- Hardcover: 496 pages
- Publisher: Ulverscroft (April 1, 1986)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 070891442X
- ISBN-13: 978-0708914427
- Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 5.8 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,334,738 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Wild Geese (U) Hardcover – Large Print, April 1, 1986
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Top Customer Reviews
This was a great story, but it's not told all that well. The real meat of the book is the desperate escape, but the entire story feels rushed, even though there's a great story to be told. When our heroes are first introduced, the book hints at their complex lives ... without ever really fleshing them out. Also, it's hard to believe that our heroes - hardly innocent characters - couldn't see their betrayal coming. Still a great story, and certainly no small consolation for those who can't find the flick.
Now, the book is different from the movie in that more characters are introduced, and these character have `depth,' and considering the story is basically about mercenaries finding a why to make them likable isn't just important, it's necessary, and Carney success there also. Each character on which Carney spends time has a history. All the characters change during the course of the story and many die.
This story has some romance, but is not a romance, just as it has `action,' but is not an adventure. There is gunfire, but no `gunplay.' There is no nobility of course, but no bloodthirstiness. Being a mercenary is a job. You pull for the characters simply because you don't want someone you like to die.
Mercenary action and some scary predictions about the Congo. Well structured which makes the story easy to follow.
The film starring Richard Burton, Roger Moore and Richard Harris is still available on video and is true to the novel
Obviously inspired by the headlines of the day, not to mention Frederick Forsyth's best-selling "The Dogs Of War" which features a very similar plot, Carney's 1977 novel feels at times very close to the bone, pungently relaying a tale of not-very-honorable men meeting bitter ends in an environment so hostile it makes one wonder why anyone bothers having any ideals at all. But limp characterization, amateurish dialogue, and a plot confusingly rendered and laboriously drawn out bring the whole deal up a bit short.
Colonel Faulkner is a down-on-his-luck soldier of fortune offered both a lucrative contract and a shot at personal redemption. It seems former Congolese leader Julius Limbani, long thought murdered despite Faulkner's protection, is alive and badly in need of rescue from the thugs who have replaced him at their country's head. Working fast, Faulkner assembles 50 commandoes for a last-minute rescue mission.
I'll give the late Mr. Carney this: "The Wild Geese" is better-plotted than "Dogs Of War", with the actual military operation taking up a sizable amount of text, not crammed into the last few pages a la "Dogs Of War". He uses real place names (for the period, meaning Zimbabwe is still Rhodesia) and doesn't succumb to the easy temptation of giving Faulkner and his team a soft, warm side. They aren't without introspection, but it's a black sort of thing for them.
"When I'm not in action, I'm dead inside," Faulkner says.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
With so many writers and books out there to choose from,one could easily become caught in a rut buying the same tried and true writers and overlook someone just as deserving. Read morePublished 12 months ago by F. Clark
I always loved the movie and thought I'd try out the book. Much to my liking, the movie follows this book. Read morePublished 15 months ago by David Lucero
I was very impressed with the condition of the book as well as the promptness of our delivery. This is one of my husband's favorite movies so I was sure he would enjoy the book. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Rhea Herch
An interesting little movie with an ensemble cast. It delves into the world of the mercenery--a world most of us know very little about.Published 21 months ago by David Johnson
Interested in reading the original novel upon which the movie was based. Changes were made, but gave good background info on characters and situation which was not in the movie. Read morePublished on May 5, 2011 by Rich Whelan