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Elephant Song by Wilbur Smith
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Elephant Song (original 1991; edition 1991)

by Wilbur Smith

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580826,332 (3.48)32
The rangers closed in, firing steadily. Within minutes all the adult animals were down. Only the calves still raced in bewildered circles, stumbling over the bodies of the dead and dying. Six minutes after the first shot, a silence fell over the killing ground on Long Vlei... In the blinding light of Zimbabwe's Chiwewe National Park, Dr Daniel Armstrong, world-famous TV naturalist, films the slaughter of a herd of elephant. In London, anthropologist Kelly Kinnear is forced into violent conforntation with the shareholders of the most powerful conglomerate in the City of London, warning them of the destruction of an African country. Now the time has come to act. Together, Armstrong and Kinnear forge a passionate alliance - and begin the fight against the forces of greed, evil and corruption attacking a land they would both give their lives to save...… (more)
Member:hmvh
Title:Elephant Song
Authors:Wilbur Smith
Info:CN 3633
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Elephant Song by Wilbur Smith (1991)

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I have not read any books by Wilbur Smith previously and I probably would not have read this one except I was on holidays and had run out of reading material so I thought I would give this one a try. It reminded me a lot of Ian Fleming’s Bond books that I read when I was a teenager because my brother had a stash of them. It was written in 1991 which perhaps explains the faintly chauvinistic tone but still rubbed me the wrong way.
Daniel Armstrong was born in Africa in what was then Rhodesia. As a young white man he fought for Ian Smith’s forces until he saw the unfairness of the fight. He loves Africa and its peoples and makes his living by producing films about Africa. He has returned to Chiwewe National Park in Zimbabwe where he worked as a park ranger. He is making a film about the elephants and the illegal ivory trade which accounts for the slaughter of hundreds of elephants each year. The National Park also kills elephants because there are too many to be supported in the park. From these cullings and confiscations from poachers the park has built up an enormous stockpile of ivory tusks. This has drawn the attention of the Taiwanese Ambassador, Ning Cheng Gong, who is a collector of ivory. He wants a very special gift for his father because that would cement him as the heir to his father’s enormous empire. With the help of Chittie Singh, a middleman for poachers all across Africa, he has arranged for the ranger’s stash to be stolen. This necessitates killing the ranger, Johnny Nzou, his family and servants. Daniel, who has been friends with Johnny since childhood, discovers the bodies and Johnny’s dying note which fingers Ning. He then makes it his mission to avenge the deaths by whatever means necessary. Of course this involves beautiful women and dangerous deeds but he triumphs in the end.
I’m not a prude but there is way too much description of violent sexual acts which I found entirely unnecessary for the storyline. I know they were probably meant to show how horrible the bad guys were but slaughtering animals, killing men, women and children and enslaving others and raping the land would have been enough for me to understand they were bad.
I won’t be looking for any more books by Wilbur Smith. ( )
  gypsysmom | Aug 27, 2017 |
Very powerful. Wonderful, touching and provoking all at once. ( )
  Valerie-Davidson | Dec 14, 2014 |
### From Publishers Weekly

In his latest novel of Africa, Smith ( The Diamond Hunters ) sets a fast-paced melodrama of greed and political corruption against the stunning, indisputably commanding backdrop of a rain forest. Acclaimed documentary filmmaker and African ecologist Daniel Armstrong vows revenge after a gang of poachers steals a huge cache of South African government-protected ivory, in the process brutally killing Chief Warden Johnny Nzou, Armstrong's childhood friend, and his family. Tracing the smuggling operation to its highest source, Armstrong comes up against a sadistic Chinese diplomat and his profoundly wealthy clan, an unscrupulous entrepreneur expatriate from India, a knighted British tycoon, assorted thugs and a torture-crazed leopard guarding a warehouse. Armstrong agrees to film a PR piece for a tyrant who has just taken over a small African nation and, with money supplied by Armstrong's enemies, is despoiling the rain forest and enslaving members of certain tribes. Some romance, more sex, lots of bloody fighting and international intrigues, all carried out by deftly directed larger-than-life cardboard characters, will surely please Smith's fans and other action-addicted readers.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

### From Kirkus Reviews

A dashing producer of TV documentaries battles to save his beloved Africa from callous international multimillionaires and home-grown villainous politicians--in a free-standing adventure from the author of the Africa-based Courtney sagas (Golden Fox, A Time to Die, etc.) and others. Smith's trademark big-hunter thrills, toned down to accommodate 90's sensibilities, keep things hopping for Rhodesian- born David Armstrong as he first documents Zimbabwe's thoughtful elephant management--and then avenges the death of Zimbabwe's best elephant-manager at the hands of ruthless ivory poachers. Armstrong, a one-time soldier who now turns out PBS-style nature films, just misses the slaughter of old colleague Johnny Nzou and family, but quickly deduces that Taiwan's ambassador to Zimbabwe, Ning Cheng Gong, and his avaricious subcontinental ivory-agent, Chetti Singh, are the monsters behind the murders and the heist of a fortune in elephant teeth. Vowing to send Ning and Singh to their reward, Armstrong returns to London, where he picks up the backing of a bent billionaire and the assistance of a very capable, very randy camera person, meets a lovely scholar of Pygmy life, and then heads again to Africa. The grand confrontation with Singh and Ning takes place in Ubomo, a semi-democracy that has just been taken over by a rapacious army officer. Ubomo is also the home of the pretty Pygmy scholar. Humorless and politically only partially correct, but who cares? The point of a big African adventure is big adventure with big animals and big scenery, and that's all here. Smith knows the scene. -- *Copyright 1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.* ( )
  Hans.Michel | Sep 13, 2013 |
What a great book! I was drawn in by the story, and at the end I was amazed that all that action happened in one book!! ( )
  kcoleman428 | Apr 3, 2013 |
NIL
  rustyoldboat | May 28, 2011 |
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Für meine Frau und geliebte Gefährtin Danielle Antoinette
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Es war ein fensterloses, strohgedecktes Haus aus geglätteten Sandsteinblöcken, das Daniel Armstrong vor fast zehn Jahren mit eigenen Händen gebaut hatte.
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