Sunday, February 19, 2017
Book Review: Zulu Dawn
After writing my double feature movie reviews last month, I decided to finally read the old copy of Zulu Dawn that's been occupying space in my library for, oh, I don't know for how long.
Zulu Dawn was written by Cy Endfield, who co-wrote the screenplay of the same name.
The book provides in-depth character backstories and introspection, as well as a more detailed narrative about the chain of events...
...that led up to the Battle of Isandlwana...
...along with its immediate aftermath.
Many of the scenes play out differently in the book than in the movie, but end with similar, if not identical results.
The Zulus themselves have a greater role in the book. This part of the story focuses on the young warrior Bayele, who is selected for one of many scouting missions. When he returns with news about the British invasion, he's chosen to lead a deception operation by allowing himself, along with two others, to be captured. Only after getting thoroughly roughed-up, he and his comrades try to mislead the British about the location of the main Zulu army.
Bayele gains his revenge by killing Colonel Henry Pulleine...
...and Lieutenant Vereker...
...who's fate in the movie was never clarified.
Since I like the movie, I liked the book, even though it doesn't even show up on a Google search for the best books about the Battle of Isandlwana.
While Zulu Dawn may not be the most scholarly work, Enfield's narrative is very readable, especially when describing the chaos of battle. Plus, after watching the movie so many times, it was easy for me to visualize the story.
Zulu Dawn gets a sunny 4-star rating.