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Shout At The Devil (2006)

Shout at the Devil (2006)
3.9 of 5 Votes: 3
0312940637 (ISBN13: 9780312940638)
st. martin's paperbacks
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Shout At The Devil (2006)
Shout At The Devil (2006)

About book: Shout at the Devil is my second Wilbur Smith read after Eagle in the Sky and an early outing for the author. Surprise, surprise, it’s an expertly written action-adventure yarn set in Africa, in which the sights and sounds of the fetid, boggy terrain are brought to life with sweeps of the great author’s pen. Really, nobody writes like Smith; his detailed descriptions of Africa and its land, wildlife and peoples have a ring of authenticity to them that other authors miss, and at the same time he crafts fine, edge-of-your-seat adventures.This one is no exception. From the beginning we’re in the midst of excitement and danger; there are chases by land, by sea; there are interludes in the sky and in the water; there are dangerous crocodiles, even more dangerous German bad guys and the ever-present threat from disease and sickness. There are shoot-outs and hut-burnings, ambushes and mass slaughter, and it’s all pared down to the bone, without an ounce of padding. Smith writes in broad strokes in a way that few other thriller writers do.The two lead characters bounce off each other very well. The idealistic young Englishman, fresh for adventure, seems alive off the page; the wily Irish-American, drunk for 90% of the time, is only too real. The villains of the piece are the Germans, but Smith is careful not to paint his characters in black and white. Some of the German seamen are well-drawn, likeable, brave and heroic, in sharp contrast to the puffing, overweight, always-eating Fleischer, a truly repellent creation.As ever, sometimes Smith’s realism is too near the knuckle. Graphic scenes of elephant slaughter are likely to offend the thin-skinned and unwary; Smith also goes out of his way to depict the effect of violence on the human body, with many gruesome interludes. A scene involving a Portuguese pilot is still etched in my mind days after reading, thanks to the brilliance of the author’s description. It’s fair to say that the climax is downbeat, but as the author himself would say... that’s life.

This was my first Wilbur Smith story and it will not be my last as he is an exciting story teller. All his stories are bold and unforgettable. Shout At The Devil is a terrific adventure novel set in east Africa during the early days of the Great War. The main character is a drunk, selfish, hot-tempered Irish American elephant hunter called O'Flynn who while living in Mozambique, crosses paths with the ruthless Askari in German Tanzania. This precipitates a deadly conflict between the two sides and an interesting chase involving the German light cruiser Königsberg, which was eventually sunk by the British in 1915. This is well worth reading.
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I have read quite a few Wilbur Smith books in recent months. Even tho I enjoy them, I thought perhaps I was overdosing on them - until reading this one. Yet again Mr Smith has managed to (pleasantly) surprise me and I really enjoyed the journey of reading this book. As always there is action, adventure, romance, death (in all it's graffic and gory detail) and Africa! I think this is one of his fairly early works and noted that he recycled some of the ideas in Blue Horizon. Still, on to the next one...
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Tim Roast
Having read lots of Wilbur Smith's books this one stands out as being different. It is split into two parts. Part 1 is set before WWI and focuses on one man, Flynn O'Flynn, who lives just outside German East Africa and his comical raids into Germany. Early in the book he meets an Englishman and their repetoire is very funny. I can see why this was made into a film (according to other reviews) as the dialogue is very good. Then WWI starts and the Germans advance beyond their borders for revenge. This is where part 2 begins and the book becomes more serious as you'd expect. The ending is untypical of Smith as it isn't a feel-good ending but I don't want to spoil it.Good book that I highly recommend.
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