Superprolific chronicler of Afro-colonial glory days Smith continues the saga of the Courtney family from where it left off in Monsoon (1999).
The outcome of Smith’s Big African Adventures is never in doubt: big lusty white men will prevail over evil, grasping white men with considerable assistance from hordes of adoring black men who have had the good sense to recognize lusty leadership when they see it. So what tension there is must come from the many, many, many intermediate battles between the big lusty white men and the evil, grasping white men, and from the electricity that flies between the big lusty white men and the fair bodies of the straight-shooting, outdoor-loving women lucky enough to come into their lives. Sailing now into the lives of the superrich 17th-century British Courtney family is long-legged Louisa Leuven, a plucky Dutch orphan who escaped the plague only to fall into the clutches of a sexually predatory, sadomasochistic, Amsterdam burgher who framed her when she tried to blow the whistle on him. As the ship transporting her and other hussies to the Indies rounds the Cape of Good Hope, Louisa captures the heart of young Jim Courtney, who, when the ship comes a cropper in a squall, spirits her away, enraging the grumpy Dutch overlords of the Cape Colony and forcing the entire Courtney clan to flee with their fortune. Louisa, understandably off sex for the present, is not immune to the manly charms of her rescuer, but Jim is a perfect gentleman, never pushing, just showing her a swell time as they hack their way north, dodging pursuers, slaying animals by the score, riding the finest horseflesh in Africa, prying the biggest tusks anyone has ever seen from elephants unlucky enough to meet up with them. While the young folk blaze new trails, the older generation sails up the east coast and into big trouble. Time to call in those adoring native armies.
Utter nonsense, but as readable as ever. Really big retro-fun for the gents.