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Men of Men (Ballantyne) [Kindle Edition]

Wilbur Smith
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product Description


" Action is Smith's game, and he is a master." "-- The Washington Post Book World"

Product Description

Men of Men by Wilbur Smith

It was called The Devils's Own: a steep scar in the African earth, around which men toiled with picks, shovels, and dreams of the milky treasures that would become prized, polished diamonds. In this demonic race, native tribesmen became miners. Sometimes they became thieves. And then they became rebels.

Zouga Ballantyne, an African-born Englishman, sees the Devil's Own mine as his ticket to the North: a realm of waterfalls and fertile plains, teeming wildlife, and seeded fields of gold. But what happens in the diamond mines of the fledgling Boer Free State sets the course for Ballantyne and a cast of comrades, enemies, and lovers--and for the continent itself.

From the visions of imperialists to the fury between a father and a son, from the lengths a man will go for a woman and a woman for her convictions, a tragic clash of generations and civilizations was shaking 19th-century Africa, where some warriors fought for their gods--and others for the men who came before them...

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1515 KB
  • Print Length: 720 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0312940726
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks (Oct. 31 2006)
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Probably the most boring of Smiths books. Dec 2 2005
And I thought Golden Fox was boring. Men of Men tops it for yawn-induced page turning.
One of Smiths early novels, it lacks much of what he did to hone his writing skills to the level of his last 4 paperbacks.
Don't get me wrong, I will read anything Smith. I just found this one a bit too slow.
Not recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars Sept. 5 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Good reading
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What enticed me to W.Smith's world Feb. 24 2006
By A Customer
After reading the Seventh Scroll many years ago, I was intrigued and after reading Men of Men, I was completely addicted to all the Courtneys and their surroundings.
You really feel as though you are sharing certain aspirations through some of the caracters.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars Dec 11 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
loved it
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  83 reviews
31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Solid Effort From Smith, Tho Not His Best Oct. 30 2005
By Chris Ward - Published on
First off, don't read this before its predecessor, "A Falcon Flies." All characters here are introduced in that book, the first of a four-book series on the Ballantynes. The first book is about the African slave trade, thickly larded with much sex and violence. This one's a bit better-- it follows lead character Zouga Ballantyne to the diamond fields of Kimberly, where he swears to make his fortune. We meet his sons and follow their adventures as well-- the book is best when it looks at the African tribes that must deal with white encroachment in the latter part of the 19th century. Smith writes gritty adventures/soap operas that entertain and inform, and while this one is good, it's not quite up to the standards of the Courtney novels, beginning with "Birds of Prey." Read that one first; if it piques your interest, you'll want to read the next 11 books in that series, then come back to try the Ballantynes....
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Read Nov. 22 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Men Of Men is a great book, especially if you read the Ballantyne novels in order. After reading A Falcon Flies the reader really starts to feel for the characters, and what happens to them. I loved this book, but not as much as the Courtneys novels. make sure you dont miss When The Lion Feeds.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 stars. Nov. 3 2006
By Huntress Reviews - Published on
The steep scar was called The Devil's Own. It set within the African wilderness. Native tribesmen became miners. They spilt their sweat and blood in their quests for diamonds. As with all mining ventures, there are thieves and the constant danger of murder.

Readers follow Zouga Ballantyne. He is an African-born Englishman, determined to make his fortune in Kimberly. But no one said it would be easy...and no one promised that the outside world would not interfere.

**** This is book two of four in the Ballantyne series. More time is given to the story plot since most character introductions were done in the first book, "A Falcon Flies". You do not have to read the first book before this one; however, you may find yourself lost if you do not. All-in-all, better than the first book, but still too long-winded in sections. ****

Reviewed by Scott for Huntress Reviews.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Sad but Extremely Well Written Story Nov. 27 2006
By John A Lee III - Published on
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The place is southern Africa and the time is the late 1800s. Diamonds have been found and the scramble is on to become rich. Among those headed to the diamond fields is the adventurer, Zouga Ballantyne. He is a capable man and knows Africa. He was born there and has made and lost fortunes there. He heads to the diamond fields with hope, not of becoming a diamond magnate, but of financing his real dream. He has a grand concession from the king of the Matabeles but has had no luck in raising capital. So it is that he turns to the diamond mines.

With him he takes his wife and two sons. His wife is a frail thing and has been disillusioned too many times. She does not last very long before succumbing to the filthy conditions of the boom town. That leaves Zouga with his sons and his dreams.

Mining is not easy. Labor is scarce and prices are inflated beyond belief. Still, he makes a go of it through hard work and honorable treatments of his peers. His sons develop, each with great skills and talents. Each make new relationships with the natives of Matabeleland. Eventually, though, the dream proves too elusive and each of the men, the boys are grown now, goes his own way.

They are reunited under the leadership of Cecil Rhodes, the famous, or infamous Robber Baron of the Victorian age. Rhodes has dreams not only of personal wealth but of empire. The three Ballantyne men are an instrumental part of his plans to seize and hold Matabeleland.

This story is well written and enjoyable to read. The characters are larger than life but believable and, the historically base ones seem true to form. It is a story of men with personal honor and men without any honor at all. This includes not only the Europeans but the native Africans as well.

It is sad to see how some of the friendships developed early on are damaged or even destroyed by the later conflicts of world views and cultures. One cannot help but feel some sadness at the passing of the Matabeles and the Zulus before them.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not his best.....still a big fan....still read it. Jan. 14 2007
By Jeffrey Roberts - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have read a dozen of wilbur smiths novels and will continue to the read the ballyntine saga, although I was very disappointed in this one. It was slow, too detailed, harder to follow and didn't live up to any of the courtney novels, the egyptian novels or the previous ballyntine novel....
However, you still have to read this book, the entire saga is awesome, the characters grow on you and he brings the land alive.....
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