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The Sunbird

Written by: Wilbur Smith
Narrated by: Piers Hampton
Length: 21 hrs and 37 mins
4.0 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A lost civilisation. A curse reborn.

Dr Ben Kazin has only a blurred photograph and a gut instinct that there is a lost city to uncover somewhere beneath the Botswana cliffs. Soon, a whispered curse and a chance encounter with a local tribe lead him to discover much more than city foundations.

The curse, it seems, is real, and will link Ben, his oldest friend and the woman they both love with a forgotten leader from 2,000 years ago, in a city of glory and honour that subsequently disappeared without a trace. But what happened to that ancient civilisation? And what is it that connects that lost empire to Ben and the violent dangers he must face in the present day?

An action-packed archaeological adventure from global best seller Wilbur Smith.

©2019 Wilbur Smith (P)2019 Audible, Ltd

What listeners say about The Sunbird

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  • John
  • 15-02-20

Wonderful story marred by 1970s cultural bigotry

I read this in the 1970s soon after its release and loved it, as I did all of Wilbur Smith's works back then. I hadn't touched a Smith book since but recently returned to this wonderful story as an audiobook. The story retains its outstanding features: a clever and engrossing narrative, satisfying moments of success and failure, larger than life characters, an intriguing alternate ancient history of Africa, and two nicely executed parallel stories separated by 2000 years. The narration of the book does the writing justice, delivered with a pleasing variety of accents and dramatic touches. On the downside, modern listeners will find some of the 1970s attitudes and assumptions jarring: casual racism, bigoted sexual references, the careless killing of wildlife, and stereotypical white male supremacy. If you can ignore these offenses (which were acceptable when written but sound dreadful now) the story is a rewarding trip down memory lane for those who enjoyed the book 50 years ago.

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  • Elizabeth Chilcott
  • 25-04-19

Another spectacular Wilbur Smith book of Africa

Like his River God series, Wilbur Smith weaves a fascinating tale in the past and present with a rich geographic description and wonderfully full fleshed characters. There is plenty of excitement as well.....thoroughly enjoyable.

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  • Bj Edwards
  • 30-03-19

Magic

Wilbur Smith's finest work. Comparible only to River God. When I first read this in my teens, I fell in love with it. It had everything I wanted from a book; archeology, history, battle, gods, everything that made my heart beat just a little faster. I hadn't read the book for over 20 years, and downloaded it with trepidation, concerned that it would no longer hold magic. But, I'm delighted to say, it's still wonderful, and brought to life by an absolutely fantastic performance by the narrator. This book inspired me to be a writer. And now I am, having written three novels and a number of plays and screenpays. Www.bjedwards.co.uk

10 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-05-19

Staggering

One of the most remarkable books of historical fiction from the master story teller Wilbur Smith which, although already read twice years ago, achieved a new level with this incredible narration.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Grandma4919
  • 08-05-19

Disappointing

Started well, a bit slow but was interesting. I like adventure and archeological books. Unfortunately it involved hunting and killing wild animals, war zones. Then it jumped to the past and never quite tied up any ends. I have read many lols by the author and enjoyed them. This unfortunately I really didn’t like.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Stephen
  • 29-10-19

Laboured

Rather laborious this one, unfortunate South African accents throughout. Good for going to sleep to though

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-07-19

The magic of Wilbur never ceases...

I have read every Wilbur Smith book written - (I read only 1 of his Hector Cross books and will not do so again) and now to have the story and the magic of his imagery come alive in Audible I am "re-reading" these stories which take my breathe away every time, having grown up in South Africa (now living in the UK) watching the tides of political change and experiencing the bush, history and culture of the country I can smell the wood smoke and the sunsets and everything else that he describes so vividly. I rated the performance slightly lower, although good, not all the South African accents came off so well and tended to grate a little on the ears, but were soon swept up in the story then it did not matter so much!

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  • pamela wassell
  • 15-05-20

Keep going

This book was very slow and boring to start with but I kept going. It’s worth it because once the story gets into gear it’s fast paced a bit gory in places but I loved it. The last chapter let it down though.

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  • Geri
  • 22-04-20

My 1st Wilbur Smith

What a fabulous writer (and narration) Glued to it. And the end chapter, just brilliant !

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-04-20

Not his best. Sorry Wilbur,

I haven't finished it, really struggled with it, the story split in to 2 halves was interesting idea but the second half was just too much to keep my interest.

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  • nought
  • 02-04-20

Unusual tale

Another good listen so well read Narrator very good, story fascinating and Interesting, as is usual with Mr Smith recommend

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  • Derynifan1
  • 06-02-20

Love this Book!

I have read this book several times over the years and the scope of it is breath taking in parts this book was written in the 1970's and it amuses me when they talk about wages for a couple of 3.500 per annum for the man and 2000 for the woman! my only real grump is (as has been mentioned before I believe) is the bad south African accents they seem so false... otherwise a great story!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-05-19

A story by half

What a disappointment, the story begins in the today and then draws a parallel to an ancient time and repeats the same base story, no idea what the link is or why but can only think that it was to add bulk pages to the book. Very sloppy work and an insult to readers

2 people found this helpful