www. Aidan Reilly .net

Wilbur Smith: Shout at the Devil

This is the fourth book by Wilbur Smith that I’ve read - from that you can probably guess that I like his books! A bookshop promotion might describe them as ‘action-packed, high-tempo thrillers’, and while they may not count as high literature they’re certainly gripping. The first book of his I read was A Time to Kill, and that’s still the one I enjoyed the most (perhaps because I read it after reading a french novel that I found fairly tedious); unfortuantely each one I’ve read after that, I’ve enjoyed slightly less than the previous one; but I think they’re all quite good. One of the things I like most about his story-telling, is his character portrayal: there are no heroes and few villains in his books, just people, behaving in all-too-human ways. Consequently, the characters tend to behave in very believable ways, and this makes his books very readable: they tempt the reader into feeling part of the story. (The greatest contrast with this is surely the behaviour of children in, well, most films - I’m sure you’ve seen child actors given overly wise lines to read, and as a consequence the viewer cannot help but be thrown into a sceptical mood by the jarring contrast between the immature actor and the mature character.) Shout at the Devil is one of Smith’s shorter books, and not I feel his best, but if you like the action-adventure genre very much worth a read.

© Aidan Reilly 2018