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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

What listeners say about A Time to Die

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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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!

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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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    4 out of 5 stars

It's been a long time - enjoyed it

I have read a few of Wilbur Smith's books in my teenage years - around the time and few years after this book was written (1989). They revealed an interesting world of Africa, strong, heroic men, beautiful women, fighting, cruelty, hunting, etc. and gripping stories.
After almost 30 years, this book popped up while browsing for something to listen in the garden, so without knowing which series from Wilbur Smith this belongs to, I just clicked on it and started to listen.
The book starts with a hunt and the quite obvious setup of Sean vs Claudia, well written as I remembered from this author - but I was wondering how he will end up filling the 21 hours with such a predictable story...
Well, he has done a great job. While I enjoyed listening the descriptions of Wild Africa and the life on the safari, he kept my attention and the story was warming up - the 21 hours was quickly flying away.
The end felt a bit sudden to me, as if the author had reached the limit of characters in his book or something, but the fact that I would have happily listened further, shows that the book is alright...
The author already speaks in past tense about "Wild Africa", destroyed wildlife, back in 1989 (story is from 1987), that is 3 decades ago... Sad to think about what he would write nowadays...

The narrator, Sean Barrett is excellent, six stars to me - no wonder that I see him narrating many of the other Wilbur Smith books... He became one of my favorite voice in Audible, I would happily listen any other book in his narration, I started to browse the long list of books he narrated, to see if I find anything interesting.
I listen to much more non-fiction than fiction, but next time I want a relaxing listen, who knows, maybe I pick another book narrated by Sean Barrett or maybe even from Wilbur Smith.

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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.

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Gripping.

Another great book . narration by Sean Barrett is first class again. Loved it.

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amazing and exceptionally well read.

well writtenand well read. Another awesome book. From start to finish this book keeps you on the edge of your seat. Very easy to listen to sean barrett ,harder to stop.

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Dated pile of cliches

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear ... I was so disappointed when it went on to the second part which rather told me how tedious this was. What should have been a rollicking and interesting story was let down by the formulaic and cliched writing. Although times have moved on, I suspect even at the time pf writing this was an eye-rolling experience

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    5 out of 5 stars

Very good yarn.

Smith at his best. Only one storyline but engrossing nevertheless. A good listen - sorry when it finished.

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    4 out of 5 stars

Slow start but worthwhile

Great book again if you want to get lost in a Africa and adventure love and losses.. typically Wilbur Smith has the story tell skill and is great at the style of book that I like to call gone with the wind type stores that are ageless