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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 3 March 2004
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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on 14 October 2001
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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on 13 September 2003
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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on 7 September 2000
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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on 3 July 2001
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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on 1 July 2004
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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on 27 April 1999
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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on 12 December 2004
What a brilliant story teller!,having read Birds of Prey i bought Monsoon as soon as it was published.I have since read it twice,and will probably read it again.If you like a good period adventure then it's a must.
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on 14 February 2000
As I have just finished reading this book, I am left with different emotions. First off; Smith's novells are of very high standard. I may say that I have still not read any low quality from his hand. Wilbur Smith plays in the high league! Monsoon was, however, not of his best achievements. Young Dorian's betrayal of his Godly faith, family and country, doesn't fit in Smith's ever so heroical and glorifying way to describe his characters. I am still looking forward to his next releases, though. Please note that my number of stars given below is compared to his other releases - not other authors!
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on 17 August 2016
I lose myself in these books, I really do.

Back in the early '80's I read my first Wilbur Smith book, and I've been a huge fan ever since. Now that there's a history of Courtney novels I'm going back and reading them in chronological order.

This book didn't disappoint, I'll not spoil the storyline but needless to say the author manages to weave in so much suspense that it keeps you reading; dreading what might happen but wanting to find out.

Wilbur Smith's books are timeless, the past 30 odd years have taught me that.
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