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Publisher's Summary

The Great War has ended, tragically for many; but for some more fortunate, East Africa holds the prospect of vast estates, fabulous wealth, and limitless opportunity in this powerful, grandly crafted novel of the natural and human perils that await pioneers in a promised land.

It is in colonial Kenya, at Lord Penfold's White Rhino Hotel, that the paths of these new settlers cross. Here they meet the cunning dwarf Olivio Alevado, a man whose lustful desires and vengeful schemes make him a formidable adversary to his enemies and a subtle ally to his friends. Here the destinies of the gypsy adventurer Anton Rider and the courageous, war-hardened Gwenn Llewelyn intersect. Here hope is corrupted by greed, love by revenge, and loyalty by betrayal as the future is trampled into history.

©1992 Bartle Bull; (P)2006 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"A wing-ding adventure story....The kind of book that creates one of the elemental delights of fiction - a complete other world where, unlike our own, all the parts add up to something." (Boston Globe)
"A genuine epic centered in Africa, by a writer who knows how to write, who knows his terrain intimately, who knows how to paint his characters convincingly, and who knows how to spin a good yarn." (Forbes Magazine)
"Bartle Bull has a story to tell, and he tells it memorably....Bull's knowledge of Africa is profound." (Washington Post Book World)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    13
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    11
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    6
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    3
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    5

Performance

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    11
  • 4 Stars
    6
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    5
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    2
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    3

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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  • 4 Stars
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Sort by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

horrible

What disappointed you about The White Rhino Hotel?

I could not follow the story, because the narration of this book is so horrible.

Would you be willing to try another one of Fred Williams’s performances?

No, my eight year old can read more smoothly than this guy.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

This.Is.Not.A.Good.Reader

The story is a ripping good yarn, and to be fair, the reader does the dialogue sections fairly well, but the narrative parts are spoken as if Mr. Williams is afraid to not enunciate each word with exactly.thee.same.emphasis. ["Thee" is NOT a typo].
I think I may purchase the other two installments of the trilogy in print editions, rather than buy them in audiobook form, and this is a shame. It's a type of adventure epic that, in the hands of a good dramatic reader, would be fantastic.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

The White Rhino Hotel

I'm 2 hours into this book. The story is ok so far, the narrator is dreadful. He just reads it, there is absolutely no dramatic interpretation.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Kind Of Old Fashioned

Overall, a satisfying read. Maybe a bit too
predictable in places, but good writing makes up
for some of that. Pretty good narration. The
story puts you in another time, close to ours, yet very different and in a place (East Africa) that you feel like you come to know, if only a little, better, as you go along. The plotting is not complex or twisted,
but there are a few interesting angles along the
way. The majority of the characters either wear
white hats or black hats...no mistaking most of
them. But there are a couple of characters wearing grey.
It was enjoyable, enough so, to get me interested
in its sequels.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Colonial Africa at its best

What did you love best about The White Rhino Hotel?

The characters are well developed and well expressed by the reader. It lends a sense of the grand adventure that Africa once was.

Who was your favorite character and why?

ANton RIder is the main character. He is charsimatic and immerses in all that is Africa at the turn of the century. He is a character that every person seeking his own destiny can relate to.

Which scene was your favorite?

The great hunt where he could not shoot his prey because it was too perfect.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I enjoyed this book in print form and even more in audible form. I reread this book several times in print before losing it, I am just as happy with the audio version

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Could have been a GREAT listen....

Would you try another book from Bartle Bull and/or Fred Williams?

The story is compelling, the descriptions of Africa stirring and the characters well developed.
The narration, however, is tiring. Why would one choose to have such monotone with such a dramatic setting and story line?
A real shame.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Predictable.

What didn’t you like about Fred Williams’s performance?

Boring, monotone, over enunciated.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

I enjoyed the story and would have really enjoyed it more with a different narrator.

Any additional comments?

Try this series again with a different narrator.