|Gold Mine (1982) [Novel]|
by Wilbur Smith
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Rod Ironsides, Underground Manager of the Sonder Ditch gold mine in South Africa, is made an offer by Manfred Steyner, heir-apparent to the vast holding group of mining companies: promotion to a position of power that Ironsides' chequered past had put beyond his reach. But there is one condition - he is to be Manfred's man entirely. It is an offer Rod cannot resist. Ever contemptuous of danger of any sort, he brushes aside his misgivings and distaste at the coldly obsessive genius of his mentor, and throws himself into the job.
However, Manfred whose intention is to manipulate Rod for his own ends, is manipulated himself, and unknowingly becomes the tool of an international syndicate whose shadowy destructive aims extend far beyond the limits of the Sonder Ditch. The drilling programme Rod is pursuing under Manfred's authority is, unknown to either of them, leading towards catastrophe. As the burst of flood water explodes from the rock face in the depths of the mine, Rod realises he has been an unwitting instrument of sabotage, and in a heroic act of courage and physical endurance manages, with the help and self-sacrifice of the flamboyant Shangaan miner Big King, to save the mine and the lives of all who work in it from destruction.
Peopled with a host of minor characters, whose lives are also locked into that of the mine, this novel strongly conveys the quality of life of the gold miners and the strangely irresistible gold lust that drives men to risk all in extracting the yellow metal legally - or illegally - from the treacherous ground. It is a hard-hitting story of violence, avarice, ruthlessness and love for Rod also has a dangerous but increasingly serious love affair with Manfred's lovely but unhappy wife Terry and Wilbur Smith sweeps the reader through its pages with his own inimitable narrative force. This book was made into a film under the title Gold.
Original title: Gold Mine
Genre: Fiction→ Adventure→ Wild Frontiers And Exotic Lands