SEEDS OF ANGER by James Ambrose Brown


Email this review


A bland follow-up to Brown's equally bland South Africa opus, Ridge of Gold (1986), this time about the early plundering of natural resources by larger-than-life immigrants. In the earlier book, a turn-of-the-century immigrant ship brought Leonard Penlynne and Walter Gardiner to Johannesburg. Penlynne represents a London gold syndicate and immediately sets about making his fortune in the mines, although his personal life is beset by problems--his wife, Dorothy, is sexually frigid, and Penlynne must make do with a beautiful prostitute. In the meantime, Gardiner (a rough-and-ready American) makes do by marrying Katherine Rawlinson, the daughter of a tycoon. He at first fights Penlynne, but later joins him as they discover a new process for stripping gold from ore. Seeds of Anger trudgingly outlines their future success, their vast wealth, and the political upheaval that beset South Africa at the time, as the Germans were making their power felt, and as the Boers were coming into their own. Unfortunately, much of it will be understandable to only the most astute and devoted students of South African history; by the time Gardiner is killed in a civil uprising, and Penlynne banished to England for plotting against the government, the reader has long ceased to care. In all, unwieldly, and without any real action or romance. Readers who insist on their South Africa basted in melodrama might do well to turn to Wilbur Smith's vivid, continuing saga (The Burning Shore, etc.).

Pub Date: May 2nd, 1988
Publisher: St. Martin's