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Chasing the Sun   By: (1825-1894)

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Chasing the Sun by Robert Michael Ballantyne is an exhilarating adventure novel that takes readers on an unforgettable journey across the African savannah. Set in the 19th century, this captivating tale follows the life of Charlie, a brave young explorer determined to uncover new lands and conquer the untamed wilderness.

From the very first page, Ballantyne's vivid descriptions transport readers to the heart of Africa, immersing them in the rich landscapes and cultures that await. The author's remarkable attention to detail is commendable, as he effortlessly paints a picture of the vast plains, dense jungles, and mighty rivers that the characters encounter along their expedition.

The protagonist, Charlie, is an inspiring and relatable character. His unwavering determination, unyielding courage, and insatiable curiosity make him an endearing hero whom readers will readily root for. As he braves dangerous encounters with wild animals, hostile tribes, and untold hardships, Charlie's growth and resilience are truly admirable.

One of the book's strongest aspects lies in its portrayal of life in 19th-century Africa. Ballantyne seamlessly weaves historical and cultural elements into the narrative, shedding light on various tribal customs, wildlife, and the complex dynamics of colonialism. The book serves as a window into the historical realities of the time, allowing readers to gain a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by both Europeans and Africans during this era.

Furthermore, the pacing of the plot is excellently executed, with a perfect balance between moments of heart-pounding danger and quieter, introspective chapters. The author masterfully builds suspense and tension, ensuring that readers become fully invested in the fates of the characters. The numerous twists and turns keep the story engaging and unpredictable throughout, making it difficult to put the book down.

However, despite its many strengths, Chasing the Sun does suffer from some minor flaws. The dialogue, at times, may feel slightly stilted and overly formal, which can momentarily disrupt the natural flow of the narrative. While this does not significantly impact the overall enjoyment of the story, it is worth mentioning.

In conclusion, Chasing the Sun is a captivating adventure novel that transports readers to the heart of Africa, offering a thrilling and immersive reading experience. Robert Michael Ballantyne's impeccable storytelling, coupled with the rich historical backdrop, creates a tale that is both exciting and enlightening. Any reader with a taste for adventure and a longing to explore unknown territories will find themselves captivated by this enthralling tale.

First Page:

Chasing the Sun, by R.M. Ballantyne.

Our Hero, Fred Temple, has risen to be a senior manager in the great Liverpool business founded by his father. But he was getting overworked and deeply tired, so one day he announced that he was taking leave for a while and was going to visit Norway in a small yacht.

Ballantyne had several holidays in Norway, so to write about it and describe it was a pleasure to him. This book is therefore an account of Norway seen through the eyes of an enthusiast for that country.

Fred takes some friends with him. Together, they have great adventures and great fun. They even venture so far north as Lapland, and the Land of the Midnight Sun.

A wonderful piece of vintage Victoriana at its best.




Fred Temple was a tall, handsome young fellow of about five and twenty.

He had a romantic spirit, a quiet gentlemanly manner, a pleasant smile, and a passionate desire for violent exercise. To look at him you would have supposed that he was rather a lazy man, for all his motions were slow and deliberate. He was never in a hurry, and looked as if it would take a great deal to excite him... Continue reading book >>

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