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Monsoon (The Courtneys of Africa) Paperback – 8 Oct 1999


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Product details

  • Paperback: 688 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan; New edition edition (8 Oct. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 033376482X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0333764824
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 5.3 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (129 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,891,389 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Wilbur Smith was born in Central Africa in 1933. He became a full-time writer in 1964 after the successful publication of When the Lion Feeds, and has since written over thirty novels, all meticulously researched on his numerous expeditions worldwide. His books are now translated into twenty-six languages.
For all the latest information on Wilbur visit facebook.com/WilburSmith

Product Description

Amazon Review

Before there was empire, there was trade, and military force to protect that trade. Wilbur Smith's new, full-blooded historical novel starts with the commissioning, by King William III of Sir Hal Franklin. Franklin's mission is to rid the Indian Ocean of the pirate known as al-Aouf, the Bad One, and tells us more than we knew about the East India trade, Channel smuggling, the Arab slave trade and the struggle to keep Oman free from the Ottoman Empire.

Smith's solid, competent prose does not always avoid the hackneyed, but effectively conveys both the heat of battle and the savoury smells of lands experienced for the first time. Hal Franklin has four sons and the complex tragedy of their relationships dominates the book as brother is pitted against brother in love, and war, and treachery. The plot, though, is only a part of what is important here; the Indian Ocean trade was the site of one of the great confrontations between the English-speaking world and Islam--a conflict, between the brash mariners with their shiny new guns and the long-established, scholarly, brave, pious rulers of Arabia and the East African coast. A conflict whose outcome was open to doubt.--Roz Kaveney --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Praise for "Monsoon"'Let yourself be blown away by the hurricane of storytelling that is Monsoon ... a fantastic reading experience.' - "The Sunday Times"""'Tremendously enjoyable ... meticulously researched, with narrative drive as relentless as the green Atlantic rollers ... one hell of a read.' - "The Daily Mail"""'His writing is crisp and decisive and his plots keep the reader hooked.' "- Belfast Telegraph" 'The writing is never less than vivid, the plot is neatly crafted.' - "Mail on Sunday" 'Brightly colored, sweeping escapism.' - "Kirkus Reviews"""'A rich, compelling look back in time [to] when history and myth intermingled.' -" San Francisco Chronicle"""'A grand tale of intrigue, deception, true love and exile.' -"Denver"" Post"""'An epic... Smith joins the ranks of the grand masters of twentieth-century novels.' - "Tulsa"" World""" "Only a handful of 20th century writers tantalize our senses as well as Smith. A rare author who wields a razor-sharp sword of craftsmanship." --"Tulsa"" World""""[A] nonstop thriller that takes readers on a magical tour... Wilbur Smith leaves fans feeling that they sailed alongside Sir Hal because the geography and the era appear so genuine. This is what makes a Smith book worth reading." -- "Midwest"" Book Review" "Smith is one of the world's most popular and prolific adventure writers." --"The Washington Post Book World """"Smith offers plenty of battles and harrowing escapes for adventure fans." - "Library Journal """"A masterful tale of action and suspense.... A smooth blend of adventure and romance, the novel is an atmospheric trip through the fierce mysteries of the Dark Continent and the Arabian seas."--"Publishers Weekly" "[Smith] paces his tale as swiftly as he can with swordplay aplenty and killing strokes that come like lightning out of a sunny blue sky."--"Kirkus Reviews""""A wild adventure...brought flawlessly to life through real --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 38 people found the following review helpful By "ruscoe37" on 3 Mar. 2004
Format: Paperback
I've been an avid follower of Wilbur Smith for many years now and i'm glad to say that this book lived up to my very high expectations of him.
Whilst writing this review I don't want to ruin any of the immense enjoyment that the reader should get from reading this book, so I won't write anyting about what happens. Instead I'll try to set the picture of what the reader should come to expect from such a fine book:
This book should come with a warning sticker on the cover - "MAY SERIOUSLY AFFECT SLEEPING PATTERNS" - I just couldn't put it down and often ended up reading till the 'wee small hours of the morning'. Action, romance, death, scandal; this book has it all...and more.
'Monsoon' starts off at a fast pace and maintains the momentum throughout. Ranging from the South coast of England to the plains of Africa, deserts of Asia and the seas of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, Wilbur Smith manages to set the picture for all of these locations beautifully.
It's been a while since I read a book that can make the hairs stand on end and not since 'When The Lion Feeds" have i felt so shocked and saddened by the death of a fictional character. The way Wilbur draws the reader to one conclusion then throws a totally different one back at them is amazing.
Wilbur got the fine line between a fast paced read and allowing the reader to understand and follow the numerous plots in this fine book just right. The only bad thing that I can possibly say about 'Monsoon' is that it actually came to an end; I can't wait till his next release. I can't praise this book enough; the best book of an excellent bunch!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By L. Wells on 14 Oct. 2001
Format: Paperback
What a book, I became so engrossed in this that I found myself reading it in any spare moment I had.
I found myself almost living the emotions of Tom and Dorian Courtney, so brilliant is this tale told by the ever brilliant Wilbur Smith. Make sure you read Birds of prey first though.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 7 Sept. 2000
Format: Paperback
This story of high adventure demonstrates Wilbur Smith's unique ability to enthral the reader. The much-loved characters of "Birds of Prey" return for another instalment of the Courtney family history which introduces the next worthy generation of the saga. With the book's exploration of filial obligation and brotherly love, long-lost siblings Tom and Dorian find their fates intermingled within the omnipresent force that is the continent of Africa. This unexplored wilderness proves a metaphor for the spirits of the main characters. A book that I couldn't wait to finish but also one that left me disappointed at the prospect of returning to reality after the all-encompassing sense of place and atmosphere that I became submerged within. I am already waiting anxiously for the next novel and eager to read about the characters who will seem like old friends. My only criticism would be the slightly formulaic structure of the novel reminiscent of its forerunner. However, this could be justified by the expression "like father, like sons." All together, a vibrant and exciting novel that takes the reader through the emotional spectrum. A thoroughly enjoyable read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 13 Sept. 2003
Format: Paperback
This book has to be the best i've read. The descriptions are so vivid, the plot breathtaking, the characters enchanting, the history so precise. This book resumes all sorts of human feelings, battles, passion, love, greed, hate, corruption. The battle scenes are fantastically described yet at the same time are deeply emotional. The story of four brothers, the hate dviding them. I have lived another lifetime through this book, and have travelled half the world through its description, i have yet to find another that can write as well as Wilbur Smith. If you re looking for an adventure book, with action, love, and not too much philosophy or whatsoever, this is the one.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 3 July 2001
Format: Paperback
Wilbur Smith has gone full blast with this wonder. It is fantastic, from the beginning until the end this novel captivated me. Smith has an annoying habit of recreating the same story but with a slightly different backdrop. This novel has the familiar character formula but its scenary is outstanding. Transported to the 1800's when sea was the only way to travel, this story carries you along its journeying from England to South Africa and beyond. The enchanting tale of the prophecy awaiting a flame haired boy is incredible, whilst the remaining subplots weave in and out of each other like traffic in a busy street in Italy - with as much danger and suspense. All in all a great story - I can't wait until I fall upon another story as enthralling.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 27 April 1999
Format: Hardcover
MONSOON is a feast of a spellbinding story of the heroic days of tall ships, written with immense beauty of style. The finely chiselled characters and details jump at you from the pages, enthralling, ever moving on. It's a rare feat of reading pleasure as your mind paints for you a breathtaking vision that rings true and could never be matched by film or any other media. I read this novel, never once having the urge to watch TV. When I finally turned the last page I felt a deep loss that I had come to the end of the book. I hope Wilbur Smith is busy with his next book, I can't wait. MONSOON makes out of any reluctant reader of novels a consummate bookworm.
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