Customer Review

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Stick to non-fiction, 13 Jan 2010
This review is from: Zulu Hart (George Hart 1) (Paperback)
Just finished this today and it actually reads like the author started out with the idea of fitting a fictional story around one of his non-fiction titles - so it reads a lot like a non-fiction book with areas of fictional writing in between to plug the gaps. This could have worked well, but unfortunately the result is a fictional storyline that has been contrived totally to fit the non-fictional facts, and as such doesn't work well.

The author is reputedly a very good non-fiction historical writer and my feeling was that perhaps he should stick to where his skills lie - as this first attempt at fictional writing is as others have suggested incredibly clunky. If the characters in the book were actors acting out the book they would be described as "wooden".

It probably doesn't help that there is a total lack of credibility about the central character George Hart - who is 18 years of age for much of the book (although when it starts he is 17) and yet comes across like someone at least 10 years older. Appreciate that attitudes and standing were different back then, but an 18 year old standing up to established society figures in the way that we are expected to believe George Hart does, just wouldn't have happened. Then there is the fact that the main character appears in part to have been "borrowed" from the character played by Simon Ward in the film Zulu Dawn as many of the characters roles in the scenes leading up to and including the Battle Of Isandlwana are almost exactly the same, including an affection for Fanny Colenso who is also courted by Colonel Durnford.

The final conceit for me was the in the authors notes at the end in which he recommends one of his own books for further reading on the subject to those interested. Recommendations surely should come from others who have appreciated someones work, and I for one will not be recommending Zulu Hart, nor will I be inspired to read it's follow up.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 19 Apr 2013 12:07:28 BDT
Have you tried Forever the Colours on kindle, superb historical fiction given a brand new twist. Maiwand 1880 through modern eyes.
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