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Smith, Wilbur

deep african africa pure

(South African, 1933– )

Wilbur Smith was born in Central Africa in 1933, educated at Michaelhouse and Rhodes University, and has a deep commitment to the African continent as a whole. He is that increasingly rare figure, a writer who is also a man of action: explorer, naturalist, deep sea fisherman. His novels are unique: they are not thrillers, but pure adventure stories of the kind that few write any more. When the Lion Feeds (1964) is the first in the magnificent Courtney sequence, beginning in the wilds of Natal in the 1870s with the birth of twin brothers, Sean and Garrick, who could not be more different. Smith's world is so physically vivid that you are immediately transported to the epic landscapes of Africa. He offers pure escapism, which is why he is one of the world's best-selling authors.

Henry Rider Haggard, Arthur Hailey, Jon Cleary  CH

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