Sam's Reviews > Those in Peril

Those in Peril by Wilbur Smith
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Aug 26, 12


I am a big Wilbur Smith fan but this is absolutely shocking. I am genuinely surprised that the publisher accepted this given the strength of his previous works. It is singularly the most cliched and poorly written book I've ever read. The dialogue is at best clumsy, at worst embarrassingly unrealistic. The narrative is identical in this respect - the ridiculous nature of Smith's plot devices was summed up for me when the lead characters come across another ship in the middle of the Indian ocean, yet lo and behold the two captains just happen to know one another.

The book will also provide ample ammunition for those critics who consider his tales to be racist. In previous novels I was on-the-fence on this matter, considering that the colonial and post-colonial eras in which he set his books was always going to cover some of these tensions. In 'Those in Peril' though, Smith turns his sights onto the Arab world. He skates on thin ice for much of the book and the justification for how he treats certain Muslim characters is at best extremely shaky. There is no doubt that Smith has a very limited, if not twisted, view on Islam.

Furthermore the book is overly gratuitous on sexual deviancy. Smith has had plenty of characters be rapists before and I can recall at least once instance of paedophillia too but in this novel it serves no purpose other than being a cheap way of characterising Evil.

An awful effort for what could have been an interesting subject matter. Do not read.
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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Michael Ninkranz Couldn't agree more.


message 2: by Steve (new)

Steve Fm spot on, was it even written by ws.


message 3: by Alexandra (new)

Alexandra my thoughts exactly - it was appalling!


message 4: by Ace (new)

Ace Sadly I chose this as my debut ws. Only got a couple of chapters in and it's just crap. 0 stars from me.


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