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Summary

The lion charged. He came straight at them out of the thicket as his mate had done, but even more swiftly, driven by the agony in his belly and the black rage that filled him. He came grunting like a locomotive at full throttle, and they were unprepared. 

Hunters. Hunted. 

Sean Courtney, ex-guerilla fighter in the Bush War, is now a man of peace, leading hunting safaris in Zimbabwe for wealthy men. His current client is Riccardo Monterro, a strong-headed man whose beautiful, strong-minded daughter Claudia has reluctantly accompanied him on the search for the greatest of all trophies: the old bull elephant Tukutela.  

But the elephant, and Riccardo's obsession, will lead them over the border into a Mozambique still devastated by civil war. What began as a rich man's holiday will become a desperate battle for survival - and Sean must help them escape the most dangerous predator of all: Man.

©2018 Wilbur Smith (P)2019 Audible, Ltd

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    3 out of 5 stars

If I hear the name Sean, or Siân, one more time...

I've never read a Wilbur Smith book before, so bought this audiobook on the strength of the author's reputation. Forgetting that it was a book lasting 21 hours, I kept thinking it had come to an end, only to find it hadn't.

It's basically a love story between Claudia and Sean. They hate each other to start with, and end up besotted with each other.

Sean Barrett has an interesting voice. He is English, yet has a South African twang to his voice when speaking naturally.
His voice is excellent for descriptive passages.

However, his attempts to be Claudia, using a not-very-good American accent in falsetto tones, whereby Sean is pronounced as Siân, are rather embarrassing.

Even more embarrassing are the sex scenes, be they between lions, other animals, or between 'Siân' and Claudia. His voice is like your dad. Listening to these scenes is toe-curling. It's like your dad sitting there in front of you reading them. Just unbearable. Horribly descriptive scenes of body parts and sex, and longing for them to be over!

The author uses the name of Sean much too much. Sean this, Sean that, Sean the other. People speaking to Sean say Sean every couple of sentences. There were plenty of occasions when a pronoun would have been easier on the ear.

The second half of the book is much better than the first half, and the last third is really rather exciting.

A bit too mushy in places, but I might listen to it again one day, but miss out the first half, and fast-forward through the toe-curling bits!

3 people found this helpful

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Disappointing

I’ve read and now listened to all of Wilbers long list of books. The only thing to say of this one is Sean Courtney should have shot the heroine in the first chapter and we could have all gone home. Waste of 20 hours of listening.

2 people found this helpful

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African adventure!

Exciting story but the parts which really captivated me were Smith's beautiful descriptions of Africa, its wilderness and landscapes. Felt rather melancholy at parts, but worth a read for sure.

1 person found this helpful

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great story

Easy listening action and adventure story. Maybe a bit long. Enjoyed it though. Well written.

1 person found this helpful

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Gripping Story

This book was a brutal account of the African Guerrilla fighters and the devastation caused by the destruction of the forests for monetary Gain.
Great read on the edge of my seat from start to finish

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Barrett

Sean Barrett’s is exceptional as normal as is Smith’s sense of adventure and the level of detail

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Excellent

Well this was the best in the series for me could not stop listening

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Run for your life

Again another action packed tale of Adventure by Wilbur Smith, Expertly narrated by the great Sean Barrett

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A well crafted story, gripping to the very end.

Excellent description of the African scenery and insightful of the Rhodesia UDI. Marvellous accompaniment to gym training.

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Awful

So bad. It's a Mills and Boon for men. I couldn't finish it and sadly bought it on a two for one deal otherwise I'd have returned it within the first half hour of listening. A sad waste of a credit.

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  • Peter Tersteeg
  • 09-05-22

One of my favorite novels

I read this book when it was first published, have re-read it several times since. Great story and I definitely recommend.
My only negative was the narators female voice. It just wasn't well done and every time he read one of her lines it sounded terrible. All his male voices were fine though.