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1 April 2010
Forgotten Books: GOLD MINE, Wilbur Smith
If you consider many of my entries in Friday's forgotten books you'll note that many of the books that I read in my "formative" years were thrillers rather than the narrower crime fiction I read now.
30 years ago I taught high school English and so I read a lot of Alistair MacLean, Hammond Innes, and Wilbur Smith because the adolescent boys I taught liked them and it gave us common reading (and therefore discussion) ground.
With the girls I read Jean Plaidy, Victoria Holt, Dorothy Eden, and Mary Stewart. And then, for me, Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh, Georges Simenon, and Dick Francis.
GOLD MINE was published in 1970, and like so many of his novels, is set in South Africa. It was made into a film starring Roger Moore.
Wilbur Smith's first novel was When the Lion Feeds (1964) and this encouraged him at just over 30 years of age to become a full time novelist. He now has over 30 novels to his credit, translated into a myriad of languages. His novels always seem to be on book stands in airports, and are evidently extremely popular.