Shop now Shop now Shop now See more Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Learn more Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Listen with Prime Learn more Shop Men's Shop Women's

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
3.6 out of 5 stars
Format: Paperback|Change
Price:£1.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on 6 April 2011
Unfortunately dear Wilbur is taking what can only be described as a downward spiral when it comes to his latest novels.

This book is no exception, while highly entertaining and gripping by most novelists standards, it falls short of his great books.
The villains are one dimensional psychopaths, the heroes are stereotypes and the plot is all too predictable.

It pains me to write such a negative review, as Wilbur Smith has been an omnipotent force throughout my life, accompanying me on wonderful holidays, keeping me amused on long flights and getting me through times of worry and stress with that unique ability to transport the reader to another era, another world.

I yearn for a return to the simmering intensity of the earlier books, the sadness of "When The Lion Feeds", the brilliance of "The Burning Shore", the tales which would suck you in from the very first paragraph and keep you gripped until the last.
Wilbur, you are still the best novelist in the world right now, probably ever, take a look at your last four novels, then your first four, and regain the genius that has for the moment left you.
66 comments| 147 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 19 July 2011
Having read every book Wilbur Smith has written, I have always loved his ability to make me feel as if I can see, feel, hear and smell the Africa he writes about, the action sequences so thrilling, the plots well developed and researched, and the lead characters - male and female - so well drawn. With the exception of the truly dire "The Quest" I have enjoyed every book.

Now however I am wondering if he has lost his touch (if he actually wrote this of course, as there are rumours to the contrary). This book - poorly researched with glaring inaccuracies, one-dimensional characters, paper-thin plot developments and very little in the way of true "Wilbur Smith" action, was such a disappointment. The sex scenes were either embarrassing or sickly graphic, the violence so unlike him. And the dialogue ("I feel deeply honoured to have received the gift of her love. It is my armour. With her at my side I shall never again know loneliness") - the hero; ("I must have a baby. I must have a piece of you inside me. That will be the ultimate affirmation of our love") - the heroine. Plus lots of "Oh my darling"s. It felt like a bizarre cross between sado-masochistic porn, a Mills & Boon bodice-ripper, and a poorly written action story.

I truly hope that it gets better than this again. I always look forward to his books - or I used to until this.
22 comments| 64 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 4 August 2011
I have been an avid reader of all Wilbur Smith books since the early days. I was hooked when I first read 'When the Lion Feeds' and have read all the Courtney and Ballantyne novels and I loved the Egyptian Novels where I felt I was transported back in time.

His recent books have not been so captivating, although I enjoyed Assegai, but some of that was a little bit tongue in cheek with some of the exploits.

This book is a huge disappointment. Starts of well but disintegrates into what can only be described as a waste of good paper. It seemed that he ran out of ideas of how to fill the middle section of the book and as consequence filled it with a load of nonsense about the main characters on their extended honeymoon!! I almost gave up on it them but kept going. Its a pity because the piracy topic is highly relevant. As an ex Navy man I found the latter stages of the book quite unrealistic. Hector Cross must be some guy, he didn't seem to need any of the people who were in the book to help him capture the villian(s).
55 comments| 76 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 13 May 2011
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.
11 comment| 77 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 29 May 2012
I think that Wilbur Smith has now lost his way, if like me you are a huge fan of his early works such as the Courtney series or my personal favourite The Sunbird, this book is not for you. Many aspects of Smith's writing do irk me something fierce, and all of them are present in this book.
The characters have no depth what soever, the typical Wilbur Smith formula of his protagonists being absolutely perfect in every conceivable way. Hazel Bannock is the most beautiful and most successful business woman in all of America, a pro tennis player who marries a rich and much older man. when this ancient husband of her's dies she wages a legal battle with her step son for control of the company. How is that supposed to endear us to the character? her daughter is also one of the most irritating and grating creations that i have ever encountered, a spoilt rich girl and quite stupid to boot.
Hector Cross is the superb fighter and savvy operator yatayatayata, boring sums him up quite well.
The characters are also completely unbelievable in the sense that they become emotionally attached extremely quick, Hector and Hazel go through the cycle of i hate you, but damn you're fit, everything i hated about you i now love, oh darling this oh darling that. in what seems about five minutes. immensely annoying. and hector begins to think of himself as the girls father almost immediately without even meeting her, and then when they do meet within the space of a few hours they had formed this wonderful father daughter bond, even though the daughter had no idea he was her potential step father at the time, it made me sick. also the perfection factor this time has gone much too far, marrying the CEO of a major multi-billion dollar corporation and being made a vice president as a result is ridiculous, further more after running a small security company how can you possibly dander into a board room and make the partners "applaud" at your glorious insight, once again it made me feels sick.
the characters are immensely irritating, the plot is weak and struggles to hold the readers attention.
0Comment| 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 25 April 2011
I have read and enjoyed all but this work from Wilbur Smith. This time it is a cross between Boys' Own and a bodice ripper. There has always been a certain raciness to Mr Smith's books but this one is not far short of deliberate pornography. The story line is not up to the usual standard of research, as nobody actually knows too much about these Somali pirates except that they most certainly are not some sort of Robin Hood, taking from the rich to give to the poor. (Excepting possibly the security forces). There is nothing noble or honourable about them at all. As for our heroine - Lara Croft you have competition!

Sorry Mr Smith, but unless you get back to writing the books we all know and enjoy I do not think I shall continue to be a loyal follower.
0Comment| 24 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 22 April 2011
It is many years since I read Wilbur Smith in his African bush era, so I was interested in this change of tack albeit still linked to the African continent. I am afraid I was hugely disappointed with the over the top plot written as if a film script was either in mind or actually being written. The mid-section of the book appeared to be filler whilst he drew up plans for the ending and I found myself skipping pages to get back into some kind of rhythm with the storyline and by the end I did not really care what the outcome was.
0Comment| 17 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 9 April 2011
Unfortunately, Mr Smith appears to have been afflicted by a known writer's malaise which is quite prevalent amongst senior citizen wordsmiths. It is the Horny Old Goat syndrome that turns erstwhile competent authors into figures of ridicule when they dash off pages of prurient twaddle, as in the case in his latest offering, Those In Peril. The plot outline has all the makings of those wonderful Wilbur Smith novels of 30 years ago but sadly it founders from the outset and by mid-book is wallowing hopelessly in a slushy romance amidst the signature brutality and slayings in all of Smith's books . The book is awash from the first chapters with lurid scenes of rough sex and depravity, described in great and ever increasing detail as Smith warms to his task with shock/horror tactics. The oral micturition scene is not only particularly unpleasant but is also quite unnecessary. If it is there to reinforce the reader's perception of just how dangerous these piratical brigands can be then Smith has severely misjudged his readership. No, it is clearly the HOG syndrome in play, the work of a dirty old man who thinks he needs to titillate his audience every twenty pages or so. The story becomes increasingly flabby as banality and sheer silliness flood the pages in torrents of pink mist and bloody entrails, as heads and bodies explode, and bowels are voided in ever increasing frequency.

I have enjoyed nearly all of Wilbur Smith's work since the 1960's but now feel very let down by this lightweight and trivial
story which I would find hard to recommend to anyone. It is rather like hearing your favourite uncle, getting on in years, has been found wandering on Hampstead Heath in a dirty mac exposing himself to all and sundry. I think he has let down many of his old fans, not just me. One to avoid.
77 comments| 42 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 1 June 2011
I have long been a Wilbur Smith fan and have read all his books. This latest offer is pure drivel and I cannot believe it was written by the same author. It's a pity that this author has lowered his standards this much. The graphic sexual passages do indeed indicate that the fool is suffering from horny old goat syndrome. My recommedation: If you are a WS fan - don't waste your money and try remembering when WS produced a good read.
0Comment| 25 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 21 August 2013
This book was so bad that I am convinced that Wilbur Smith was not the author. I rather suspect that it was written by a 'co-author'(as Wilbur and Mrs Wilbur would put it in their new franchising venture), but even then, surely Wilbur should have check-read some of the drafts before he allowed something of this banality to go out under his name? After I'd finished a couple of chapters I felt compelled to look up Wilbur Smith on the internet to confirm his age because I wanted to know if he had by any chance become senile, and rather concluded that he had! Wilbur's previous writing - and I have read many of his books - has always been characterised by depth of character, well researched detail, and vivid descriptions of countryside, nature and climate, all of which immerses one into the flowing passages as the various plots unfold. This book was miles off that, and rather resembled self published tack. Many of the action scenes contained such unlikely and impossible detail; such as for example a helicopter which shut down and stopped its main rotor in mid air, then restarted it before impacting the ground - and the main villain being able to shoot people with head shots of millimetric accuracy time and time again whilst bouncing on the back of a 4WD being driven down an unmetalled desert track. The introduction of gratuitous pornographic vignettes, some of which involved lascivious detail of the rape of children, added nothing to the plot and served only to raise questions about what things actually go around the author's head, whoever she or he actually is. There was also evidence of subliminal racism which had not been expunged during edit, such as part of the narrative (ie not vocalised by the characters) which runs along the lines of 'XXX was an Arab, but actually was quite trustworthy' as if the Arabic race was naturally inclined to untrustworthiness. I said 'along the lines' here because I'm afraid I no longer have the book. For the first time ever I consigned a 'Wilbur Smith' to the dustbin (yes - despite Amazon thinking I have the Kindle edition..... if I had the K edition I would have removed from device and then removed from library instead).

Then I decided to write this review, and going back to the dustbin to retrieve the tome for direct quotes, it was already covered with last night's dinner scraps. A worthy end to this very sub-standard effort.
0Comment| 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse