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Shout at the Devil by Wilbur Smith

Shout at the Devil (1968)

by Wilbur Smith

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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
I’m writing this review nine months after reading this book and the plot and characters are still clear as day in my mind. That alone says how much impact this book had. It’s a brilliant book, although it had its flaws regarding attitudes towards race since it was written in 1968. But the characters and the plot are very strong and the book resonated with me.

Although the blurb on the back of the book talks about the story being set in the early days of World War One, about half of the book is actually set in the early 1930s. It starts off slow, but that slow beginning drew me in masterfully and made the impact of the second half of the book even harder. The main story is about elephant poacher Flynn O’Flynn and his feud with a German Commissioner, Herman Fleischer. When the war breaks out, that feud is a reflection of the world at large, and their personal conflict suddenly reaches global importance. There is, however, a small subplot running through the book that also centers around Flynn and reminded me of the storyline in Moby Dick, only instead of the hunt for the white whale, this was the hunt for a very specific elephant. I’m not quite sure I liked that subplot, even though it did much to show Flynn’s character.

I do want to give one word of warning to those wanting to read this book. There is one scene that, while not even the most graphic I’ve ever read, deals with extreme violence against a very young child and that might be disturbing to read. It certainly was disturbing to me and while it was important to the plot and not gratuitous violence, I think it’s worth warning for.

All in all, I really liked this book. For history lovers who want to read about World War One in the African theater this is definitely a book I’d recommend. ( )
  Samantha_kathy | Jan 1, 2016 |
Until this month I had never heard of this author, even though he has written over 30 books. This book was published in 1968 and in the U.S. in 1977. I was unenchanted by the first half of the book, as the characters seemed woodenly drawn and preposterous (and they are). But the second half of the book is concerned with events after t he beginning of World War One and is fast-moving and intense. Since important people die one is unsure as to what will be the outcome of the daring action of he main character planting a bomb on a German cruiser being repaired. In the Rover Boys books (which the first part ot the book remineded me of), one always knew that the boys would survive and triumph. The outcome of this book could not be known and thus there is real tension as the story proceeds. There are also nice humorous touches, which add to the story's appeal. ( )
1 vote Schmerguls | Apr 17, 2014 |
I won't bore anyone with a synopsis of what this book is about the jacket writers are far more qualified than I to impart that information. I will say that if you enjoy novels that give you a sense of chaos and energy and do not try to be to be too introspective whilst protraying the cruelties of life approaching WW1 then I think you'll enjoy this. The part of Flynn 'O' Flynn, portrayed brilliantly by Lee Marvin in the film, is brilliantly written and worth the read alone.

I've read every other Wilbur Smith book and have been extremely critical of his latest works. I'm so glad I completed my journey with this novel. Reading this reminded me why I enjoyed the majority of his earlier works so much and convinced me that it wasn't just a mistake in my thinking. This novel, is full of fun and subterfuge, great characterisation and a plot line that, whilst not actually totaly believable, has enough credibility to enable you to forgive and enjoy. Anyone who's seen the film of the same name will know the story, but should read it anyway, this is Wilbur Smith in his pomp and obviously having fun with his craft. I truly hope that he can produce another like this before he stops writing but if not, I must thank him for many a summers' read. I typically take a Wilbur Smith novel with me when going abroad for a week or two on holiday. It's been a few years since I enjoyed one of his books so much. ( )
  ChromiumDomium | Oct 21, 2011 |
Starting as broad comedy, this adventure becomes a bleak unfolding of the macabre. ( )
  TheoClarke | Jun 12, 2011 |
A bit far-fetched but an unputdownable read. All a work of fiction should be. ( )
  Novak | Nov 4, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312940637, Mass Market Paperback)

Wilbur Smith's adventure tales are big, bold and unforgettable. In SHOUT AT THE DEVIL, the New York Times bestselling master storyteller takes us to a brutal paradise engulfed in the fires of civilization's war...

They couldn't be anymore different: an earnest young Englishman named Sebastian Oldsmith and an Irish American adventurer named Flynn O'Flynn who never encounters a rule he doesn't break. Fate brings them together in Zanzibar. A sadistic German turns them into allies, then into warriors.

From the moment Rosa O'Flynn lays eyes on Sebastian, Rosa finds the man she would love forever--never mind what plans her father has for her. But imperialism is shaking Mozambique, where O'Flynn is the craftiest, fiercest beast in the jungle. And when Rosa and Sebastian lose what is most precious, they join a band of rogues, natives, wanderers, and hunters to start their own war against an enemy who has nothing to fear--and everything to lose...

From the sound and sight of a charging bull elephant to ships ablaze on the Indian Ocean, this is a full throttle saga of survival--against nature, man, and the devil himself...

"Action is Wilbur Smith's game, and he is a master."
Washington Post Book World

"[Wilbur Smith] puts the reader right there with details that are intimate, inspiring, horrifying…. Fans will be happy to know Smith hasn't lost his touch for the dramatic, exotic adventure story."
--The Orlando Sentinel

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:01:30 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

They were the most unlikely alliance East Africa had ever seen: O'Flynn and Oldsmith, the legendary gin-swilling elephant poacher and the overgrown schoolboy. Together they braved the terrors of savage Mozambique to make a private paradise, fighting only for family and fortune in the days before World War I. But when Germany's shadow fell across the dark continent, O'Flynn and Oldsmith set their sights on new prey -- the black boots and warships of the Kaiser.… (more)

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