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A Sparrow Falls Hardcover – September, 1978

4.5 out of 5 stars 142 customer reviews
Book 3 of 13 in the Courtney Series

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The Underground Railroad
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"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent tour de force chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more
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Editorial Reviews

Review

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

" Action is Smith's game, and he is a master."
"-- The Washington Post Book World" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Publisher

These audiobooks from Macmillan UK offer abridged readings of some of the world¹s most popular authors. Handsomely packaged, they feature readings by eminent actors of the stage and screen, including James Fox, Martin Shaw, Tim Pigott-Smith, and David Rintoul. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 587 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday; 1st edition (September 1978)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 038513603X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385136037
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.2 x 1.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (142 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,363,226 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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By Paul Kurtz on March 11, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
When it comes to adventure novels and novels about Africa (especially South Africa and Zimbabwe (Rhodesia)) no one can compare to Wilbur Smith. Wilbur Smith's understanding and knowledge of the people, animals and history of Africa is unmatched.
Wilbur Smith's first novel was When The Lion Feeds (and is still one of my all time favorite novels). When The Lion Feeds introduces us to his most memorable character-Sean Courtney. The series starts in the mid to late 1800's when Sean and his brother Gary are children. Without going into too much detail, the first book covers young Sean's life through the Zulu wars and the great gold rush. After the gold rush (and after Sean looses millions and millions of dollars) Sean starts his career as an ivory hunter (this is just prior to the boer wars). There is one scene in "When The Lion Feeds" where a close friend of Sean's sucomes to rabies and is one of the most vivid and frightening narratives that I've read). "The Sound of Thunder" is the next book in the series, and without getting into to much detail, deals with the Boer Wars, and his estrainment with his twin brother Gary and his son Dirk.
Then of course comes "A Sparrow Falls". "A Sparrow Falls" begins in the trenches of France during WWI where Sean meats Mark Anders who comes to take the place of Seans estranged son Dirk (and his dead son Michael). "A Sparrow Falls" is about the building of South Africa after WWI. It covers everything from the start of the unions in South Africa, to the start of the Game Department.
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By A Customer on June 5, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
im an avid wilbur smith fan and i have read all his books, starting ten years ago. due to lack of availability, i have had to acquire many of them out of country, including canada, britain, the far east, and south africa, where i started reading them. it seems like wilbur only became popular in the US with river god. I consider a sparrow falls to be his weakest book. after reading a number of books on south african history, fictionalized or not, i find a sparrow falls to be much fiction, little history, as opposed to lion feeds and sound of thunder. its like this story was made only to finish off the series and tie up the loose ends. my favorite of his novels were the next five courtneys and elephant song. of course, anyone interested in the fictionalized history of southern africa, the worlds most fascinating, also has to read the covenant. try robert ruark as well for eastern africa.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the third novel dealing with Sean Courntney and is the best of the Courtney novels. To me Sean is a much more likeable character than in previous novels, while Dirk is as evil as any of the arch villans that Smith has had in any of his books.
However, this book tends to be difficult to find in print, but if you get an oppertunity to read it, do so, because it will make the other books that deal with the Courtneys more enjoyable.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a very good series and a long one. I was sorry to see it end. I was given the books originally by a friend and donated all of them which I now regret. All are very interesting and I feel that I probably learned a lot about Africa and how the settlers adapted to such a different country. The family that is the main story are quite diverse. I disliked some a great deal and admired others a lot. They all went through a lot just surviving where they settled. The wars between the natives and the white settlers parallel the US and our fight settling the west and fighting the Indians for land that they held forever.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As usual Wilbur Smith weaves a tale of good and evil in So Africa, His descriptive material places the reader in atmosphere of early
20th century when greedy men were making fortunes by any means possible. Naturally the hero is a young man who surges to the forfront using
brains and brawn. Not a totally happy ending, but, such is life.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've read about 20 of Wilbur Smith's books and this one is my favorite. The characters, the history, the wildlife descriptions, and the occasional humor combine to make this book unforgetable.
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Another great story from Wilbur Smith. I have never been disappointed with any of the books that he has written. I must have read ever book that he has written, if not it is an oversight on my part.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have been reading Wilbur Smith for many years now. My wife started me with Birds of Prey over a decade ago. She had found his writings through a recommendation, found his works exciting and thought he would spark my return to pleasure reading after many years concentrating on technical writing. Yes one of his novels and I was hooked. Now my wife and I compare all writers to Wilbur as the yardstick. I read many different writers and enjoy many areas of writing but have a special fondness for Wilbur Smith's writings. I decided after reading some of his later novels to start at the beginning and read in succession. Even though he has written several series that were written in a broken timeline. I found his own recommendation that a reader should read his novels in the order he has written them. This is how I have read from his first novel and plan to go continue to read all of them in the order written. I am currently reading A Sparrow Falls and will be sorry to see it end. Like all of his novels, there is a new point of reference in each one. The early novels did not reach the level his later novels have but I recommend seeing how his writing has progressed. This novel is another saga weaving through the history of Africa.

The one thing that impresses me the most is how much detail he includes in his writing. It seems he had to be there observing the past to tell his stories. AT times I wonder how much is facts and how much he has taken the fiction writers license. My belief is that good writing takes you to some place you have never been before and leaves you changed for the experience. If Wilbur Smith doesn't do this to you, I wouldn't know who else to recommend. I only wish he had written about the entire planet instead of focusing on Africa.
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