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

4.7 out of 5 stars 173 customer reviews

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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 (173 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,707,913 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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 the Hardcover edition.

Review

"ÝSmith¨ 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"
"ÝA¨ nonstop thriller that takes readers on a magical tour. This is what makes a Smith book worth reading."
- "Midwest Book Review"
"Only a handful of twentieth-century writers tantalize our senses as well as Smith...a rare author who wields a razor-sharp sword of craftmanship."
- "Tulsa World"
"A masterful tale of action and suspense set on the high seas, Ýin¨ arid deserts, and steaming jungles... Clever plot twists and lavish historical detail...a smooth blend of adventure and romance, thenovel is an atmospheric trip through the fierce mysteries of the Dark Continent and the Arabian seas."
- "Publishers Weekly"
"Smith is one of the world's most popular and prolific adventure writers."
- "The Washington Post Book World"


"[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] nonstop thriller that takes readers on a magical tour. This is what makes a Smith book worth reading."
- "Midwest Book Review"

"Only a handful of twentieth-century writers tantalize our senses as well as Smith...a rare author who wields a razor-sharp sword of craftmanship."
- "Tulsa World"

"A masterful tale of action and suspense set on the high seas, [in] arid deserts, and steaming jungles... Clever plot twists and lavish historical detail...a smooth blend of adventure and romance, thenovel is an atmospheric trip through the fierce mysteries of the Dark Continent and the Arabian seas."
- "Publishers Weekly"

"Smith is one of the world's most popular and prolific adventure writers."
- "The Washington Post Book World"


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 realistic sword fights and sea battles, vivid stories of pirates...breathtaking." --"Times Record News"

""

Praise for Wilbur Smith

"Smith is a master." --"Publishers Weekly"
"One of the world's most popular adventure writers." --"The Washington Post Book World"
"A rare author who wields a razor-sharp sword of craftsmanship." --"Tulsa World"

"Wilbur Smith is one of those benchmarks against whom others are compared." --"The Times" (UK)
"Best Historical Novelist--I say Wilbur Smith, with his swashbuckling novels of Africa. The bodices of rip and the blood flows. You can get lost in Wilbur Smith and misplace all of August."--Stephen King
"Action is Wilur Smith's game, and he is a master."--"The Washington Post Book World"

"The world's leading adventure writer." --"Daily Express" (UK)

"Wilbur Smith rarely misses a trick."--"Sunday Times"

"Smith is a captivating storyteller." --"The Orlando Sentinel"

"No one does adventure quite like Smith." --"Daily Mirror" (UK)
"A thundering good' read is virtually the only way of describing Wilbur Smith's books." --"The Irish Times"

'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 realistic sword fights and sea battles, vivid stories of pirates...breathtaking." --"Times Record News"

""

Praise for Wilbur Smith

"Smith is a master." --"Publishers Weekly"
"One of the world's most popular adventure writers." --"The Washington Post Book World"
"A rare author who wields a razor-sharp sword of craftsmanship." --"Tulsa World"

"Wilbur Smith is one of those benchmarks against whom others are compared." --"The Times" (UK)
"Best Historical Novelist--I say Wilbur Smith, with his swashbuckling novels of Africa. The bodices of rip and the blood flows. You can get lost in Wilbur Smith and misplace all of August."--Stephen King
"Action is Wilur Smith's game, and he is a master."--"The Washington Post Book World"

"The world's leading adventure writer." --"Daily Express" (UK)

"Wilbur Smith rarely misses a trick."--"Sunday Times"

"Smith is a captivating storyteller." --"The Orlando Sentinel"

"No one does adventure quite like Smith." --"Daily Mirror" (UK)
"A thundering good' read is virtually the only way of describing Wilbur Smith's books." --"The Irish Times"

His writing is crisp and decisive and his plots keep the reader hooked.--Belfast Telegraph

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 realistic sword fights and sea battles, vivid stories of pirates breathtaking. "Times Record News"

Smith is a master. "Publishers Weekly"

One of the world's most popular adventure writers. "The Washington Post Book World"

A rare author who wields a razor-sharp sword of craftsmanship. "Tulsa World"

Wilbur Smith is one of those benchmarks against whom others are compared. "The Times (UK)"

Best Historical Novelist--I say Wilbur Smith, with his swashbuckling novels of Africa. The bodices of rip and the blood flows. You can get lost in Wilbur Smith and misplace all of August. "Stephen King"

Action is Wilbur Smith's game, and he is a master. "The Washington Post Book World"

The world's leading adventure writer. "Daily Express (UK)"

Wilbur Smith rarely misses a trick. "Sunday Times"

Smith is a captivating storyteller. "The Orlando Sentinel"

No one does adventure quite like Smith. "Daily Mirror (UK)"

A thundering good' read is virtually the only way of describing Wilbur Smith's books. "The Irish Times"" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

See all Product Description

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I did once swear I would never read another of Wilbur Smith's books as his descriptives are just to hard to shake from your memory - and sometimes you really might want to shake a scene. Unfortunately though, I seem to be hooked on this series of stories. It's perfectly OK to just read one of the books out of the whole stack as they do not necessarily follow on in years but could well be a few generations down the line - or just one. Seems to depend on which generation and era is worth a visit by Mr Smith's imagination. Reading a Wilbur Smith book is akin to watching a film in your own head. His descriptives are vivid, he has characters you can love, and many that you can hate. Just don't expect his hero to have a happily ever after. It just might be that he/she has the sort of life that could well get cut short.
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By Dave TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 4 Aug. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the second in the series of the Courtneys and introduces the new generation, the sons of Sir Hal. As well as being a journey across the oceans and parts of Africa these novels are also a journey through time as the old guard die of and the youngsters come to the fore.

So in this book we discover Sir Hal's four sons William, Tom, Guy and Dorian and their own adventures. Rather than spoil the book suffice it to say that they all take different paths and each brings his own character to the novel.

I am finding that it is typical of Smith to tell of unlikely feats of daring told in a very lengthy way. I think his motto must be why use ten words when a hundred or thousand can be used.

At over 600 pages it is too long and I found myself skipping some pages but nevertheless it is still a good read. Onto Blue Horizon now.
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By A Customer on 1 July 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is totally captivating - the research and detail is just amazing! It is the first Wilbur Smith book I read - I just saw it laying about one day at work, read the first line and could not put it down! I love the way he writes, he is so passionate and raw and in turn the characters are the same.This book really makes you crave adventure and experience the mysticism and awe of the 18th century.
I would personally like to thank Wilbur Smith for creating Tom Courtney because I am totally in love with him!
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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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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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