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I can’t believe I’m saying it, but for once it’s true and from a book considered by many to be a *classic*. I think  we’ve all watched that classic movie starring Katherine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart, but just in case I’ll give you a little teaser from the trailer,

The basic set up: 

Missionary Rose Sayer is left high and dry after the Germans kill the villagers and her brother Samuel. Cockney boat owner Charley Allnut lets her ride along with him on his creaky old boat and Rose gets the hairbrained brilliant idea to use the explosives on the boat to torpedo the Königin Luise and convinces Allnut to go along with it. Why he goes along with this is any one’s best guess (I was sure scratching my head over it). But to get to that point, they must travel the river, avoiding the Germans and their guns, shoot rapids that no one has ever shot before to reach the lake where they will find their target.

Shooting dangerous rapids in a creaky boat, being fired upon by evil German soldiers and risking all to strike a blow for freedom and Britain. Wow, that should be even better as a book, right? Not. Boring, boring, boring.

I just never bought into the relationship that develops between Rose and Charlie, nor could I fathom why he’d merrily follow along on her cockamamie plan to blow up the Germans.  How a sheltered on-the-shelf missionary managed to learn how to hold the tiller and guide them through rapids like no one has done before them really stretched the credulity meter, but even worse is how it all ends once they reach the lake and the Königin Luise. I won’t spoil, but if you’re expecting a big bang like in the movie, think again – it’s a snoozer, albeit a mercifully short one. This was so dull it almost put me to sleep on the treadmill, and I only finished as it was I needed an Africa book for the historical fiction challenge at Paperbackswap. Not recommended.

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