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Death to the French

di C. S. Forester

Altri autori: Vedi la sezione altri autori.

UtentiRecensioniPopolaritàMedia votiCitazioni
246683,158 (3.36)4
It is the Peninsular War, and Wellington's outnumbered army must retreat before the invading French. Separated from his regiment, Rifleman Matthew Dodd finds himself alone in the Portugese hills. Hunted down by a group of French infantry, he must flee for his life - but when he stumbles across a band of guerrillas, at last he sees a way to turn the tables on his pursuers.… (altro)
Aggiunto di recente daJanHenryNystrom, MajorWes, datrappert, cshelton119, tim917, jevershed, William_W
Biblioteche di personaggi celebriSterling E. Lanier, Ernest Hemingway
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» Vedi le 4 citazioni

"Death to the French" was written before the Hornblower series and as such it does not hold a candle to Forrester's famous series.

In the Hornblower series you really get to know Horatio Hornblower's character. Not only his character but also that of lessor characters of the series. You see the main character's intimate thoughts which is missing in Rifleman Dodd's character. I get the impression I am somewhere above the scene watching the story unfold instead of intimately involved in the story line.

I am also not a great fan of stories that flip/flop between Dodd/the partisans and the French. Sometimes these changes in scene appear without warning in the following paragraph and I got confused with the various characters names.

There were flashes of storytelling to come eventually in Forester's novels but comparisons of "Death to the French" and Bernard Cornwell's "Sharp" series is not to be believed.

I found the book readable but nothing special. ( )
  Lynxear | Sep 28, 2020 |
Rifleman Matthew Dodd gets separated from his regiment and this is the really good story of how he set out to rejoin it. Alot of the action takes place in Portugal around the Lines of Torres Vedras; interestingly the story is told from both the perspective of Dodd and the Frenchmen he is fighting. Good stuff. ( )
  cbinstead | Mar 29, 2015 |
Written a few years before Forester's Hornblower novels, this one tells of a farm boy turned rifleman in the English 95th Regiment. A doughty sharpshooter, Dodd is trapped behind enemy lines and the story details his attempts to reach the English lines, with help from Portuguese irregulars and still fighting the French, killing them if necessary. One big scene has him sabotaging by arson the French attempt to build a pontoon bridge across a river. I liked how Dodd used his wits and native common sense to survive in the wild for so long and finally did make it back to his regiment. Too bad the English were underwhelmed by his appearance and exploits.

This was a very exciting story, but all the characters seemed a bit distant. I liked how the novel moved back and forth from Dodd's point of view to that of a group of French soldiers. Sometimes the same incident was told from each viewpoint--e.g., the arson incident. Recommended. ( )
  janerawoof | Mar 26, 2015 |
DTTF has the advantage of the stand alone historical novel, as opposed to the series. You can even be realistic, and kill off your hero. But it won't be a franchise, paying off your mortgage, or educating your kids. Thus, though DTTF is the ancestor of the Sharpe novels, C.S. Forester missed a bet with this tight, well writtenstory of an English rifleman left alone as the rest of Wellington's army scarpers off to the Lines of Torres Vedras.
Dodd is contacted by the local Guerillas, and helps them conduct a very unpleasant winter war against the French. In the spring, he rejoins his unit, and we end with him there, happy among his mates.
In those days of the early 1930's, it wasn't very likely that the escapist public was ready for a working class hero, anyway. The public, three years later, embraced Horatio Hornblower, self-made, but a proper, though impoverished, gentleman, and C.S. Forester became the Patrick O'Brien or Bernard Cornwell of his day.
DTTF is a very good book, though a little patronising to its hero. It is almost as good a novel as "The Gun". ( )
  DinadansFriend | Jun 6, 2014 |
This is another of Forester's "Peninsular War" novels. In this one we meet Rifleman Matthew Dodd, who is cut off from his regiment in the Portuguese countryside. We follow his adventures as he meets up with a band of Portuguese villagers who prove quite capable of becoming a guerrilla force harassing the French troops under his direction. We also see the events from the viewpoint of the French troops being harassed.

This book proved quite engrossing. Having one main protagonist probably helped, as did the contrast between the Englishman Dodd and the French troops. It was a lot easier to read than the other Peninsular War novel I've read by Forester, The Gun, which was very dense and dry. This one has its leisurely moments, but the action sequences are well done, and the reader becomes invested in Dodd's band of guerrillas in particular over the course of the story.

Forester does not shy away from the horrors of war, such as seeing your companions killed in front of you, foraging for food in a burnt-out countryside, or dealing with inadequate shelter and executing impossible orders. He also makes some interesting comparisons between the Peninsular War and WW1, which occurred just over a hundred years later.

Recommended if you like the Sharpe series, especially the book Sharpe's Escape. ( )
  rabbitprincess | Mar 22, 2014 |
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Nome dell'autoreRuoloTipo di autoreOpera?Stato
C. S. Foresterautore primariotutte le edizionicalcolato
Simmons, Edward HowardPrefazioneautore secondarioalcune edizioniconfermato
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Half a dozen horsemen were picking their way up a breakneck path.
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Death to the French was published in the US as Rifleman Dodd
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It is the Peninsular War, and Wellington's outnumbered army must retreat before the invading French. Separated from his regiment, Rifleman Matthew Dodd finds himself alone in the Portugese hills. Hunted down by a group of French infantry, he must flee for his life - but when he stumbles across a band of guerrillas, at last he sees a way to turn the tables on his pursuers.

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