एक बुक जर्नल: The Dark of the Sun - Wilbur Smith

Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Dark of the Sun - Wilbur Smith

Rating: 3/5
Read between January 07,2017 to January 13,2017

Edition Details:
Format : Paperback
Page Count : 265
Publisher: Pan Books
ISBN: 0330201808

my copy


First Sentence:
'I don't like the idea', announced Wally Hendry, and belched.

In the war torn land of Belgian Congo Bruce Curry and his group of men are a group of mercenaries. They hunt for pay and hunt anything for which they are getting paid. The Kantangese government has given him a mission to extract the people of Port Reprieve. He has to bring back not only the people  but also the diamonds that were left there.

He'll have to face hostile cannibal tribes, rebels, guerrillas that infest this hell hole.

Will his unit be able to overcome such foes? Will they be successful in saving the people? What price will they have to pay?

When i added this book to my goodreads time line i was told (by it) that i had already read it in 2013. It had been close to three years and i had forgotten all about it's plot. I didn't know i had read this book before when i bought it. I had before this read few Wilbur smiths(Some books of Courtney chronicles, some of his Egyptian series) and i liked his writing. I hadn't read any of his works last year and so i decided to read this book. And i must give my brain the credit for it had completely erased this book from it. I have finished the book and i don't remember if i had read it earlier or not.

The Dark of the sun is  an adventure novel. It's about a group of mercenaries led by Bruce Curry who undertake a mission.When you read the book the first thing that you notice is that  protagonist here is a broken soul. In the first chapter itself it's made clear that Bruce is here because he wants to run away from something. What that something is made clear in the later chapters of the book. Most of the white characters that form his band have a similar story even the antagonist. They all have found some kind of solace in this violent land.So, this mission is not only a simple mission for them but something that would help them rediscover themselves. How they do it? You get to see it as you progress through the story.

The book is an adventure novel and it lives up to it. The action is there with all of its twists and turns that keeps you hooked to it till the end.

There are times the book is too violent and it shocks you. The characters are brutal towards each other. They are a racist bunch and it's not hidden. Sometimes the violence is something that's inevitable. They are living a life where they have to kill and if they don't they'll get killed.

One thing that i didn't like about the book was it's verbosity. The writing is beautiful but sometimes the writer keeps going about an idea and after a time it becomes boring. The tension of the story gets lost in it. I think that could have been avoided. For eg:

He lay beside Ruffy under a low bush on the outskirts of Port Reprieve and the night wind drifted the smoke from the burning town down upon them, and Bruce was not tired. For i am going to another rendezvous with fear.
Fear is a woman, he thought, with all the myriad faces and voices of a woman.Because she is woman and i am a man i must keep going back to her. Only this time the appointment is one that i cannot avoid, this time i'm not deliberately seeking her out.

Then there are twenty to thirty sentences describing how he has met fear in various times in his life. I thought that was a tad too much. The same thing can be said about the following :

And how does it end? It ends with words. Words can kill anything. It ends with cold words; words like fire that stick in the structure and take hold and lick it up, blackening and charring it, bringing it down in smoking ruins.
It ends in suspicion of things not done, and in the certainty of things done and remembered. It ends with selfishness and carelessness and words, always words.
It ends with pain and greyness, and it leaves scar tissue and damage that will never heal.
Or it ends without fuss and fury. It just crumbles and blows away like dust on the wind. But there is still the agony of loss.

The writing is beautiful, no doubt, about it but it comes in between the tension that these stories tend to create.

Apart from this little thing  i enjoyed the book. The final showdown is awesomely written. It was nerve wrecking and i enjoyed reading it very much.

Some quotes from the book

And how does it end? It ends with words. Words can kill anything. It ends with cold words; words like fire that stick in the structure and take hold and lick it up, blackening and charring it, bringing it down in smoking ruins.


About four minutes from the first shot to the last, Bruce guessed. That's the way of war, seven hours of waiting and boredom, then four minutes of frantic endeavour. Not only of war either, he thought. The whole of life is like that.

Fear is a woman, he thought, with all the myriad faces and voices of a woman.Because she is woman and i am a man i must keep going back to her.

He lowered Andre gently until his head touched the floor again; then he stood upright and looked down at the terribly mutilated body. He felt empty inside, a hollowness, the same feeling as after love.

If you haven't read the book then you should definitely check it out.  If you have then do tell me what did you thought about it?
You can buy the book from the following links:
Kindle

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