ELEPHANT SONG by Wilbur Smith


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 A dashing producer of TV documentaries battles to save his beloved Africa from callous international multimillionaires and home-grown villainous politicians--in a free-standing adventure from the author of the Africa-based Courtney sagas (Golden Fox, A Time to Die, etc.) and others. Smith's trademark big-hunter thrills, toned down to accommodate 90's sensibilities, keep things hopping for Rhodesian- born David Armstrong as he first documents Zimbabwe's thoughtful elephant management--and then avenges the death of Zimbabwe's best elephant-manager at the hands of ruthless ivory poachers. Armstrong, a one-time soldier who now turns out PBS-style nature films, just misses the slaughter of old colleague Johnny Nzou and family, but quickly deduces that Taiwan's ambassador to Zimbabwe, Ning Cheng Gong, and his avaricious subcontinental ivory-agent, Chetti Singh, are the monsters behind the murders and the heist of a fortune in elephant teeth. Vowing to send Ning and Singh to their reward, Armstrong returns to London, where he picks up the backing of a bent billionaire and the assistance of a very capable, very randy camera person, meets a lovely scholar of Pygmy life, and then heads again to Africa. The grand confrontation with Singh and Ning takes place in Ubomo, a semi-democracy that has just been taken over by a rapacious army officer. Ubomo is also the home of the pretty Pygmy scholar. Humorless and politically only partially correct, but who cares? The point of a big African adventure is big adventure with big animals and big scenery, and that's all here. Smith knows the scene.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1992
ISBN: 0-679-40899-1
Page count: 480pp
Publisher: Random House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 1991


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