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Publisher's Summary

From the trenches of France, General Sean Courtney comes back to fame, fortune, and a seat in the government. Mark Anders, the courageous young South African whom he has come to regard as his own son, returns to nothing, his grandfather murdered, his property seized by an unknown company. At the bottom of the mystery is Sean's son Dirk, the jealous, violent, and power-crazed genius whose all-consuming hatred can only end in blood.
© Wilbur Smith; (P) Macmillan Publishers Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    14
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    7
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Story

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Hugh
  • Inverell, Australia
  • 07-06-2016

I wish it wasn't abridged

It is more than 40 years since I read the original book. It is amazing how much detail is forgotten in that time. This was like reading the book for the first time again. The story is thoroughly enjoyable. However, it is disappointing that the story was abridged. Whilst the overall plot is covered, abridgment tends to give the story a disjointed feel. Wilbur Smith is a classic writer and his descriptive language is the thing that makes his tales so enjoyable.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A sparrow f------

Too short by far .Please don't abridge stories ,too much detail is lost in the telling

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

The abridgment takes a heavy toll

One of my favourite books, and I know them well. 15 minutes in and I’m already regretting the editing in this version. I love WIlbur Smiths work, and Tim Pigott-Smith reads well. But I can’t rate this higher.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

The best of the trilogy

Well rounded and you can tell Smith by the time he has completed his third novel has become an accomplished writer with a blend of history and fiction in the South African snapshot of the years long gone

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Story line is broken and hard to follow

I read this book in the printed form a long time ago and enjoyed it, what they have done with the ABRIDGED audio version is hopeless the story line jumps all over the place and has been butchered beyond any similarity to the original print version I feel sorry for Wilbur Smith a great writer to have this done to his material.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great story - poor quality recording

Would you try another book written by Wilbur Smith or narrated by Tim Pigott-Smith?

YES I have listened to his other books

Have you listened to any of Tim Pigott-Smith’s other performances? How does this one compare?

YES

Any additional comments?

recording was very jumpy with gaps and jumps

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Dale
  • 17-09-2007

A Sparrow Falls

Started listening to Audio Books again after a few years break. This was a good return. The story held my interest but failed to give the transportation quality of River God.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Teis
  • 10-06-2016

intriguing

as always willbur smith is an intriguing journey into courageous battles and exciting adventures 5 stars

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Lydia Sharkey
  • 14-02-2016

Mediocre.

The narrator was very good. However the story was not memorable. I only managed two hours the first day and was unable to finish it. I found that I had to go back to the beginning after three or four days just to remember the characters.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Chris
  • 22-08-2016

An unfortunate disappointment.

A much shorter effort that speedily deals with major character arcs without the delicate and deeply thoughtful ways of the past books. A Swallow falls feels rushed and leaves you longing for more.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Banhamite
  • 03-05-2016

Disappointed

I made the mistake of buying an abridged version, it didn't have the depth and enjoyment of his other full length books.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • M. Stuart
  • 12-11-2015

Great story

Yet another cracking story. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Lots of twists and tales, with a clever ending. As usual, I never wanted this book to end.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • richard wright
  • 10-10-2017

Great book, shame about "audible"

Read this before, superb story, but sadly my free download doesn't work properly, stops half way through every time I try to play it, sadly yet another example of a company promising, but not delivering, and it's an abridged version too, so glad I didn't pay for it so I won't be going further than the free trial.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 22-09-2017

Unabridged audiobook would be better

The plot get confusing due to to many jumps in the story line. If you can get your hands on the unabridged version.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Carolyn Douglas
  • 20-02-2017

Truly brilliant

This series of Wilbur Smith's books are hard to put down. they invoke a sense of homesickness and nostalgia for the country I grew up in. The elements of history give this series realism and the desire to read more and to study up on the real events that shaped South Africa.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Molly Mouse
  • 31-03-2016

The Courtney Family

One lives in the story, passionately becoming part of the beautiful Africa and the lives intertwined by raw emotion!