Ageing author still has it
Courtney’s War By Wilbur Smith, Allen & Unwin, $39.99
Eighty-five-year-old Wilbur Smith has sold well over a hundred million copies of his books, since he first hit pay-dirt with When the Lion Feeds.
Many of his books are centred on Africa, which is where he grew up with his parents on their farm in Zambia.
I am not sure exactly how many of his 30-something books I’ve read but he has been a constant in my to read pile for decades now. It’s inevitable that there will be a degree of uneven-ness with a prolific writer like Wilbur Smith, but actually in his case that isn’t so. And Courtney’s War proves once again that a talented writer can deliver, despite age and a long list of earlier publications. In fact I was pleasantly surprised at just how good a read this new novel is. The setting is World War II, the main characters become separated on opposite sides of the conflict, Saffron Courtney, born in Africa but based in England, and her beloved German boyfriend Gerhard Von Meerbach. They both have a tough war, with courage and commitment to their causes prominent, at least until Gerhard becomes disenchanted by the Nazi dogma. It’s rather refreshing to be able to thoroughly recommend a new novel by an ageing rock star of the novel writing world. Courtney’s
War is every bit worthy of that recommendation.
Author Wilbur Smith.