Rage: Wilburn Smith

Wilbur Smith, Author
Wilbur Smith, Author Little Brown and Company $19.95 (627p) ISBN 978-0-316-80179-9
Reviewed on: 09/30/1987
Release date: 10/01/1987
In this latest epic, popular novelist Smith (The Leopard Hunts in Darkness) takes on a difficult challenge, telling of post-World War II South Africa. What he has created is a hybrid. His narrative seriously addresses the conflicts of whites and blacks, the differences between British and Afrikaners, and the tribes and personalities vying for control of the African National Congress. But it's also a soap opera, one of those conventional generational sagas with a contrived forbidden love affair between a white and a black, adultery and the rivalry between two men who do not realize they are half-brothers. The combination is simultaneously thrilling and embarrassing. Shasa Courtney is a wealthy United Party minister to the South African Parliament. A moderate of English heritage, he is often opposed to the Nationalist Party's Manfred De La Rey, an Afrikaner. Their mother, the matriarchal Centaine Courtney-Malcomess, is able to mediate their conflicts but not to control Shasa's wife, Tara, who sympathizes with the black cause. It is Tara who falls in love with the black Moses Gama, an advocate of violent opposition to apartheid. All their stories intermingle with the history of South Africa in the '50s and '60s. Smith's account of some of the worst racial riots is terrifying and his storytelling powers are strong, but readers of Rage will likely come away wondering whether turgid sub-plots really enhance a novel about one of the world's most troubled countries. (October 7)
The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!
MORE BOOKS YOU'D LIKE
X