• On Leopard Rock

  • A Life of Adventures
  • By: Wilbur Smith
  • Narrated by: Saul Reichlin
  • Length: 10 hrs and 2 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (137 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Wilbur Smith has lived an incredible life of adventure, and now he shares the extraordinary true stories that have inspired his fiction. 

From being attacked by lions to close encounters with deadly reef sharks, from getting lost in the African bush without water to crawling the precarious tunnels of gold mines, from marlin fishing with Lee Marvin to near death from crash-landing a Cessna airplane, from brutal school days to redemption through writing and falling in love, Wilbur Smith tells us the intimate stories of his life that have been the raw material for his fiction. Always candid, sometimes hilarious, and never less than thrillingly entertaining, On Leopard Rock is testament to a writer whose life is as rich and eventful as his novels are enthralling.

©2018 Wilbur Smith (P)2018 Bonnier

What listeners say about On Leopard Rock

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This Gives You a Look Into Wilbur Smiths Life

If you haven’t read Wilbur Smith YOU NEED TO! I am so sad because I have now finished all of his series along with all but one of his novels. I’m saving that for an up coming road trip with my husband.
Mr. Smiths writing style is so very extraordinary, vivid, alive, I feel like I am a character in one of his stories his novels are so easy to melt into. I feel as though I can, smell the air, taste the salt of the sea, feel the stinging heat of the desert, touch the minerals and rocks, hike through the jungles, go on Safari, feel the splashing rain, smell the mineral iron smell of blood, ride a horse....I JUST DO NOT KNOW HOW TO EXPRESS HOW FABULOUS THESE NOVELS & SERIES ARE!
***THANK YOU Wilber Smith for sharing your stories with the world, I for one am richer for it.

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Wilbur Smith is Raconteur Royalty

Having read my first Wilbur Smith novel when I was a mere 17 years of age, I quickly realized that within those pages, I would forever find the adventures, action, tragedies, triumphs, beauty, brutality and life lessons that every literary voyeur wishes to dive into deeply and often!

Birds of Prey was to be that diving board that would send me splashing into a deep pool of Smith’s world of many magnificent tales.

Being South African myself, I instantly understood his deep love of and respect for the African continent with all of its splendor and squalor. All of which he captures so seemingly without effort, however, always with expertly crafted plots and twists, meticulously researched historical factuality and just a hint of boyish roguishness.

I will always find his books irresistible and have reread some of these tomes several times over without it losing any of the sparkle that so endeared me to them all those years ago.

On Leopard Rock is an honest, sober, insightful and utterly entertaining glance into the author’s extraordinary life. His passion for exploration and adoration of nature, his insatiable wanderlust, the love and respect for his family and friends is captured sincerely within these pages.


Most of the questions I have often wondered about have been instantaneously answered whilst gaining insights about aspects of his stories I have not even thought about yet!

A joyous experience from one of the world’s most gifted storytellers.

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The Pinnacle of a Monumental Career

I’ve loved Wilbur Smith for many years. I loved this memoir and thoroughly enjoyed his trip through his lifetime. I am an aspiring writer and the last chapter has some sage advice that I already take to heart. If you’re a Wilbur Smith fan, I dare to say you will love this book.

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What a gem!

Not only as an autobiography of a life well lived, but as an example of what can be done when one is determined to see dreams come true. In addition, by sharing his story, Mr. Smith has provided an incredible encouragement to all readers who aspire to publish their own book (and amongst all bibliophiles, who doesn’t?) If you have ever enjoyed a Wilbur Smith novel, this is an excellent and enervating blueprint of the author! Thank you, Mr. Smith!

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Stephanie Levy - Highland Park Illinois USA

It’s rare that you finish a book and want to begin it again to savor every word a second time. I wish Wilbur Smith was alive so I could tell him how much this book meant to me. Most especially since President FD de Klerk has just passed away a couple months ago. WS description of the magnificence of Nelson Mandela was truly well done. The world is poorer for Madiba’s passing, but richer for his undeniable brilliant example of “once in a lifetime” African statesmanship. This book is a masterpiece.

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Wilbur Smith in the Raw

A fascinating unvarnished journey into Smith's past, values and perspective. Better than his novels. Met him in Cape Town once and he is what he writes.

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Bitter sweet experience

Listening to this book was a bittersweet experience for me. My dad was a life long fan of Wilbur Smith’s books and although I have only read 3 of them my Dad has read most. I know my Dad never got around to reading Leopard Rock. Both my Dad and Wilbur Smith passed away in 2021 and whilst listening to this book I couldn’t stop thinking how much Dad would have enjoyed it too. I listened and enjoyed it for both of us. It is a truly engaging book, narrated brilliantly.

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Light and enjoyable.

A point of view reflective of the author’s experiences and the time in which he lived. Despite that there is some wisdom amongst the very colorful storytelling and somewhat privileged perspective.

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Disappointing

After several hours of listening, it became too much to constantly hear Wilbur Smith profusely complementing himself on his literary accomplishments. There are moments where the story is compelling and interesting, only to be broken by the author’s insistence on reminding the listener of his greatness. In the end, I could not finish this book.

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Wilbur Smith the legend

Only after finishing this excellent auto biography do you truely understand this incredible writer

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  • Cal777
  • 07-18-18

Fantastic.........

5 out 5 Really enjoyed listening to how all the carictors came about,form this wonderful story teller.

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  • Ruthie7
  • 09-28-18

"What a Life"

VERY GOOD.... as only Wilbur does. It brought back so many memories as I too grew up in Zimbabwe.

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  • Peter
  • 09-20-18

Very interesting

A nice book about Wilbur Smith and where he came from and how he got the inspiration for his stories. Well written and well read.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Nigel Bentley
  • 09-25-18

Learning the Story Behind all those Books

Totally enjoyed this autobiography, and especially Saul's reading performance of it. Immersion in the sights, sounds and experiences of Southern Africa. From boyhood, to manhood and along the way explpring the writer's journey

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  • geoff
  • 06-28-18

wonderful storyteller

A really good insight to a wonderful life of writing and story telling. Great life

2 people found this helpful

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  • Marnie
  • 03-26-20

excellent 👍

One of the best books I have read and I'm looking forward to reading more if his books

1 person found this helpful

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  • Gary
  • 02-21-20

At last...

At last notated by someone that can pronounce all the words especially the African ones...

1 person found this helpful

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  • stevehsnr
  • 05-31-18

Autibiography

I didn’t realise when I bought this audiobook that it was Smiths autobiography and I was a little disappointed when I realised it was. However,I persevered with it and was so glad I did. What an interesting life and,of course, Wilbur Smith’s beautiful prose.

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  • rozithepirate
  • 05-22-18

Actually I give it 6 stars!

An amazing read. Long awaited life story of the wonderful Wilbur Smith. I can honestly say it was as good as it gets. What a wonderful life story. Please can we have another installment.

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  • Pat Smallwood
  • 07-31-22

So glad to have listened to this now twice over

A great listen a must for any story teller or writer will gladly do so again

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  • readsAlot
  • 04-17-22

horrible

Begins with the hunting of a lion. Says it all. This type of blood sport should have been banned generatiosn ago.

I was deeply disappointed having previously enjoyed the many fictional books he has penned.

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  • sleeman
  • 06-28-21

Always self promoting

Dear Wilbur, you left out all the bits that matter. Children, wives, your self indulgence

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-21-18

Great story

A genuine adventurer offering an insight into his life.
One of the worlds best authors gives insight into how his stories came about.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-10-22

Excellent autobiography

Very encouraging to hear the struggles and eventual successes of a prolific author. Having read most of Wilbur Smith's books, it was interesting to learn the background of his life and experiences which lead to him to become such a successful author.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 04-28-22

Just fantastic!

Loved hearing this story of Wilburs outstanding and incredible life - a marvelous listen. At times you can picture clearly the exact situation he's portraying. Quite a story teller!

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  • Outback Jerky
  • 03-23-22

The great Wilbur Smith

A brilliant listen to the history behind the life and times of Wilbur Smith. I am saddened to recently finding out of his passing. He had a full adventurous life. As normal his books draw one into his reality. Highly recommended to read and understand the man behind his gift of emersive writing. I personally feel akin to Wilbar as I was born on the Copper Belt in Zambia many years later also to being raised in Rhodesia elephant and lion hunting during the war. Unbelievable that I too have travelled in some of this great authors footsteps. Barring the writing of course. Excellently narrated audio book.

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  • Ian Docherty
  • 01-26-22

Magnificent Story Telling

Wilbur Smith tells the story of his life in the same manner of his books. It draws you in and traps you until he’s done telling his story. I loved it, it’s as good as his fictional novels.