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Saturday, June 13, 2009

Assegai by Wilbur Smith

Africa in the early 1900's, pre-WWI, conjures up images of wide-open spaces and big-game hunting. The British occupied much of the continent, sharing some of it with the Germans and others. Leon Courtney is a British officer who was born and raised in Africa and he would never consider living anywhere else. After he leaves the service, he becomes a guide for big-game hunters such as Theodore Roosevelt and German industrialist Otto von Meerbach who builds planes for the German military. Leon gets recruited to spy on the Germans, and while doing so falls in love with Meerbach's mistress, the beautiful Eva von Wellberg.
Filled with action and interesting characters, Assegai is a wonderful story of Africa. The minor characters are well-written and the descriptions of the hunts make terrific stories all by themselves. I really enjoyed this book! There are a few caveats, however. This is definitely an adult book. Usually the violence doesn't get to me as much as profanity and sex scenes but this time I was bothered by it, probably because it was so well-written that I could picture it! You may not want to read this if you have a weak stomach! There wasn't too much profanity but there were some sex scenes that made me feel a bit squeamish and I couldn't recommend it for teens. Rated R.

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