Wilbur Smith: Any Other Fans?

Discussion in 'Films, Music and All Things Artsy' started by LankyPullThrough, Nov 28, 2006.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Any other fans out there? I must admit, I've been a big fan since my early teens. Can still remember reading 'Hungry as the Sea' and 'Wild Justice' into the early hours as a boy.

    Like a lot of writers who've written lots of books, some are better than others, some elements of repetition kick in and the odd one seemed too long. That said, I've enjoyed a range of his books in various parts of the world and loved them.

    They have all the ingredients of a good s**t-kicker: beautiful women, daring deeds, fast pace and an order banning them from some council libraries on grounds of political incorrectness. Oh, and they all boast the sort of rugged heroes I'd love to be but only if I can get home in time for my tea.

    Am I alone or are there any suggestions for a better Wilbur than 'The Leopard Hunts in Darkness'?
  2. The thing that used to bug me was the fantastic spreads of food that seemed to be the standard meal in all of his novels. Never got any of that when I did many Grands Prix. Closest I came was a meal at the Aberdare Lodge.
    They did make a couple of good films from his novels though.
    Shout at the Devil, Gold and the Mercenaries/Dark of the Sun.
  3. I've been reading Wilbur Smudge for years, apart from the Courtney/Ballantyne novels, The Sunbird is my favorite.
  4. Yes, definitely a fan. Why do I never get to meet one of these tough ,tremendously capable and stunning women that he's always banging on about?

    Favourites - The Leopard Hunts in Darkness, An Eagle Flies, Cry Wolf.

    I think TLHID stands head and shoulders over the rest though.
  5. I loved the River God and Seventh Scroll - amazing books! Couldn't get into the others though
  6. Definetly "Wild Justice." First real action novel I read. Was about 12 or 13 at the time.

    I vaguely remember such characters like the Caliph, Cactus Flower and that lady...the love interest. Her name escapes me. I can still smell the toilet of the hijacked plane when I think about it.

    Then I read a "A Falcon Flies" but after "Wild Justice" it was just not the same.

    Definitely one of the best storytellers out there. Made in the same mold as Ludlum, Graham Greene, Ken Follet and Alistair Mclean and the other greats of the 60s and 70s. As a matter of fact,my first w.Ank off session involved a scene from "WJ" where the hero and the woman protagonist engage in a vicious fight on some kind of yacht and then end up making love on the deck of the boat. Somehow stuck with me all this years.

    Sorry, you got me going off on a tangent here but what simple days those were!

    edited slightly for mong grammar.
  7. I’ve been reading his books for years and have them all in hardback which does take up bookshelf room! I think he gets a little repetitive at times. Being a fan of most books on East Africa, I think he stoops to a little bit of plagiarism as well. I’m sure that the bit about the fight between the pet baboon and the dog in “Eagle in the Sky” was lifted from “Jock of the Bush Veldt” and a couple of other bits from other authors whose names escape me!

    A good read though and I will continue to buy his books. There should be another out next April?
  8. Rumrunner: yes, I believe 'The Quest' is out next year and it's his third(/) about ancient Egypt. There the ones I haven't read.

    Devil_Dog: I re-read 'Wild Justice' about a year ago and, bearing in mind it was written in the 1970s, old Wilbur was quite prescient in some of his ideas about global terror and the need for an international response. Likewise 'Hungry as the Sea' and some of the energy/environmental points.

    His most recent, Triumph of the Sun, I thought was a good 'un, possibly because it involved our stalwart heroes getting the better of Muslim fanatics.

    I'm glad I'm not alone in my regard for his heroines. Didn't they always seem to have honey-gold eyes, bodies 'well cared for by hard exercise' and, despite being stunningly beautiful and accomplished beyond their years in some difficult field or other, surprisingly and tantalisingly single....
  9. How about The Sunbird? :lol:
  10. Hate to rain on lots of people's parades on TLHID, but WS has had alot of source material from the real life story of a guy called Peter Godwin in a book called Mukiwa.
    In Mukiwa he escapes from the pogrom in the matabele tribal lands by disguising himself as a missionary in a car full of nuns, or something like that
    raving lefty review

    little bit more balanced review
  11. One reason I go for 'The Leopard Hunts in Darkness' as that I read it for the second time in 1993 and in 1994 ended up a relief manager of a cattle ranch in Zimbabwe. I am sure it was only an adolescent overdose of Wilbur that took me to Southern Africa in the first place where I was lucky enough to land that job for a three-month stint.

    It was like life imitating art. Every time I went out, in my mind's eye I was Craig Mellow surveying the Ballantyne land. Luckily, no hair-raising adventures ensued (save the odd spot of bother with poachers); unluckily, I never got the girl (...with no near neighbours, any girl!).
  12. The heroines are just one example of the use of stock characters and stereotypes by WS. Others include

    Rule 1 "The main character shall always have a faithful native retainer/gunbearer.
    2 All accountants or Lawyers will be Jewish.
    3 Engineers are Scottish, Mining Engineers are english.

    Are sure there are loads more
  13. ....so I had a bit of life imitating art imitating life!
  14. The heroes are always 'six one' so that his athletic heroines can still come up to their shoulder...
  15. scaryspice

    scaryspice LE Moderator

    I've read every single book he's written. There are three about Egypt Lanky - you missed Warlock - these are my favourites of the lot.

    I do agree that he uses "stock characters" and I'm still waiting to meet his archetypal male hero - the strong sensitive type who learned to shoot before he could walk, can ride a horse, speak three languages fluently, looks good in anything he wears AND knows how to treat women....