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The Diamond Hunters

3.72  ·  Rating Details ·  2,187 Ratings  ·  56 Reviews
When the Van Der Byl Diamond Company is willed by its founder to his son Benedict, it turns out to be a bequest of hatred.
Published July 1st 1988 by MacMillan General Books (first published 1970)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Barbara ★
WOW starts off with an asswipe of a guy, Jacobus Van Der Byl setting his two kids and stepkid against each other for control of the family diamond mine in South Africa. And morphs into back-stabbing, treachery with a side of betrayal and unfaithfulness. A rather suspenseful free-for-all ensues that is exciting enough to keep one rapidly turning pages to see who is going to prevail and who is going to go down in flames. Excellent!
Baz M
Sep 09, 2015 Baz M rated it really liked it

A high 3 stars. This is so far from my usual genres and I've never read a Wilbur Smith before but this won't be my last.
I learnt loads throughout this book and gained a great appreciation for the Saffa diamond trade.
This book definitely ages well and when you pass the halfway mark, all hell breaks loose and the action begins. Storms and bloodshed ensue!
Thomas Strömquist
A bit simple and formulaic adventure/thriller with an uncomplicated hero character fighting bad guys with no redeeming character traits. Straightforward story and a quick read.
Dec 08, 2011 Andi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very easy Wilbur Smith - I think a one off story. A good blokes book.
Sep 16, 2014 Riana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Orphan Johnny Lance grows up side-by-side with Benedict and Tracey van der Byl, the two children that he has always loved like brother and sister. That is, until one unfortunate night, his life changes forever. Johnny devotes his life to the family business – Van Der Byl Diamonds – in an unfathomable desire for approval and triumph.

The Diamond Hunters is the first book I have read of Wilbur Smith. The cover looks like something I would’ve found on my grandparents’ bookshelf and some of the Afrik
May 01, 2015 Katya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1970s, african
О, гос-по-ди.

Не очаквах една стара книга да ми хареса толкова много. Уилбър Смит е написал един доста интересен морски роман в който се изгубвах от време на време, но въпреки това ме очарова. (Сега ще се опитам да направя подробно ревю, нещо, което не се е случвало от доста време.)

Да започнем със самата история на главния герой. Става въпрос за едно малко момче, отблъснато по доста грозен начин от баща си (не биологичния). Същия този баща му нанася потресаващ бой заради чиста проява на истинска
Jul 10, 2016 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An entertaining, tightly written novel by one of the master story tellers of the last four decades.

"The Diamond Hunters" is not complicated and is a really short tale. However, Smith holds the readers attention by moving swiftly to develop the characters and plot. During the development process, he also does not leave much to chance when it comes to who you the reader will likely be rooting for. Moreover, the pace of his story is very fast, with almost no slow or sluggish parts.

Despite the bre
Jul 30, 2014 Patricia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book is a trip, of one man from boyhood, through adolescence and early adulthood. Through mistakes in love, and final acknowledgement of love, and of the passions that drive us all.
A childhood rivalry, strongly encouraged by the father-figure of two men, eventually creates a disaster. The same interaction eventually leads to an admission of a somewhat unconventional love that has also endured since childhood.
An adopted son was pushed to excell as part of what he had to do to be accepted int
May 09, 2011 Graham rated it liked it
Shelves: thriller, africa
One of the author's shortest efforts and perhaps his most simple tale. This one's a then-modern day thriller about the heirs of a diamond company battling over finances, but of course it's far more exciting than it sounds from that premise. Smuggling, murder, love, hate, jealousy and misunderstanding are all involved in a fine exploration of the human condition.

After the initial set up, things play out pretty quickly as Smith distils the situation into a 'protagonist vs. smugglers' showdown. It'
M. A. P.
Nov 14, 2014 M. A. P. rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel-novella
My first Wilbur Smith book, which left me slightly unimpressed. It's possible this feeling is a direct result of having developed high expectations, after numerous recommendations for Wilbur Smith books. Or maybe The Diamond Hunters really isn't one of his best books to start the enthusiasm with. Yet, I did enjoy it while it lasted, though for reasons other than the action-packed adventure, or the characters (whom I found to be unfortunately one-dimensional, to be frank).

The story revolves aroun
Jan 05, 2009 MiniSagas rated it did not like it
Shelves: crime
Summary: Silly man spends a life time desperately seeking the approval of his wicked foster father, competing against his wicked foster brother and saving the beautiful, but equally silly, princess.//

My first ever Wilbur Smith -- he's quite a popular writer, I'm told. This is one of the books read by R this year. He mostly liked it and was particularly pleased with the twist at the end. I, huh, thought it was dull. Tedious and dull. Oh, and predictable and not at all redeemed by the twist at the
Jan 29, 2013 Julie rated it really liked it
Not read anything by this author before, picked the book when i was shopping as it was cheap and blurb sounded interesting. Well, I'm so pleased i did, it was very quick to get into story, fabulous characters, you will soon have a favourite, very fast paced, no matter what you think will happen you can guarantee it will be even more unexpected than you thought possible, but remaining so true to life. Cant say much more without spoilers, but i will certainly be looking for other books by him.
Oct 09, 2011 Suby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The entire story is written with the background of Diamond prospecting and recovery in South Africa. The story ends with a minor diamond company purchasing a special ship that can recover diamonds from under sea beds. The narrative is gripping and it is the insights into the diamond industry that gives the story its charm. Plenty of intrigues, deceits and other aberrations of human behavior. I managed to read the book in just one one day! A real adventure story, I would say.
Aug 13, 2013 Ron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Think I have read every Smith novel before Sun King. A really different kind of treat are Smith's books. You get high adventure and beautiful descriptions of wild Africa. Makes you want to go there.

Highly recommend Wilbur Smith works. The Burning Shore, A Sparrow Falls, The Sound of Thunder,Eagle in the Sky,Hungry as the Sea,Sunbird, Eye of the Tiger,Shout at the Devil. You cannot go wrong with any of these.
Aug 17, 2016 Bobbie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Drama involving a diamond-mining family. One of the 2 sons is told he is adopted but his "father" is very cold and mean. Adopted son is attracted to his "sister." Brother is awful person. A lot of spelling and grammatical errors. This is just not the kind of book I like. Almost all soap-opera and not much action. Familiar tale with man spending whole life trying to earn the love and respect of father figure. I only skimmed through this in one day.
Copyright 1971 and 2005
Kyosuke Torihara
May 24, 2016 Kyosuke Torihara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
2. 80min.
3. Jacobus, rich, plentiful, diamonds, ship, explode,Johnny
4. a) Johnny...I love you.
b) I can understand Tracey's feeling. She couldn't help Johnny. She could just stare him from the helicopter. It is a lonely thing.
5. It was difficult for me to understand situation especially last part. I think people want to be rich. But there is a problem. If they take an action, the bad things happen not only story but also around us.
Aug 01, 2011 Ian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was such a daft premise for a book - Wilbur Smith often uses the themes of sibling rivalry, but usually to much better effect. However, it is fast-paced, full of action - and if you like his style of writing, he tends to be pretty consistent. As always, the muscle-bound hero wins and gets the girl. Oh, and the diamonds too. Hope I didn't give anything away there.
Apr 07, 2010 Denise rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dan-s-books
Not bad for light reading, don't expect much out of it. Was a story about hate, love and sex in the diamond mines of Africa. Had a few nuggets of information about diamond classifications that were interesting. Was a first book for me of this author, am going to try one of his series to see if I like any better.
Sogni Marzapane
Nov 20, 2015 Sogni Marzapane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Inizio col dire che già conosco Wilbur Smith perché ho letto la saga degli Egizi e mi ha molto appassionata, sia nel modo scorrevole in cui è scritta, sia nelle informazioni contenute persino nei più piccoli dettagli di quell’epoca.
Feb 15, 2011 Nichola rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I only read this to see if my son could read it, as he picked it off the shelf. Verdict- not right for a young child even if he is an advanced reader, and not my kind of book either. Too flashy, dramatic, and some creepy fighting off animals in the desert. But hey, maybe the diamond business is really like that.
Jan 20, 2012 Bubba61909 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I didn't think that I would like this book but I was wrong. The book kept me on the edge of my seat until the last page. I really enjoyed the authors style and the way he set up the book. If you are looking for a good read then this is the author for you.
Donna Dieckmann
Dec 20, 2016 Donna Dieckmann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015, 2016, read-again
A story of greed, power and of the good guy, Johnny.

A man looking for love and acceptance from his "father",
Which will he ever receive?
Also the tortured young love, will it happen?
What good are the diamonds?6
Erin Berry
Fairly interesting about other ways of diamond mining (such as dredging the ocean floor)in South Africa. This book was written in the 70's and seems to reflect those times. The characters are a bit obnoxious for me although this may be how those diamond tycoons behave.
First book by Wilbur Smith i've read, it's an adventure book, nothing to add. Generally i like stories about pirates/ships but in this specific book i found the "middle part" boring, i preferred the start and the ending!
Nov 25, 2010 Manuela rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Smith sa fare di meglio. La trama e le avventure dei protagonisti risultano essere un po' forzate e descritte meno spontaneamente del solito. Li ho letti tutti di Smith, e questo mi pare uno dei peggiori.
Jun 15, 2016 Shahrun rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wilbur-smith
Quick bit of reading escapism. It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't outstanding either. I didn't find it that believable. One thing that is interesting is how current the book feels, considering the 1971 copyright date.
Satyabrat Mishra
Jul 07, 2013 Satyabrat Mishra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Set in the picturesque beaches of South Africa, this thriller is of my type; encompassing psychological elements with envy on the border of destruction in the background. Wilbur Smith's narration is as always very powerful and driving. 3 and a half
Feb 19, 2008 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
"A pretty twisted South African diamond family plays out a tragic tale, but the adopted son and good daughter win out in the end. Many interesting aspects about diamonds are shared along the way. Dated now in fun ways, but Wilbur Smith is simply a cut above average."
Feb 24, 2013 Christine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This is an adventure that evolves around sibling rivalry and a task set by the will of the patriarch; may the best son win. Although, in fact the hero / good guy in this plot is not actually a blood relative. There are diamonds, affairs, murder, adventure and more. Loved this book.
Maria Beltrami
Il mio unico Wilbur Smith, classico regalo di Natale della serie "regaliamole un libro che tanto le piace leggere".
Non mi è dispiaciuto del tutto, come letteratura di evasione è andato anche bene, ma non intendo ripetere l'esperienza.
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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
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