bitrate: 64 kbps
read by: Tim Pigott-Smith
The game was war. The prize was a land. The penalty of defeat was death...' The Sound of Thunder is an epic of the Anglo-Boer War and the peace which followed.
It is a sequel to his best-selling When the Lion Feeds, has the same tremendously dramatic quality, and takes up the story of Sean (the lion of the earlier title), who joins up to fight the burghers.
Brilliantly Wilbur Smith describes the progress of the War through Sean's own actions, first in harrowing missions in the front lines for the British Guides, then as the leader of a commando designed to fight the Boers on their own terms - guerrilla combat in the veld.
The peace which follows finds Sean with hopes of marriage, settling down at last to develop new land by planting wattle. But it is at this point in the novel that the hatred borne him by his twin-brother Garrick really comes into the open: Garrick, who has been forced to live In the shadow of his twin's superiority since childhood, and who has vowed to pay him back for it.
Sean is very much the big figure of the novel, but other characters grip the imagination as strongly. Ruth, for instance, beautiful and self-willed, who can draw on hidden depths of savagery to protect her own: or Dirk. Sean's young son by his first wife, whose warped character gives his father endless cause for anxiety and self-questioning.
This is a novel on the grand scale, packed with movement and life, which brilliantly evokes the hazardous world of the pioneers who founded a nation.
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