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Publisher's Summary

It is the 1870s, and twin brothers Sean and Garrick Courtney are born into the wilds of Natal. They could not be more different, and fate, war and the jealous schemes of a woman are to drive them even further apart. But as history unfolds, a continent is awakening. And on the horizon is the promise of fortune, adventure, destiny and love.... 

When the Lion Feeds is the best-selling novel that launched Wilbur Smith's stellar career and the first in the riveting saga of the Courtney brothers.

©1964 Wilbur Smith (P)2018 Audible, Ltd

What listeners say about When the Lion Feeds

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loved it

great narrator makes such a difference to listening to a book Sean Barrett was born to narrate this series.

4 people found this helpful

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  • HR
  • 13-05-2019

Women will like this story also

I was a bit worried this would be the type of book series which only men would like but I really enjoyed it. A great author, a perfect narrator and a very addictive tale. You won't go wrong with this book.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Val
  • 08-06-2020

Absorbing

Best book I have read in a long while. Filled with Raw realism that has you moving side by side with the characters. Real life at it's most basic without the need for over-dramatisation to keep you riveted. Thank you Wilbur Smith for this amazing narrative.

2 people found this helpful

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Adventure to South Africa

With my first trip to South Africa, I took along this audio book. I had not read or listened to Wilbur Smith before and it captured me as I witnessed the country on Safari. An amazing tale and narration was first class to my taste.
I now have finished another audio book and ready to listen to the next of the series.

2 people found this helpful

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Loved it!

This was a great listen. Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Narrator was so good. l felt like I was actually there with all of the characters.

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Great book but let down by the narrator a little

Overall I did enjoy this book, however I thought the narrator was very monotone and his voices for the young Sean and Garrick sounded like 80 year olds rather than boys in the early teens, was very off putting and nearly turned the book off as it was driving me crazy, however I was glad I did not as overall I did enjoy the book.

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Wow

Not the first book of Wilbur Smiths I've listened to but hell's bells what a brilliant and beautiful story. Smith uses prose like I use air to breathe. With ups and downs, ins and outs, they all take place one beautiful natural moment at a time.

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Bloody brilliant!!

What a thrill! This is an intense journey into the lives of the Courtney brothers. The narrator is superb! The South African accent is difficult to imitate, at the beginning it sounded more Indian to me, but Sean Barrett perfects it as the story unfolds. The story is an epic, taking the reader right to the centre of the booming of a new world city, from it’s beginnings in hard labour, risk and loss to the heights of fame and fortune and back again to the dependence on the land for survival to finding love, parenthood, loss and sorrow, again and again! My only regret is that it has taken me this long to read a Wilbur Smith, I’m addicted!

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Great novel and outstanding narration!

This was my first Wilbur Smith novel and I loved it, including the narrator. In fact, we liked the narration so much we search for audio books now by the narrator, even before the book or author. This is an epic story that had me wanting to know what happens next, as well as compelled me to want to read more about the Courtney's and also other Wilbur Smith. He is a fantastic author and has a genius way with words.

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Great read

Could not stop listening to this tale and ready for more with the sequels. . A great author.

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  • SAM
  • 03-04-2019

What did you do with John Lee?

I bought this book and Book 2 narrated by John Lee. Later I went back to relisten and the books were removed. A message came up and said, "Ah Shucks, this book is no longer available narrated by John Lee".I complained and they gave me 2 credits so I could rebuy the books but they are narrated by Sean Barrett who is ok but he's not John Lee. I am upset because John Lee and Wilbur Smith are my favorite narrators and authors. I'm sooooo disappointed!!!! I have a huge library so as a good customer but any customer should get what they buy! I want John Lee as the narrator and wish all Wilbur Smith books were narrated by John Lee!!!! He is perfect for his books.
I wonder what other books I've bought have been removed from my library without my knowledge!

26 people found this helpful

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  • Phillip Kuyler
  • 14-09-2019

A book for men

This is a very accurate depiction of the dangers, triumphs, perils and scars that frontier life leaves you with.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Gary Adler
  • 06-05-2019

Appalling narration

I couldn’t finish the book as the narration was so appalling. Why did they not get a person who knows the accents of Afrikaaners and Zulu speaking South Africans? It was embarrassing and did this good story no justice. Further, his imitation of female voices was just plain shocking. Was really looking forward to listening to the series but will definitely not purchase any more Wilbur Smith Courtney sagas.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Michele Haines
  • 12-12-2019

WONDERFUL

If you haven’t read Wilbur Smith YOU NEED TO! I am so sad because I have now finished all of his series along with all but one of his novels. I’m saving that for an up coming road trip with my husband.
Mr. Smiths writing style is so very extraordinary, vivid, alive, I feel like I am a character in one of his stories his novels are so easy to melt into. I feel as though I can, smell the air, taste the salt of the sea, feel the stinging heat of the desert, touch the minerals and rocks, hike through the jungles, go on Safari, feel the splashing rain, smell the mineral iron smell of blood, ride a horse....I JUST DO NOT KNOW HOW TO EXPRESS HOW FABULOUS THESE NOVELS & SERIES ARE!
***THANK YOU Wilber Smith for sharing your stories with the world, I for one am richer for it.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Loren
  • 21-04-2020

This is a difficult book to rate.

It’s hard to score this book. On one hand it is masterfully written and read with perfection. On the other hand it is a miserable story about a miserable family. I intended to give up on this book several times as the story descended farther and farther into misery, but it was so well done that I stuck with it to the end.

I listen to books for entertainment, or sometimes for an education, but I’m not interested in stories about how bad someone’s life is or about the bad decisions that person makes along the way. Not only did this book seem to move from one tragedy to the next, but it ended on a really pessimistic note. I say it ended, but actually the story just stopped; it didn’t really have an ending. I have no desire to listen to the next two books in this series which I intend to return, let alone the other 15 beyond those.

1 person found this helpful

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  • richard
  • 19-08-2021

a great book

the book starts and develops slowly, but after 1/3 it becomes very good and engaging
i liked it a lot and am going to read more books by this author

also, an outstanding narration

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  • kristine rabcewicz
  • 17-08-2021

disappointed

did not finish as this was boring. the characters were not relatable and uninteresting.

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  • Rick
  • 10-07-2021

Some intense and unusual plot developments

When you consider how long ago this was written, it was very dark, gritty for its day if a little corny and date occasionally. Reminds me of AB Guthrie's classic "Big Sky". Characters were interesting, story fast paced with lots of twists. African setting was a bonus novelty for those used to the American West. Will definitely listen to the rest of the series.

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  • Angela Ruddock
  • 28-05-2021

Amazing book and narrator

I have read and love all of Wilbur Smith’s books and Sean Barrett makes them even more enjoyable to listen to. Highly recommend!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 15-05-2021

Happy to have read my first Wilbur Smith book.

A very complex and craftily written story from start to finish. It was interesting to listen to the anecdotal and historical accounts of daily life in the familiar places to me, mentioned about my country. Some very tragic scenes though, hope life gets easier for Sean Courtney. Brilliant narrator too. 5 stars *****.

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  • Tally
  • 01-04-2020

Avoid !

I was expecting a mixture of good story telling, insights into a different culture and a historical perspective.
Instead you get shallow characters, men who are misogynistic and women who are all false and next to nothing about the context of the story. After researching the author, I realised that it was not by design that his main character was so old fashioned and unlikable - it is just who the author is...
"A man's man" says it all really.

25 people found this helpful

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  • Ian P.
  • 29-01-2019

Just as good as I remembered!

I first read this book over thirty years ago, and was really excited to see an unabridged audiobook available. I was initially concerned that it might be dated, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I have also never been disappointed by Sean Barrett’s narration. What’s not to like! Roll on “The Sound of Thunder”!!!!

19 people found this helpful

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  • Timedout
  • 29-01-2019

Didn't finish as it was too depressing

Review needs to be considered in the context of me not having gone any further than chapter 12. I found the content and narration too depressing. It is well-written and, even in the few chapters I listened to, I felt a connection to the characters and landscape. A fair amount happens and it moves along at a good pace without any padding out. For me it was just too dark and was heading for further misery as war approached. The performance is probably right for the storyline but quite monotone.

14 people found this helpful

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  • Team Nezzy
  • 31-01-2019

Sit back and enjoy

A first class novel really well narrated from start to finish, hard to put down 5*

11 people found this helpful

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  • Dalton
  • 27-05-2019

captivating

loved it. explained so vividly. perfectly narrated. kept me intrigued to the very end. amazing story lines

3 people found this helpful

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  • Gavin
  • 27-04-2019

Read the book when I was a teenager and forgot.

The narration is excellent, perfect in fact. Gripping, listened every moment I could, on to the next, I can't wait, the ending came as a surprise I was hoping for the next cliff hanger

3 people found this helpful

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  • p d king
  • 19-12-2018

always fantastic books

always fantastic books and always leaving you wanting more a bit of a twist but good

3 people found this helpful

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  • Jeremy Cook
  • 02-12-2018

Awesome

I have read the book years ago and this was just as enjoyable as the paper version. Well narrated and I have already downloaded the second in the Courtney series “The Sound of Thunder”

3 people found this helpful

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  • jonboy_
  • 22-07-2020

Top Notch Wilbur Smith

Really good Wilbur Smith novel. First part I found a little slow, but after that a fast paced and overall great story, really keeping the attention. Just wished I'd picked up the next couple in the series when they were in the Audible sale.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Stephen
  • 23-07-2020

Best Book Ever

Wilbur Smith is my favourite author. This book started me on my Courtney Yeats adventure and it is one i visit over and over.

1 person found this helpful

In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.