bolt upright, bolt from the blue, wide of the mark, keep it under your hat. most people dont realise we are still speaking in the old archers terminology ;)

    RE- 'Shogun', one of my most fav novels ever, i re-read it every 5 or so years, Gai-Jin the follow up is not to bad, i thought the ending was a bit flat, but still worth the effort though.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  13. I rather like the grail triolgy too... I havn't got around to exploring Starbuck or Arthur yet.

    I did get a novel of his called 'Scoundrel' from a second hand bookshop - just a 1 off thriller which is quite good too.
  14. oldbaldy

    oldbaldy LE Moderator Good Egg (charities)
    1. Battlefield Tours

    I have Sword song but haven't started it yet.

    Liked the grail series.

    Ploughing through Arthur at the moment.
  15. I like most of his books and also find the wait between novels frustrating. There is one much worse though. Jean M. Auel has gaps that span a decade. I have been waiting for ages for her next book:-

    1. The Clan of the Cave Bear, 1980
    2. The Valley of Horses, 1982
    3. The Mammoth Hunters, 1985
    4. The Plains of Passage, 1990
    5. The Shelters of Stone, 2002

    Sharpe wasn't too bad as it wasn't written in chronological order. Copperhead is a pest as it is a series and written as one.