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Men of Men (The Ballantyne Novels, #2)
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Men of Men (Ballantyne #2)

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  1,683 ratings  ·  39 reviews
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 m
Mass Market Paperback, 720 pages
Published October 31st 2006 by St. Martin's Paperbacks (first published 1981)
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The second book in Smith's Ballantyne series, and a follow up to A FALCON FLIES. This book carries on in the first one's wake, taking up the story of Zouga Ballantyne as he tries his luck in the new-fashioned Kimberley Mines under the beady eye of empire-builder Cecil Rhodes.

MEN OF MEN is a novel of two halves and the first half is particularly gripping. It's all about the diamond mines, and Smith once again mixes technical detail with human incident to great effect. You never get bogged down in
Barbara ★
Wilbur Smith's books tend to be based in Africa during the 1800s when England and Englishmen seize control of huge tracks of land and kill or force out the native people. Usually these books involve gold digging and/or diamond mining. This book is no different. The end of the book is very violent and off-putting at times. If the treatment of native Africans during this time period offends you, I suggest that you skip this book.

That said, I enjoyed this book immensely as it is a family saga with
Rishi Prakash
Absolutely brilliant...Smith has got a thrilling plot here which carried on from his last book "A falcon flies"...there are so many sub plots that it keeps you on the edge after every chapter and everything starts connecting slowly as the book progresses. He has definitely taken the "Ballantyne" family story several notches higher with his second book :) As always,Africa looks so fascinating and mythical through his eyes, no one can match it for sure!!
Wilbur Smith does a masterful job of bringing to readers the destruction of native Africa's way of life at the turn of the century. Zouga Ballantyne and his two sons, Ralph and Jordan become involved with Cecil Rhodes who is building his own empire within the British sphere of influence. Zouga once again meets his sister, Robyn who is still using her medical skills along with her husband to give aid to the population. The effects of the mining for gold and diamonds are powerful in telling of the ...more
Nahuel Bernues
La continuacion de la saga Ballantyne, principalmente centrado en el personaje de Zouga. El libro resulta mucho mas interesante que el anterior, mas entretenido y mucho mas dinamico. El desarrollo del protagonista en conjunto con su hijo Ralph, esta bien desarrollado; y, sin lugar a dudas, el personaje de Zouga es mucho mas humano de a lo que W.S. tiene acostumbrado. Se entienden algunas cuestiones del primer libro, y su desarrollo, en especial con respecto al personaje de Zouga y sus desventura ...more
Mark Edlund
Historical fiction
Smith continues his story of the Ballantyne family in South Africa. The game is now much thinner after the whites have been slaughtering it for decades. The diamond mine at Kimberly continually needs new labour to keep expanding it. Zouga and Ralph Ballantyne are the main focus as they dig for diamonds. Cecil Rhodes plays a part. More than half way through the book the characters from the first book are brought in. Still sad to say a great civilization laid waste due to the whi
This is the first (and will be the last) Wilbur Smith book I've read. As I had suspected from the start, it's a walloping great macho saga, full of testosterone and peopled by unpleasant, greedy characters. Fine for a beach read, but not much more. A shame really because Smith's description of Africa itself is vivid and clear - the only strong character study in the whole piece. His grasp of the period is good and I genuinely enjoyed reading about the harsh life in the diamond fields. I understa ...more
Carole Mills
I registered a book at!
Jul 25, 2008 Anbamuthan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: All with a pioneer's blood.
This saga of 18 century Africa is filled with adventure, itrigue, passion and violence. I read this book when i was in college. i had bought it from a second hannd book store and never bothered or had the time to read it. One day i had nothing to do and started browsing my bookshelf and through the pages of MEN OF MEN. That was it. I started reading and did not rest till i completed it. The characters are impressive and strong. Zouga ballantyne and Ralph are some of the most memorable ones i hav ...more
More horny South Africans...
Maxi Shelton
Wilbur Smith is one of my favourite authors to listen to on audio book. He is not for the faint hearted or weak stomached. He doesn't hold back with any of the descriptions on anything, truly! He will take you on a journey thats full of riches to just basically disgusting. You can almost hear, see and smell each scene he describes, you want to reach out and touch the riches and shrink away from the filth. It's something we all need to experience, great listen/read!
Another good one but so many story lines happening that I actually had to go back and read a bit again. Still elephants and slaves and missionaries but with a Zulu war in Zimbabwe thrown in for good measure. The Whites were certainly terrible to the Zulus with their modern weapons versus spears and shields but the Zulus allegedly wiped out a million other natives when they took over Zimbabwe a generation earlier.
David Hurst
More guilty pleasure. A great romp of a book
Hiram Kamau
We can learn from these men who pioneered in reigning in the South of Africa. I was really impressed by Cecil Rhodes- a true pioneer with a truly inspiring drive. and of course Zouga stands out with his never-die attitude.

this is an amazing book that has been outstandingly woven

Andrew A.
I love Wilbur Smith's books! If you have any interest in Africa, especially South Africa, he's the author for you. So descriptive! I always say, I can almost feel the heat and smell the rain, hear the roar of the lion or thunder of hooves... Great author, great story!
As usual with Wilbur Smith books allot of power and violence. Somehow while reading the book I double checked myself to be sure that I have not read it as the scenario's seemed familiar. Not sure I will read more books from this series.
a sweeping adventure across the late 19th century history of South to Central Africa through diamond mining and Rhodes persuit of a route Northwards through modern day Zambia with the Valentine family; smashing read!
Alexander Kennedy
Wilbur Smith does an amazing job of bringing together the lives of people from very different cultures. The book is full of action, deep friendship, and Smith's usual array of impressive vocabulary.
The 2nd book... focues on the father and the sons... mostly the sons as they grow up... same basis... the exploitation of Africa and Africans... great historical fiction i think...
Book number 2 of Wilbur Smith's Ballantyne series. Featured is the 19th Century empire builder Cecil Rhodes and the formation of Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe. Give it 4 stars.
Saskia (Smitie)
Het boek kon me na 60 paginas nog niet boeien. Of het aan de karakters, tijdsperiode of verhaal ligt weet ik niet, maar dit boek gaat via Bookcrossing weer verder op reis.
Another good Wilbur Smith book, classic format - however it really lost it's way in the last quarter. Jumped around and quite disjointed, shame really.
Da leggere, anche se non raggiunge i livelli di Quando vola il falco, che deve essere letto necessariamente prima di questo romanzo.
Some Characters have very questionable morals, but Most all of Wilbur Smith's Characters do.
Velice reálný pohled na dobývání afrického kontinentu "velice tolerantní" evropskou kulturou.
Katie Grainger
Classic Wilbur Smith....good story, great characters, a good second novel in the series.
Bill Gordon
I've only two to go in the Ballantyne series. So far they have all been great reads.
Heather Tisdale
It's probably a 4 1/2. I really liked it. It makes me sad for what was once Africa.
Good history of the Kimberly mine fields and the beginning of Zimbabwe.
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Wilbur Smith is the bestselling author of many novels, each meticulously researched on his numerous expeditions worldwide. His bestselling Courtney series includes Assegai, The Sound of Thunder, Birds of Prey, Monsoon, and Blue Horizon. His other books include Those in Peril, River God, Warlock, The Seventh Scroll, and The Sunbird. His books are now translated into twenty-six languages and have so ...more
More about Wilbur Smith...

Other Books in the Series

Ballantyne (5 books)
  • A Falcon Flies (The Ballantyne Novels, #1)
  • The Angels Weep (The Ballantyne Novels, #3)
  • The Leopard Hunts in Darkness (The Ballantyne Novels, #4)
  • The Triumph of the Sun
River God (Ancient Egypt, #1) The Seventh Scroll (Ancient Egypt, #2) Warlock: A Novel of Ancient Egypt (Ancient Egypt, #3) When the Lion Feeds (Courtney, #1) Monsoon (Courtney #10)

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