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The Dark of the Sun

3.81  ·  Rating Details ·  2,276 Ratings  ·  60 Reviews
Bruce Curry sets out with a trainload of mercenaries to relieve a mining town besieged by rebels in the heart of the African jungle. The journey, turns into a nightmare, softened only by Shermaine, a Belgian girl he meets and with whom he falls in love.

But love is no elixir. In fact, it considerably complicates Curry's struggle to carry out his mission and stay alive. He
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Paperback, 282 pages
Published February 18th 2000 by Pan Books (first published January 1st 1960)
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Pramod Nair
The Dark of the Sun’ from Wilbur Smith is an action adventure novel, which is tremendously fast paced but extremely brutal and violent in narration.

Set against the backdrop of Baluba Rebellion, ‘The Dark of the Sun’ narrates the nightmarish journey of a trainload of mercenaries, led by the hero ‘Bruce Curry’, through the province of Katanga during the chaotic days of the Congo Crisis. Armed with a mission to liberate ‘Port Reprieve’ - a diamond-mining town inhabited with women and children - c
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Bettie☯
Henry Brown
Nov 08, 2011 Henry Brown rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical
A novel about mercenaries operating for Katanga, written by Afro-centric historical thriller writer Wilbur Smith just promised too many savory ingredients (prepared by a master chef) for me to resist. I haven't researched this yet, but I have a strong suspicion the Bruce Willis flick Tears of the Sun was adapted from this yarn--updated from the early 1960s to about 2003, changed from mercenaries to SEALs, and some other tweaks.

(It turns out what I have is an abridged version, so my comments may
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Paul
Feb 02, 2011 Paul rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
Wilbur Smith is an internationally best-selling writer of adventure and intrigue potboilers set in contemporary and historical times. This was my first (and likely last) exposure to his writing. Smith, at least in this early novel, comes across as a man of his time and place, with notions and prejudices shaped by his upbringing in white-ruled apartheid Rhodesia. The Dark of the Sun, published in 1965, was his second novel (he’s now up to 33). Within the first 25 pages of this 282-page paperback, ...more
Graham
Mar 30, 2010 Graham rated it it was amazing
My third Wilbur Smith read, following on from EAGLE IN THE SKY and SHOUT AT THE DEVIL.

Be warned, this is a grisly book. The whole plot involves violence and violent situations. In fact, it's one of the most brutal stories I've ever read. Rape, mass murder, bloody battles, torture and even cannibalism - it's all here and described in shocking, unflinching detail. Definitely not a book for the faint hearted.

Nonetheless, I loved it. This is a short book and I flew through it. It's an action-adventu
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Bruce
Aug 03, 2011 Bruce added it
This was Wilbur Smith's second novel, and is a stand alone. It is an historical fiction covering the conflict in the Congo during the 1960's. It has great action (although I saw the various conflicts for the protagonist coming from a mile away on this one). I like the way Wilbur Smith writes, and it is fun reading his novels in chronological order. I look forward to the rest of his books.
Carl Timms
Jul 10, 2012 Carl Timms rated it liked it
Pretty good boy's own adventure yarn from the master of those types of books. Details are vague as I read it many years ago but remember enjoying it at the time though not the staying power of other Smith works.
J Horan
Fast moving, good action.
Dee Condon
Sep 20, 2016 Dee Condon rated it really liked it
Wilbur Smith is a master story teller. If you haven't read any of his books yet do try one.
George
Μόλις το πρώτο βιβλίο που διαβάζω από Γουίλμπουρ Σμιθ, ένα από τα πρώτα που έγραψε, πριν περίπου 50 χρόνια. Πολύ καλογραμμένο, με καλές περιγραφές των τοπίων, των ανθρώπων και των πολεμικών συγκρούσεων, αρκετά καλή ατμόσφαιρα με τη ζέστη, τα δάση, τα βουνά, τα ποτάμια και τα χωριά του Κονγκό, ενδιαφέρουσα ιστορία και με πολλές σκηνές βίας, όπως διάφορα βασανιστήρια, βιασμούς γυναικών από αχόρταγους Αφρικανούς στρατιώτες/αντάρτες(...), δολοφονίες παιδιών και μωρών, είτε με πυροβολισμούς πολυβόλων ...more
Lucas Rodriguez
En esta la segunda novela del escritor, nos lleva nuevamente a un viaje por su amada África (prácticamente todos sus libros transcurren en ese continente), esta vez, para retratar una breve historia de lucha y amor en el medio de la jungla. A mi parecer creo que la historia se juega demasiado rápido, los sucesos pasan de un momento a otro casi sin notarlo, y en especial el amor que surge entre los protagonistas, creo que batieron el récord de amor a primerísima vista.

Aunque la novela compensa y
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Prakash
Dec 22, 2013 Prakash rated it liked it
The first 75 pages were a drag, I quit three times but my obsessive compulsion to finish a book took over, and that made all the difference. After Bruce and his entourage of mercenaries reach Port Reprieve, the plot picks a surprisingly fast pace. Wilbur Smith does not spare any details of the violence and killing involved, some of which are really graphic, I was even surprised by his liberal use racist and chauvinist comments. The book is riddled with stereotypes, and has received a lot of crit ...more
King
Aug 28, 2010 King rated it did not like it
I was initially going to give this a two. Despite its triteness, it did manage to hold my attention to somewhat. Some of what I thought was faults, I owed to its genre and I afforded a considerable degree of poetic license. I think I would have enjoyed this as a movie, but as literary work it just doesn't translate well. The writing is insipid and the characters so cliche. The wounded antihero who wants to keep everyone away from fear of being hurt, only to be reborn again upon meeting the beaut ...more
Tony Meszaros
Set during the Congo Crisis of the mid-60's, the book tells the story of a band of mercenaries on a relief mission to rescue the people of a stranded township ... actually, they're sent in to recover a fortune in diamonds, and the relief mission is just for show.

A straight forward story, with one dimensional characters and every macho cliché in the world. No plot twists or surprises, it unfolds exactly as you would predict it. The ending is obvious even half way in. It's a book of its time and t
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Marnie Sluman Somers
Oct 26, 2016 Marnie Sluman Somers rated it really liked it
This is Wilbur Smith's second novel, a modern epic with swift-flowing, action-packed narrative.

Bruce Curry sets out with a trainload of mercenaries to relieve a mining town in the heart of the African jungle. The journey turns out to be a nightmare, softened only by Curry's meeting with Shermaine, a Belgian girl with whom he falls passionately in love.

In a sinister atmosphere of omnipotent evil, Curry struggles to preserve the new tenderness that has grown between himself and Shermaine, and figh
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Ryan Monaghan
Mar 13, 2012 Ryan Monaghan rated it liked it
A thriller set in the Congo in the 1960s, following a group of expats on a rescue mission. An enjoyable novel: fast-paced, straightforward and plenty of action. I've been a fan of Robert Ludlum for a long time; while I wouldn't put the story up there with my favorite Ludlum novels, it had a similar feel and pace with a very different setting. Living in Africa and seeing the uneasy relationship between former colonials and native peoples together lent plenty of credence to the character's interac ...more
Karunakaran N.
The Dark of the Sun - Wilbur Smith ... Four white men on a mercenary mission to retrieve a cutoff town and precious diamonds... On arrival three get transformed for various reasons Bruce the commander gets the best in finding Shermaine as his life partner. The enemy within Hendry plots to kill Bruce which ends up in the death of Hendry. Entire story line is full of violence unabated till the end. Wilbur handling the intricate human relations and sentiments is the highlight of the plot...
The fast
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Bev Taylor
Oct 17, 2016 Bev Taylor rated it really liked it
for the ultimate heist they'll pay the ultimate price

bruce curry leads a group of mercenary men with the dubious support of 3 white officers. the mission is to relieve a mining town cut off by fighting and to retrieve a priceless consignment of diamonds

h/e they face hostility in the form of bandits and guerrillas added to which he has a rogue officer in his midst. plus he finds himself falling in love ....

once again very well told with the knowledge of the country and political situation shin
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Bill
Sep 03, 2011 Bill rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: war, adventure, thriller
A gritty, action-packed story set during the civil war in the Congo. A group of gendermes and mercenaries must rescue a group of people and diamonds from Port Retrieve, travelling through enemy territory by train and road. Struggles within the group and from threats without. The enemy are tribesmen from other factions and they show no mercy to man, woman or child. Scary to think of what is happening. An interesting story that takes your breath away at times (3.5 stars)
Jeannette
Jan 16, 2015 Jeannette rated it did not like it
Not one of Smith's better books. Stilted story, predictable plot, stereotyped characters, no prose to please, dry and tasteless in the memory. Nothing learned, good guy gets girl who bad guy rapes, mercenaries, diamonds in the jungle, that sort of thing. So why did I read it? Because it was the only English language book on the trade shelves on Chumbe Island. Good one to leave behind for the next reader addict.
Adina
Jul 24, 2012 Adina rated it it was amazing
Another great book by Wilbur! I had been reading the Courtney's, and when I started this book I was a bit surprised because this was written in a different era - more modern times. The story line was great, loved the characters. I loved the details and the suspense. I was engrossed the entire time, and it was really hard to put it down. I thoroughly enjoyed it!
Zabasha
Feb 07, 2014 Zabasha rated it it was ok
Characters were not all good. I have read about Wilbur Smith to be a really good writer but I can't say this book was exceptionally good. It was kinda okayish but i wouldn't want to read anything like it again. Maybe this is because I didn't like the story much.

By the way I didn't read this book to the end. I stopped at about 30 pages from the end.
Shahrun
Sep 12, 2011 Shahrun rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wilbur Smith has taken me by surprise again! I really enjoyed this and now think this is one of my favourites by him. Still set in Africa, complete with danger, grizzly and grafficaly told deaths and romance, but not on a boat! I really didn't know what twists and turns would carry the charachters onto the next disaster, just that disaster would surely be awaiting them!
Rick Brindle
Apr 20, 2013 Rick Brindle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
One of Wilbur Smith's best books. An all- action war story set in the Congo, Africa (of course). Bruce Curry leads a band of mercenaries on a desperate escape mission, and falls in lover along the way. Can he cope with deadly tribesmen, mutinous soldiers and an implacable, sadistic enemy? High- octane story telling, great stuff.
قصي بن خليفة
Oct 29, 2012 قصي بن خليفة rated it really liked it
Shelves: english, رواية
رواية مثيرة مشوّقة فيها رحلة ومغامرة ومعلومة وثقافة وتاريخ
جمع ولبر سميث نشأته الأفريقية وموهبته الروائية فأنتج هذه القصة المتميزة
هذه الرواية الثالثة التي أقرأها له وجاءت متسارعة الأحداث لاتمل من فصولها وكلما قرأت انتقل بك من مكان إلى مكان ومن حدث إلى حدث ، ولم يغرقك بالتأملات الفلسفية وأحاديث النفس الكثيرة
Andre
Aug 14, 2009 Andre rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish, 2009
I normally like Wilbur Smith, but I like his historical fiction. This is set with mercenaries and african inter-tribe war fare. When one of the main charecters ruthlessly kills two kids I decided I didn't have any desire to continue this book. I am well aware that there are horrible people out there, I have no reason to read tales that include fictional ones.
Victor
Jan 03, 2014 Victor rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
A classic yarn of mercenaries during the end of colonial Africa on a mission to save europeans. I don't know when it was first written? but at the time it must have been a fresh kind of romantic adventure, but in today's narrative it is a well trodden plot with little surprises. Well written boys' escapade into the plains of Africa.
Stuart
May 16, 2007 Stuart rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Set in the Belgian Congo in 1960s, it had more of an impact than his more historical novels. Perhaps because the events were in my lifetime, I found some of the scenes quite upsetting - I will have to look out for the film version!
Merredith
I LOVE Wilbur Smith. This is one of his very first books and it just doesn't have what the later ones do. This reminds me of Dirk Pitt novel instead. It's not horrible but not good enough for me to force myself to read when there's so many other good books out there. Couldn't finish it.
Dannie Hill
Aug 21, 2011 Dannie Hill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What can one say about Wilber Smith's writing. He is the best at historical epic novels. I learn so much from him every time I read his books. Not just about Africa, but about how to write a great story!
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Wilbur Smith is the bestselling author of many novels, each meticulously researched on his numerous expeditions worldwide. His bestselling Courtney series includes Assegai, The Sound of Thunder, Birds of Prey, Monsoon, and Blue Horizon. His other books include Those in Peril, River God, Warlock, The Seventh Scroll, and The Sunbird. His books are now translated into twenty-six languages and have so ...more
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