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  • The Sunbird

  • Written by: Wilbur Smith
  • Narrated by: Piers Hampton
  • Length: 21 hrs and 37 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (19 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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Love Wilbur SMith books!

I enjoy Wilbur Smith. I have read a lot of his books. This is first one of his that I listened to. It was really well done. I am now listening to another one of his books and so far, it is just as good! I recommend this title.

1 person found this helpful

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Horrible fake accent!

Narrator has this horrible fake South African accent, but still manages to mangle all the names and places....As someone with a real South African accent it is like listening to
nails on a chalkboard.... Good story as always, but the narrator spoiled it. Returned it...

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  • John
  • 2020-02-15

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.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Audrey
  • 2022-07-03

South African accent

Beautifully written, the accent not so much. Signed A South African lover of Wilbur Smith

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  • Christer Ellingsen
  • 2022-04-24

Excellent storytelling

I find sunbird to be of Wilbur Smith's best stories. Wonderful imagination, creation of a full culture one might say fantasy at its best.
The reading of the story is just too much, too much drama too much thespian effort. And the female voices sounds like little girls.

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  • Drew
  • 2022-04-05

Not my favorite Wilbur Smith

I prefer the performance of Sean Barrett. Entertaining novel but not his best. Maybe I’ve been binging too hard and the formula is getting old. I’ll take a break before returning.

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  • J S Foley
  • 2021-12-30

Not a great audible listen

Not sure what happened. I was all involved with the story and then it switched to some far forgotten story in the middle. I was lost the whole last part of the listen. Love Wilber Smith’s books and listening to them. This one for me was not a good one to listen to. I was completely lost in part 2.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2021-11-15

great story

my 3rd time of reading this story, 1st time in audio. excellent. must read for all

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  • thomas
  • 2021-11-08

the best Wilbur Smith stand alone novel!

this book truly is epic. Sunbird is Wilbur Smith at his best. The characters are well thought out and I find myself lost in their worlds. I have always been a fan of mr Smith and this is my favorite stand alone book by far.

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  • Geordie
  • 2021-10-24

Astonishing as always.

As always Wilbur Smith's novels makes you feel like you are in Africa. He mixes fact with fiction that makes you struggle to put his novels down

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  • Rustom D Patel
  • 2021-03-13

One of the best stand alone Wilbur Smiths I have read

A true master piece ! A stand alone book with characters that resemble the Egypt / Courtney / Ballantine series !!!
A must read !

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  • Elizabeth Chilcott
  • 2019-04-25

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.