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Assegai - Wilbur Smith


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Wilbur Smith

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Pages: 478 (Hardcover)

ISBN: 0230529208

Pub: Macmillan

Pub date: 2009-04-03 Sales Rank: 2649

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Reader Reviews:

5/5 stars

confused !!!!! (0/0 people found this helpful)

I just love Wilbur Smith, but i am getting a bit confused about which book belongs to which sereies!!!. Every web-page i look at i get a different order on which book is should read first :) About to start reading about the Courtneys. Just finished reading the Egyptian series (which was fantastisk), but of course i got the order totally wrong grrrrr ...Anybody out there who has a clue on which book to read first in which series???

3/5 stars

Another day at the office (0/0 people found this helpful)

Back in the mid to late seventies when I was a young teen, a friend of mine persuaded me to put down the James Bond books and pick up 'Shout at the Devil' by Wilbur Smith. We spent the next two years nicking them off our parents, hunting them down in bric a brac shops and bartering, lending and swapping grubby and battered 'Smith's' in the playground. 'When the lion feeds', 'A sparrow falls', 'The dark of the sun', 'Sunbird' and more, all transported a couple of lads from rural Somerset to the plains of Africa. Action, adventure, sex and the exotic and untamed wilds of the dark continent! We couldn't get enough of them.

Now thirty years on I am afraid the magic has pretty much evaporated in the heat of the Sahara sun! Is this because Smith's powers have waned or I am now an old, haggered, cynical and miserable old git! Well I suspect a bit of both.

This book actually starts quite well, a battle, a daring escape and a court martial all in the first 100 pages or so. However then it seemed Smith just seemed to switch into auto pilot mode. The action became predictable, the dialogue absolutely terrible and there a couple of hundred pages of big game hunting. There is often a bit of this, it's never really done it for me. I've never quite understood the 'Wow what a fantastic beast, let's shoot it and skin it!'
Just as I was thinking of putting it down, the plot picked up with a bit of pre WWI intrigue. The hero (A Courtney) is persuaded to use his Big Game hunter status as cover to spy on the German activity in East Africa, whilst Germany sends Count Otto Von Meerbach into action to spy and stir up trouble on British East Africa. He is accompanied by his enigmatic mistress Eva. As the sexual tensions build between Courtney and Eva, Otto goads Courtney into ever more reckless hunting feats and as the political stakes ramp up! Things start to shape up nicely!

But then Smith drops the ball! The inevitable love affair when it begins is sickly sweet and cliched. Von Meerbach morphs into a cross between Goldfinger and the Terminator! and rather than an in depth look at the conflict between the British and German factors, which is something that would really have interested me, Smith instead opts for a James Bond movie climax on a giant airship.

Last grumble, why does pretty much every Wilbur Smith book have to feature a Courtney? why not a Benson, a Frampton or something? The original Sean Courtney was a fully realised and great charactor but why make the hero of every subsequent story an ancestor or heir of him. Is it possible every male generation of a single family is a super human, brave, beautiful natural leader of men blessed with the luck of the Gods? It does irk me!

In summary the book has some good bits and devotees of WS will no doubt enjoy it. Readers new to Smith would do much better to delve deeper into his back catalogue and work forwards.

4/5 stars

Top Hole! (0/0 people found this helpful)

After initial surprise that a hard-back version was size of paperback, I realise I get the best of both worlds. In the advert it said BCA version which turns out to mean Book Club Associates, compact book. Full version, small print though. Book clearly brand new. Took a little longer to receive than I have been used to but within promised timescale. The story is great. Hadn't liked the weirdo stuff Wilbur has been writing about Egyptian times. He's back to his classic stories of the Ballantynes and the Courtneys. Ripping tale.

5/5 stars

Assegai (0/0 people found this helpful)

The book arrived in good time ,it was in good condition.
I was very impressed with the service I got, will definatally use them again.

4/5 stars

Gift. (0/1 people found this helpful)

Birthday gift for someone who is a great fan of Wilbur Smith. Whenever a new book comes out I know what to buy for a present. Have not read this myself so am unable to comment on the story.

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