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4.6 out of 5 stars
Hungry as the Sea
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on 6 November 2003
I was lucky enough to buy a box set of 8 novels by Wilbur Smith and have thoroughly enjoyed 6 I have read so far. Though this one is undoubtably the best.
The characters have been superbly described, being very strong and believable, even if some of the scenes do stretch the imagination. However, if you are willing just to enjoy the scenes that are described then this book is one you won't be able to put down.
As I got near the end I found myself trying to imagine the different ways this book would end, and was still surprised as I turned the last few pages.
In short this is a must read!!! Totally unputdownable!!!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 19 September 2006
Another typically good Wilbur Smith story.

This one is set in the mid 60s and focuses on the hero Nicholas Berg and his trip from 40 year old hasbeen to great success once more. It all starts with him taking on the captaincy of one of the two ships (the bulk of the novel is set at sea) his struggling firm owns to try and rediscover his vitality. And it works.

Needless to say this is gripping adventure at it's best all the way through and is a stand-alone novel so can be read without reading any of Wilbur Smith's other material.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Oh dear. I seem to be very much in a minority here, but I really hated this novel (and I never say that lightly), although (and here I must be honest) I failed to finish it. It begins with seemingly endless descriptions of the minutiae of ships and shipping, of storms and tornados, and much of this was quite hard to follow if you aren't acquainted with the subject (I'm not). And the writing...Cliche followed upon cliche, and our hero never looked at his "watch", but always at his "Rolex Oyster"; sometimes even his "Rolex diamond Oyster". This watch was mentioned in these terms eight times in all. The love interest was obvious from the outset, as our (very handsome) hero courted his (staggeringly beautiful) girl.

I usually enjoy Wilbur Smith; not so much for the quality of his writing, but because at his best he writes a thoroughly gripping yarn. But I was very disappointed in this one. Maybe it serves me right for reading one of his earlier works (although I enjoyed his Balantyne and Courteney novels), but I shall think twice before tackling his books again.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
No one writes big musulcar fiction like Wilbur Smith and this has always been one of my favourite non "Courtney" books. It's a pretty straight forward adventure novel, packed with all the excitement and derring do you could hope for. However it's Smith's skill as a writer that raises this above the works of most other adventure writers, his magical turn of phrase brings every scene to life and his characters have a life depth that is rare in this type of book and, even though you know the hero will win out, you find yourself careing about him. The climax is based on as unlikely a set of coincidental circumstances as it's possible to imagine but Smith keeps the pace and exceitment high and as long as you don't think too deeply about what is happening you'll experience the ride of a lifetime.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 6 December 1999
Well done Wilbur, great book. If you like adventure stories you will love this. From the harrowing high seas to the daunting claims courts: it describes the ups and downs of ocean liner salvage to a tee..........WELL DONE !!!!!!
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When I was about 14 which was a long time ago I had a Wilbur Smith and I remember really enjoying Hungry as the Sea. So, coming across it on my Kindle one evening, I decided I would rediscover it. Well how I must have changed over the years because this was a painful read, a MIlls and Boon for men. Cringeworthy cliches abound around the chisel jawed protagonist, even more chisel jawed antagonist and a beautiful ex wife who ' dulls even the most perfect supermodels when she enters the room'. There is some action amidst the guff of course which is pretty well done if you like sea faring books. Overall though I am sorry to say this stuff just can't pull its weight anymore, it's a novel of its time I guess and now that time has well and truly gone. I am sorry Wilbur but I won't be reading any more of your books again - this one almost finished me off.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 December 2010
Having read most of Wilbur Smiths books Hungry as The Sea was a refreshing change but still up to his high standard of writing well worth reading and I would recomend reading it I have twice!

AJB
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on 19 December 2011
Taken in isolation Hungry as the Sea is a quite satisfactory, punch-all-the-buttons, sea adventure with a few twists to the tale thrown in for flavour (i.e. set in the present day, not a war story, background of ecology saving and high finance etc). Trouble is Wilbur Smith's name is on the cover and the reader is already in third gear before he/she opens the book and is ready to be transported to mach3 by chapter 2. The author is just a victim of his own historic achievements and the reader is left wanting just a little more by the last page. Write another Courtney saga for us Wilbur - Please. Pretty please.
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on 26 March 2013
I've read a considerable number of Wilbur Smith novels and expected this one to be as good and was not disappointed. Additionally I expected it to take place, as normal for Wilbur, somewhere of the coast of South Africa. It was No surprise that it starts in Cape Town but then it moves South, Far South.

A brilliant descriptive novel of not far fetched happenings. You almost feel as though your are there.

I never recommend anything in life because what I like may not be to the liking of others and this could lead to problems. But, in this instance I might make the exception!!!!!!!!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 11 March 2011
Desperate to read something I picked up this dog eared paperpack in a friends house to re-read a tale I had read more than 30 years before. It is an entertaining piece of hokum from Mr Smith who generally writes much better stuff than this. The first half of the book set in the antarctic is quite compelling and highly suspenseful. The rest of the book veers between highly charged couplings by the hero and his women and a totally preposturous yarn about a mile long crude carrier heading into a tornado.
The women always wear green dresses and both are obviously nymphomaniacs. Smith's eye for detail is clearly evident in this somewhat outdated novel and his use of the word gay to signify light hearted fun rather than homosexuality is rather sweet.
Nowhere near as good as a Courtney/Ballantyne novel but a very easy if disappointing read!
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