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Customer Review

77 of 81 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Reasonable, but not his usual standard!, 13 May 2011
This review is from: Those In Peril (The Hector Cross Novels) (Kindle Edition)
I have been a fan of Wilbur Smith for many years and have read just about every book he has written. It sort of runs in the family I guess you could say! Whilst his books normally manage to get me gripped within the first few pages I very nearly stopped reading this book part way through.
The first problem is the factual inaccuracies. A Major commanding a Brigade? Seriously? Brigadiers command Brigades! Then there's the RPG which could split a tank's armour - well really it depends which tank you're talking about but certainly not a modern main battle tank. Then the NATO standard 5.56mm round which is terrible at penetrating armour (yet they are amongst the very best in the world in penetration tests). Oh and who can forget the Duke of Edinburgh talking about the 3rd Battalion of the SAS... Wilbur Smith should have employed a soldier to check his work before it was published.
The second problem is the way in which the book goes on and on about just how "good" everything related to the main characters are. The richest woman in America, the best wine maker, the largest ship, etc etc. It gets tiring after a while because it is unbelievable that one family is surrounded by so much that is just so perfect in every way and is so successful at everything they put their hand to. The point is laboured far too much, which hints at an attempt to increase the word count, whilst not having to think too much about a story.
Some would probably also say that the book is a bit too violent. This could be true to some extent, but I guess the story is what it is and it is about violence. However if Wilbur is going to write in the modern context then perhaps he should be writing about more modern ways of solving problems. So have your violent battle, but when the bad guy is caught, he should be brought to justice, not just shot in the head as if that's what people in the USA or UK do!
I eventually finished the book largely because I was a bit bored and by the end found that I had enjoyed it as a whole. I'm glad I read it on the Kindle not as a normal book because this way I got it much cheaper and wouldn't have thought it worth the full price!!! I know this review seems very negative but overall the book is still better than some.
In summary, it seems to me to be very unpolished and sloppy for a writer as great as Wilbur Smith.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 22 Oct 2011 10:01:05 BDT
Molineux Boy says:
I agree with this except that I would give it one star and not three. In addition this book was extremely far fetched on occasion.
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