Friday Read 15/7/11

So here goes with the new weekly piece on all aspects of books and reading.

This week’s topic “Your Favourite Author”

Despite liking many authors in various genres, I have to go with the one that has been around the longest, who was recommended to me by my dad when I moved up from kids to grown up books, whose books have accompanied me through my life, and whose writing inspired my travelling – Wilbur Smith.

Wilbur Smith writes various kinds of books – action-packed adventures to multi-volume sagas – all set or linked to the continent of Africa, and it was these books that inspired my love of Africa, its people, its landscapes and its wildlife.  While his quality has dipped in recent years, maybe to be expected at his rather advanced age, his earlier work is superb as far as I am concerned.  Great characters, fantastic settings and exciting plots are the order of the day.  He writes on a grand scale, epic at times, but his characters always remain human and believable in their actions, motivations and emotions. I have always loved the way he interweaves his fiction so skilfully with real events and characters in African history, which adds so much to the realism.

Travelling in Africa, and walking in the footsteps of the characters I have so delighted in reading about over so many years, has been one of the most satisfying travel experiences I have had.

Not a difficult choice this week, all in all.  In fact, anyone who knows me well would almost certainly be able to tell you that he is part of the “triumvirate” for me in the worlds of favourite music, film and books – Bruce Springsteen, James Bond, and Wilbur Smith.

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