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Cry Wolf

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  2,311 Ratings  ·  55 Reviews
A wartime thriller in which three people - a Texan, an Englishman and an American reporter - embark on a daring adventure as they attempt to save the Ethiopian people from annihilation by Mussolini's forces. By the author of THE SEVENTH SCROLL and BIRDS OF PREY.
Paperback, 416 pages
Published July 1st 1988 by MacMillan General Books (first published 1976)
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Luís C.
Sep 12, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: zambia
Cry Wolf tackles the Italian army's invasion of Ethiopia in 1935. Under Mussolini, Italy sent a division incorporating infantry, tanks, armoured vehicles, artillery and aircraft support, up against a tribal army armed with spears and ancient rifles. What eventually happens is something of a foregone conclusion, but the fight the Ethiopians put up is as thrilling as anything else the author's ever written.

That's the general back story of this novel, and a lot of the writing is taken up with descr
Mar 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical, war, africa
My latest Wilbur Smith read. I'm tackling his books in a chronological order as they were written at present, and I've now reached the mid '70s. CRY WOLF isn't as entertaining as some of his earlier works - particularly those Courtney novels - purely because of the dark, almost depressing subject matter of the story.

CRY WOLF tackles the Italian army's invasion of Ethiopia in 1935. Under Mussolini, Italy sent a division incorporating infantry, tanks, armoured vehicles, artillery and aircraft supp
Apr 23, 2013 rated it liked it
This is fairly early Wilbur Smith. It is easy to see that he has not fully developed his style or skill. The first part of the book moves quite slowly as the characters and situation are introduced. Later on the booked moved at closer to the breakneck speed he became famous for.

The book deals with the Italian fascist invasion of Ethiopia, a pretty unusual topic. Smith is well known for careful research so I assume the events and culture are fairly close to reality. The campaign described is part
Eric Wright
Dec 19, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: local-library
Smith takes us through the history of the Italian attack on Ethiopia with a powerful, fast-paced narrative that never slows. We see events through an American, Jake Barton, whose skill makes derelict vehicles run and through the eyes of Gareth Swales, a stylish Englishman given to conning those around him. Both vie for the attention of Vicki an award winning journalist there to cover the raping of Ethiopia.

Other supporting characters include a trio or so of Ethiopian royalty. The story reads li
Bruna Vraničić Vujević
This was a great novel, and i really liked it! Something different for me, but i really enjoyed it. The story is breathtaking and the characters so full of life that it's stunning! Maybe i will read one more novel of this author in the future, we'll see.
Feb 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Abhyudaya Shrivastava
Feb 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-with-effort
Cry Wolf was hugely unsatisfying right up to the last 50 pages. And then the book drew its lines quickly, stuff started making sense and the heroes were defined. Gareth Swales is the character that saves the book. The book actually is not much in terms of narration. It is redeemed by the larger than life characters and the war background. It is essentially a war novel with a fair bit of spice thrown in. Read it quick, in small bursts of energy. If you sit with it, it tends to go stale. I would r ...more
Asha Stark
I really dig Wilbur Smith's books for the most part, but the one thing I cannot stand is that in all of his African novels, he feels the need for pages-long descriptions of animals being shot. I openly admit to feeling nauseated at the mere mention of animal abuse, so to read all about a pride of lions being wiped out was awful.

That being said, this still wasn't one of his best. Nothing on The Leopard Hunts in Darkness etc.
Harry Burnside
This was an average boy's own adventure where suspending belief was required. Having said that it was readable with good strong lead characters but the story dipped when it focused on the antagonists. I started it as a holiday read and had to finish it when I got back. Not as good as earlier Smith novels.
Jan 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Italians invade Ethiopia in the pre WWII period. Three westerners caught up in aiding the defenders against the invaders go from one adventure to another with four old armored cars. A fascinating love triangle develops in the midst of the crisis.
May 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Thrilling adventure from a master of the adventure novel.
Mike Glaser
Oct 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Another solid read by Wilbur Smith. My main complaints would be that the ending felt rushed and that his descriptions of military equipment are usually way off from the reality.
Tom Waters
Sep 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Simply put this in a brilliant book written by one of the world s best a good adventure. Story excellent
Peter Learn
Dec 25, 2017 rated it liked it
This was better than later books where he develops fascination with 'breast buds'.
Francesca Massarotti
Non è esattamente il genere di storia che ci si aspetta da Wilbur Smith, nel complesso il libro mi è abbastanza piaciuto anche se ho trovato il finale un pochino deludente.
Procyon Lotor
Jan 27, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 03-avventura
Fanfiction #3 Un gruppo di avventurieri deve portare armi alle truppe legittimiste contro l'invasione dei baluba (o bingobongo o bulabula). Gli avventurieri sono una coppia anglosassone tipo "Attenti a quei due" Tony Curtis/Danny Wilde e Roger Moore/Lord Brett Sinclair. Per buona misura ci aggiungono la bella giornalista. Vicky: essenziale per dissipare la fondamentale attrazione omoerotica diffusissima in questo genere d'avventure da omacci. Un po' come il curry in certe preparazioni culinarie ...more
Dec 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: military
This was a difficult book for me to get into. It is set in Africa in the 1930s, and focuses on the conflict between Ethiopians and the Italians. The protagonists are Jake Barton, a former American soldier, now mechanic who loves machines and dreams of inventing his own engine; Vicky Camberwell, a journalist for the Associated Press; and Gareth Swales, a former English soldier who fancies himself a dandy but is truly a user of people. It was very informative about a conflict I never even knew exi ...more
Kate Millin
I skim read this towards the end as I didn't really want to read about the warfare. The subject of this book is the Italian invasion of Ethiopia in 1936. The main characters are a wheeler dealer Gareth who is very British and the American Jake who are both trying to raise money by selling old weapons and armoured cars to the Ethiopians. Add in a woman they both desire and it makes for some interesting interactions. They are tricked by the Ethiopians into delivering the vehicles and then end up g ...more
Sep 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
I thought II WW commenced in 1939 with Hitler invading Austria. In this book I find Mussolini had already attacked Ethiopia in 1935. I can't say how historically accurate this is!
The story is about an American engineer, an English major who is also a buccaneer and an American lady journalist. They get caught up in the war and are obliged to fight for the Ethiopian tribe which is under attack. The story is compelling.
It is not just the atrocities by the Mussolini's Army but the customs of the loc
Feb 15, 2013 rated it liked it
Smith's talent for detailed description is as vivid as always. He never shies away from realism and violence. Jake and Gareth are the two heroes in this story set in Ethiopia during the Italian invasion. A feisty, sexy reporter who is determined to inform the world of the desperate situation in which the Ethiopians find themselves joins up with Jake and Gareth in their attempt to aid the Ethiopians against the onslaught of the Italians. There is no lack of action in this harsh, but often compass ...more
Richard Beasley
Mar 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Does what it is meant to.
Good romp, which does have its serious side (war is bad, especially when it's a goal mishap)
Stereotypes all their in force - loveable rogue (not as posh as he seems), salt of earth artisan, feisty woman, comic side kick, comic cowardly Italian ( runs away, sings, vain), salt of earth professional soldier, loveable crazy native, evil native, etc.
But its fine and what you want when it is properly executed, as it is here
Joe White
The premise of the book is historical Ethiopia just prior to WW2 when Italy invaded.

As an adventure book, with two displaced Americans and an Englishman in a love triangle, assisting a local clan against the invasion, the story line was a little drawn out with too many unnecessary details for my taste. I had to start skimming in order to complete it because I hate to cheat and jump to the end prematurely.
Jim McCulloch
Sep 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I thoroughly enjoy Wilbur Smith's stories and writing. His characters, style, and humor make picking up his books something to look forward to after a hard day. Cry Wolf is a fascinating glimpse into pre-WWII Africa. His characters come alive as their lives come together in the crucible of war. Cry Wolf is just plain outstanding.
Sep 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Ένα περιπετειώδες βιβλίο που συνδυάζει έρωτα, δράση, ιστορία, μυστήριο και πολύ χιούμορ σε μια άψογα δομημένη μυθιστορηματική πολεμική ιστορία. Οι χαρακτήρες είναι τόσο ζωντανοί που μοιάζουν σαν να είναι εκεί δίπλα σου και να σου μιλούν οι ίδιοι. Οι ανατροπές κρατούν αμείωτο το ενδιαφέρον μέχρι το τέλος.
Liz Proulx
Dec 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book! Next to The Burning Shore and the Courtney Books this was one of my all time favorites! The characters were really interesting and I loved Gareth, the rogue. The relationship between he and Jake was heartfelt despite their love for the same woman. I would highly recommend this book -it's got everything from adventure, romance, humour and all this during war time.
Jan 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Jake and Gareth are the two heroes in this story set in Ethiopia during the Italian invasion. A feisty, sexy reporter who is determined to inform the world of the desperate situation in which the Ethiopians find themselves joins up with Jake and Gareth in their attempt to aid the Ethiopians against the onslaught of the Italians.
Historically fascinating.
M.A. McRae
Apr 22, 2015 rated it it was ok
You don't pick up a Wilbur Smith novel and expect weak comedy. You expect interesting characters, an evolving adventure and you expect thrills. While the story of some of the Italian army's leaders certainly made me smile, I was quite disappointed in this novel.
It did improve around half-way through, and had a cracking ending.
Feb 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
Great adventure is the usual for a Smith novel. A closeup of the Italian invasion of Ethiopia in 1935. Smith's respect for Ethiopia pops up in several later novels as that country battles Arab jhadists (almost from Islam's birth).
Fan Francis
Feb 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
After the Sound of Thunder, next I went on to Cry Wolf. Another facinating tale spun by Wilbur Smith , though I enjoy the Courtney's saga more. Still it was great to have an American and a British character helpin the poor Etiopians fight the Italians in WW2.
Apr 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Never having read Wilbur Smith before I picked this off the shelves when faced with War/Revolution for a Genre Challenge read. Well written, well paced adventure with the backdrop of Mussolini's "empire building" in East Africa.
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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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