On to the Standalone's

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On to the Standalone's

Postby Ramon » Thu Nov 08, 2007 2:30 am

I am finally starting to read the stand-alones.

I just finished Warlock, so now I'm done with the Courtneys, the Ballantyne's and the Egyptian's (except the Quest, which I haven't got my hands on yet). I don't think I have ever read so much in my life as I have the past 8 months. 11 books in 8 months maybe doesn't qualify for the Guinness Book of Records, but for me it is definatelly a record, especially since they were all in English which of course isn't my native language.

Anyway, now it is time for The Dark of the Sun, and so far (10% into the book) it seems to be a good read. At first I had some problem seperating the characters from each other, but I think they are becoming clear now.

It will be very interesting to compare Wilbur's writing in this book with the last ones I've read, since this was written some 40 years before.
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Re: On to the Standalone's

Postby Ramon » Mon Nov 12, 2007 3:42 am

The Dark of the Sun was a quick read. Can't really say that it was a great book, but it wasn't bad either. I think what makes the Courtnesy's, the Ballantyne's and the Egyptian's so good is partly the fact that you get to know the characters and their families in such depth. This of course doesn't happen in a 250 page book as the Dark of the Sun.

Now I have started Shout at the Devil, and I suspect the feeling will be the same. It will probably be a good read. I'm sure it will be exciting, but I think I will once again lack the close liking of the characters.
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Re: On to the Standalone's

Postby Matbow » Mon Nov 12, 2007 7:19 am

Completely agree with everything you said there Ramon, they are (mostly) all good books but I don't get the same enjoyment as reading a Courtney, Ballantyne or Egyptian...
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Re: On to the Standalone's

Postby Ramon » Fri Nov 16, 2007 2:29 am

Finished Shout at the Devil on my way home from work yesterday, and I have to say that I was surprised. I had not heard so much about this book. I know my father said that it wasn't a great read, and the copy of the book I had, had pictures from the movie on it, and by the looks of them it didn't seem to be that good...

But, as I said, I was surprised. I really liked it! It was very exciting at times, and it had a lot of humour in it. I wonder how much gin Flynn drank in that book...

Gold Mine is next, and it will be nice to read a book that takes place in present (1970) time.
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Re: On to the Standalone's

Postby Ramon » Thu Nov 22, 2007 4:37 am

As I anticipated I liked to read Gold Mine, because of the fact that it took place in modern times. It was a quick and easy read, but it never got really exciting or thrilling.

The Manfred character is a very special bloke, to say the least. It was also fun that there was a reference to the beloved Sean Courtney! I wasn't expecting that.

I will order the stand-alone's in my liking order after finishing each one of them, and so far the order is as follows:

The Dark of the Sun - Gold Mine - Shout at the Devil
The further to the right, the better...

The Diamond Hunters is next.
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Re: On to the Standalone's

Postby Ramon » Tue Nov 27, 2007 5:12 am

I thought that The Diamondhunters was a great book! Although it was short I got to know the characters better than in the other short standalone's.

It's a tough call to say if it was better than SATD, but I think it was. So here is the new order:

The Dark of the Sun - Gold Mine - Shout at the Devil - The Diamondhunters
The further to the right, the better...

Next is The Sunbird, and it will be nice to read a little longer book for a change.
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Re: On to the Standalone's

Postby Ramon » Fri Dec 07, 2007 1:32 pm

I have to say that the Sunbird is a great book! It was the short version of the Egyptian series. Both the ancient parts as in River God and Warlock, and the present part as in the Seventh Scroll.

There is one big difference though. I didn't come to feel for Lannon and Huy as well as one felt for Taita, Lostris and Nefer. Therefore I came to root for Manatassi at the later parts of the book.

One thing that bugs me though, is the fact that the part about the terrorists and Timothy doesn't get an ending.

Well, it's easy to put this one in the list of standalones. It goes right to the top!

The Dark of the Sun - Gold Mine - Shout at the Devil - The Diamondhunters - The Sunbird

The further to the right, the better...
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Re: On to the Standalone's

Postby Ramon » Thu Dec 13, 2007 3:21 am

I didn't know that Wilbur could write such a romantic book as Eagle in the Sky. And I didn't know I would be so touched by a romantic book. I'm not saying I'm a stiff-upper-lip-kinda guy, but I have never been known to show too much feelings in public.

I've always been impressed by Wilbur's ability to write action set in Africa's wildlife, but Eagle in the Sky added new dimensions to Wilbur Smith's greatness. Not only the romantic touch, but also the air battles. I do not know much about flying and battles in the sky, but I'm impressed by the way Wilbur paints the scenes.

The book also had some typical Wilbur material, such as descriptions of the wild and a really bad guy.

The Eagle in the Sky is a great book in my opinion, and in my rating it places itself in the upper part of the standalones.

The Dark of the Sun - Gold Mine - Shout at the Devil - The Diamondhunters - Eagle in the Sky - The Sunbird

Stay tuned for my opinions and thoughts about the next book, Cry Wolf

Edit: I just realised that the Eye of the Tiger was written before Cry Wolf, but since I haven't received the Eye of the Tiger yet, I will read Cry Wolf before...
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Re: On to the Standalone's

Postby Ramon » Mon Jan 07, 2008 5:42 am

I don't know why, but Cry Wolf took a long time to read. Of course the holidays has taken some time of my ordinary reading occasions, but I never seemed to get into the book.

Well, I'm done at last, and I will have to put this book in the lower section of Wilbur's books. One thing was funny in this book, though, and that was Count Aldo. That's a character!

I've just started The Eye of the Tiger, and some 40 pages into it, it looks really promising. It doesn't feel like an ordinary Wilbur book with the African nature and hunting scenes, but more like an adventure/thriller type of book. Let's see how it turns out.

Here is the rating so far of the standalone's:

The Dark of the Sun - Cry Wolf - Gold Mine - Shout at the Devil - The Diamondhunters - Eagle in the Sky - The Sunbird
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Re: On to the Standalone's

Postby Ramon » Thu Jan 10, 2008 2:47 am

I was right in my suspicion that The Eye of the Tiger wasn't an ordinary Wilbur book. There were no hunting of wild life, no elephants (only some tusk smuggling). Instead it was a lot of diving in coral waters and evil sharks.

It was a really fast read, and I would say that is because it is so good and so exciting. Once you start reading, it is impossible to put it down. It also has a lot of surprising moments.

To sum it up, it's a great book! Easy one of the best standalone's.

My rating:

The Dark of the Sun - Cry Wolf - Gold Mine - Shout at the Devil - The Diamondhunters - Eagle in the Sky - The Eye of the Tiger - The Sunbird
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Re: On to the Standalone's

Postby Ramon » Fri Jan 18, 2008 7:59 am

Just finished Hungry as the Sea, and Wilbur did it again! For a couple of days I have been totally engulfed in the book, only sleep has stopped me from reading it quicker. Like the Eye of the Tiger, this book doesn't have any hunting scenes or descriptions of the African wildlife, but it is still a typical Wilbur-book, with the competition between two strong and handsome men, and it also involves (of course) a beautiful woman.

Prior to this book I had just finished The Eye of the Tiger, and they had some things in common, both largely taking part on and under water.

This is IMHO the best standalone. I still have Wild Justice and Elephant Song left to read, but I doubt they can top this one.

Rating:
The Dark of the Sun - Cry Wolf - Gold Mine - Shout at the Devil - The Diamondhunters - Eagle in the Sky - The Eye of the Tiger - The Sunbird - Hungry as the sea
Last edited by Ramon on Wed Jan 23, 2008 7:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: On to the Standalone's

Postby Bids » Tue Jan 22, 2008 1:16 am

Ramon you are the man. Cant beleive how quickly you are reading all these novels. It takes me a good 4-6 weeks at my quickest i reckon to get through a book.
When The Lion Feeds, The Sound OF Thunder, A Sparrow Falls, Birds Of Prey, Monsoon, Blue Horizon, The Triumph Of The Sun, The Burning Shore, Power Of The Sword, Rage, Golden Fox, A Time To Die Assegai.

A Falcon Flies, Men Of Men, The Angels Weep, The Leopard Hunts In Darkness

River God, The Seventh Scroll, Warlock, The Quest.

The Dark Of The Sun, Shout At The Devil, Gold Mine, The Diamond Hunters, The Sunbird, Eagle In The Sky, Cry Wolf, Eye Of The Tiger[/b[b]], Hungry As The Sea, Wild Justice, Elephant Song
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Re: On to the Standalone's

Postby Ramon » Tue Jan 29, 2008 7:47 am

The reason to why I read them so quickly is because I ride the bus to work - the traffic is a killer, so instead of sitting in my car getting annoyed at everyone who shouldn't drive in the first place, I let the bus driver do all the work. This saves me time and money. It also makes it possible to read.

Another reason why it doesn't take a lot of time to read the books, is the fact that they are so good, it is impossible to stop.

Wild Justice was the one I finished today, and again it was a great book. I can't say it's an ordinary Wilbur. It's more of an secret agent type of book, but evidently he can master that genre as well.

But - one of the main reasons I like Wilbur so much is the descriptions of Africa and getting to know more about the history of Africa. Maybe I just realized that. And with that knowledge in my mind, I think I will have to change my prior rating of the standalone's.

Hungry as the Sea is a splendid book, don't take me wrong, but it didn't increase my knowledge about Africa. The same goes with Wild Justice. At the same time, Cry Wolf did teach me some things about Italy and Ethiopia, but it still won't get any higher on the list.

Does any of this make sense?

Anyway, here is my new order of the standalone's:

The Dark of the Sun - Cry Wolf - Gold Mine - Shout at the Devil - The Diamondhunters - The Eye of the Tiger - Wild Justice - Hungry as the sea - Eagle in the Sky - The Sunbird
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Re: On to the Standalone's

Postby Bids » Tue Jan 29, 2008 5:37 pm

Well Ramon you have left the best for last in my opinion. Although i have only read a few of the stand alones Elephant Song was excellent. Your right about Wilburs ability to explain Africa's history. Ive just started reading River God and thought that i wouldnt be all that interested in the Egyptian series however i have been pleasantly surprised. Have enjoyed this book so far
When The Lion Feeds, The Sound OF Thunder, A Sparrow Falls, Birds Of Prey, Monsoon, Blue Horizon, The Triumph Of The Sun, The Burning Shore, Power Of The Sword, Rage, Golden Fox, A Time To Die Assegai.

A Falcon Flies, Men Of Men, The Angels Weep, The Leopard Hunts In Darkness

River God, The Seventh Scroll, Warlock, The Quest.

The Dark Of The Sun, Shout At The Devil, Gold Mine, The Diamond Hunters, The Sunbird, Eagle In The Sky, Cry Wolf, Eye Of The Tiger[/b[b]], Hungry As The Sea, Wild Justice, Elephant Song
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Re: On to the Standalone's

Postby Ramon » Thu Feb 14, 2008 4:25 am

You were absolutely right Bids. Elephant Song was the best. This was a "real Wilbur". Where Wild Justice and Hungry as the Sea didn't have the descriptions of African culture and wildlife, Elephant Song really did.

Even though the book was quite long (520 pages in the pb), it still felt as though Wilbur was forced to cut it short in the end.

Spoiler:
I think the uprising was worth more than the las 20 pages. Also I think that Tug got away to easy.


That was the las Standalone, and my final rating of them goes like this:

The Dark of the Sun - Cry Wolf - Gold Mine - Shout at the Devil - The Diamondhunters - The Eye of the Tiger - Wild Justice - Hungry as the sea - Eagle in the Sky - The Sunbird - Elephant Song
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Re: On to the Standalone's

Postby roben » Mon Feb 18, 2008 3:33 pm

I agree in your opinion of Wild Justice (even though I read it in Swedish). It is not a true "wilbur" it actually feels more like Andy McNab! It's a pity there are no real chapters in the book, it doesn't offer a natural paus to go get a snack :lol:

I will move on to Shout at the devil, Dark of the sun and Cry Wolf once I finish up Wild Justice. If you haven't got your hands on the Quest yet - make sure you do. It's a really good "Wilbur" in my opinion.
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