Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Richard Sharpe is My Hero!

When I was laid up recently I started rereading the Bernard Cornwell Richard Sharpe series. I had read them all before, but it has been long enough ago that I found that I had forgotten them enough to enjoy them almost as much as if I hadn't read them before. I'm up to "Sharpe's Regiment". I even discovered that Cornwell wrote another Sharpe novel, taking place between some of the older ones, that I don't possess. I must have it!

For me, Richard Sharpe and Patrick Harper, the heroes of the novels, are as compelling as Aubrey and Maturin, albeit in an entirely different way. Sharpe is a more interesting character than Horatio Hornblower or Captain Aubrey. He's not all that moral. He is honorable, but he's not entirely above stealing or murder. He thinks with his balls a lot of the time.

I have seen the BBC series of televison films with Sean Bean as Sharpe more than once, and I would like to have them on DVD. I'd really love to see the novels made into theatrical films or even a series of HBO movies with high production values. The BBC films were pretty good, but they didn't really do the novels justice. Sean Bean is too old to play Sharpe, but I have been thinking that Christian Bales would make a first rate Sharpe. I had considered Jamie Bamber, but I don't see him as tough enough. I just haven't seen him in anything other than Battlestar Galactica. Cornwell's Napoleonic War hero was a hard ass.

I'm also looking forward to the latest installment of Cornwell's series set in Alfred the Great's England. I enjoyed hhis Arthurian series, too. I could not get into the series set in the War Between the States, but I'll probably give it another try one of these days.

I bet I've forgotten the Aubrey books enough by now to read them again! At last, a reason to celebrate my fading memory.

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