BOOK REVIEW: Wilbur Smith's memoir reads like one of his novels

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On Leopard Rock: A Life of Adventure by Wilbur Smith published by Jonathan Ball Publishers.
On Leopard Rock: A Life of Adventure by Wilbur Smith published by Jonathan Ball Publishers.

Africa has been the background to many a thrilling tale but not many have used it as successfully as celebrated author Wilbur Smith.

As a novelist he is world renowned for his raw stories about adventure, love, lust and conflict. Born in southern Africa and having spent most of his life there he has used his observations in human nature to convey powerful characters and their tribulations to his readers.

His long-time friend and publisher Charles Pick advised him at the beginning of his career to only write about what he knows intimately and that is exactly what he has done.

To date he has published 40 novels covering a career of 54 years with no. 41 scheduled for release in September 2018.

If you have found value in his writing and would like to know more about the man behind the myriad of bestsellers, On Leopard Rock: A Life of Adventures is a must read. Smith's memoir is a look into the love affair he has had all his life with Africa and her ways, which has allowed him to create some of the most tantalising narratives.

Between stories of near misses with grey reef sharks in the Indian Ocean and fending off lions from his father’s ranch in Rhodesia at the age of 13 it is clear that he has always been a beau of danger.

Young novelists will find some interesting advice scattered throughout the book on his writing methods and how he has coped with producing such a large amount of high quality work.

Although there is sense of repetition in certain chapters his descriptive writing style paints a colourful picture of the obstacles he has overcome and how his love for storytelling has pushed him to excel.

His story is one of living life to the fullest and his memoirs draw you in exactly like one of his fictitious heroes.

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