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(Falconhurst #1)

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  840 ratings  ·  84 reviews
From wikipedia:
Mandingo is a novel by Kyle Onstott, published in 1957. The book is set in the 1830s in the antebellum South primarily around Falconhurst, a fictional plantation in Alabama owned by the planter Warren Maxwell. The narrative centers on Maxwell, his son Hammond, and the Mandingo (or Mandinka) slave Ganymede, or Mede. It is a tale of cruelty toward the blacks o
Mass Market Paperback, 640 pages
Published March 12th 1983 by Fawcett (first published 1957)
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Average rating 3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  840 ratings  ·  84 reviews

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2.5 Stars

First I'd like to thank Mrs. Wilson and her yard sale. She so kindly let me a complete stranger go in her house and use her bathroom. While I was in her house I stopped in her living room to admire her bookshelf(as any good booknerd would). While looking at her shelf I spotted this book Mandingo and rudely picked it up and started reading it(God! I didn't realize how rude I was until right now) she comes in and catches me. I of course was super embarrassed and apologized profusely. I to
Feb 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book many years ago. I don't remember the whole story; however, I remember it is about slavery in the U.S. I think this is a historical fiction because the book actually reflexes many of the atrocities that actually occurred during slavery. The characters are not real; however, slave owners, overseers, and slaves are a historical fact. Slaves had to work as house and field slaves under owners and overseers who saw them as property rather than human beings. Slaves had to live in poor ...more
Aug 09, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Now this book is about fifty flavors of racist, and bigotry just leaps from the pages, yet it is a compelling read. Not for the faint of heart or the historically literate, it's like a train wreck -- once you start, you can't put it down!

Onstott is not a "Great American Writer", but he takes some of the most hated traditions of an evil institutions and blends them into a sexy soap opera and somehow it becomes memorable.

Don't get me wrong, it's not a "Must Read" by any stretch of the imagination
Oct 18, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: patient readers with morbid curiosity, the not easily offended
Shelves: dead-tree
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Petra X living life blissfully,not through books!
Dec 30, 2014 added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Petra X living life blissfully,not through books! by: orion
This book published in 1957 is apparently very racist and does not take the negative view of slavery that the post-60s civil rights era changed for most people. I'm interested in reading it from that angle. ...more
Dee's Reading Zone
This story is not for the faint at heart because it is racism at its worst but it was the way of life in the antebellum South in Alabama- plantation: Falconhurst! Characters were well-rounded and language raw.

Hammond's wife Blanche was not a virgin (like all the slaves he like to bed) piece of work and played her part well of a vengeful wife and jealous slave mistress on the plantation. Hammond was a likable slave owner but he showed too many sides of what the white man was allowed (elitist) an
Tracy Verma
Sep 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thought this book was a little rough around the edges and may offend some that read it but for me it opened a veil into another time and showed a sad and violent truth. I loved this book and have read it more than once. The characters are very well developed and the storyline is interesting. This is one of my favorite books although I wouldn't recommend it to everyone as it paints an ugly picture of the past that some do not wish to see. ...more
Alan Smith
I was a hot-blooded young adolescent when I first discovered Lance Horner and Kyle Onstott's "Falconhurst" series, and they hooked me totally. These authors built up a kind of fictionalized Deep South comparable to Hardy's Wessex, and while the books varied in quality, they were usually an entertaining read. Revisiting the works in adulthood I found a few flaws - plots tend to be a bit samey, the dialogue of the Negro slaves can be wearying to decipher, and it's hard to fall for the implication ...more
Juxhin Deliu
Conceived as a nefarious recollection of the many cruelties towards black people in the antebellum South period, it is nevertheless more focused on pulpy intrigues, which seem pretty tame to today's standards (also due to the plot's weak rendition). You can also tell it was clearly meant to be serialized, given its raciness brought enormous success, however, with these premises I will not indulge in any of the so-called prequels/sequels. Same goes for Onstott's other publications, whom I sense t ...more
George Kouri
May 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book as a teenager and in hindsight I can say that it made quite an impression on me. First it was mature reading beyond my years and second it was a crash course on slavery in America. Impressive on both counts.
Dec 04, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: americana
This was an agonizingly long novel with no seeming point except to draw out the double-standards of Southern Culture; and the social ills of Southern White Men.
Barbara "Cookie" Serfaty Williams

This is the story of the Falconhurst Plantation. Own by the Maxwell family. This plantation raise slaves not cotton. This book show the love, death and life of slaves and people of a plantation.
Marwah  .Qoura
Read it long time ago from my Dad 's library, very hard to read especially the ending.. Does not sugar coat anything, here is slavery at its truest!.. and it's the ugliest indeed.. Not for impatient people or faint of heart.... ...more
Feb 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First published in 1959, before the civil rights movement had changed much in the USA, Mandingo is a book that takes a harsh and simplistic view of slavery in the 1830's South. As the author recreates this period, slaves are animals to be bred, worked, and sold as the owners see fit. The N-word is used frequently, and slaves are represented as simple-minded and devoted to their owners. Bored by their rural life, young white men enjoy sex with their female slaves and wagering on fights between th ...more
John Tatum
Mar 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was my introduction to slavery as it was practiced here in the United States long before my family came to the American shores. While not a novel of "high style", it is a novel that showed the brutality of slavery long before Alex Haley even thought about writing "Roots". Given the background of the author in "dog show judging", he gave a unique perspective of a "master" who treated his slaves worse than one would treat a dog. Warning, this book is BRUTAL and makes "Roots" look like a ...more
Sandi (Zorena)
This was in a pile of what I'll call my Mom's trash books along with the Harold Robbins and Jacqueline Susann. I would read anything within hand's reach then as there was only the school library or a very small town book store.

All I can say is "What an eye opener for a young Canadian girl". While I knew the book itself wasn't fact it taught me a little more than school was teaching me about our southern neighbours. I ended up reading the whole pile that Mom had as it was fascinating yet sickeni
Lindy Bell
My father had all of these books and they were quite sensational in their day, so I sneakily read them as a teenager. I read Mandingo again a few years ago and was able to view it as a much older adult. It is very racist and yet the white characters are not portrayed sympathetically either. The writer does not form "sides"; he writes the characters' stories almost dispassionately and the reader is left to form his own opinion as to each character's merits or failings, and the culture of the time ...more
Nov 27, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
When I read this in the 1970s I was quite surprised to learn that it had been published in 1957. It portrays slavery and racism in the 1800s and, in that portrayal, it is sure to offend post-60s sensibilities. As the historic conditions of slavery go, this is mild except, maybe, in the minds of our contemporaries. The plot is strong and the writing is competent so it's no struggle at all to read. I won't recommend it for anyone in particular, though. If you read it just keep in mind that it's a ...more
Jul 05, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Now we are adding books from my father's extensive booklist - not so well-known authors with not so noble plots. Certainly this story is a compelling one - and from an awful time in our country's history when folks could own other people and do terrible things to them. A story of bigotry, lust and hatred. ...more
Dec 30, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was in middle school when I read this and I found the duality fascinating and disturbing. Wow, I had forgotten what the cover even looked like, but I remember the title and the dog-eared pages of scenes that got passed around the lunch table...
Ann Cross
Apr 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read this series many years ago. Loved the books.
I'm adding this because I want to add a new category: "miscegenation sensation". And because Tracey reminded me of it; the book, I mean. ...more
One of my favorite books. I have read it many many times.
Nimmi Ragavan
Mar 07, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mandingo was published in 1957, under the Blue laws which prohibited the discussion of sexual issues except as fiction or in scientific writings. Which meant a lot of what happened to slaves could not be written about in the news reports or documentary writing. The following is from a Quora writer:

Mandingo is not about a basically good white man, but a basically evil white man who because he is a slave owner can pass himself off as good. He watches as another man rapes a slave, then goes about a
John Ferreira
I'm giving it 4 stars because it delivered on what it promised.

When I started this book, I was saying to myself, "What trash! How scandalous!" And, I enjoyed every word of it. The book is mostly about sex. Though for all the sex that people have, had, or want, there is no descriptions of the acts themselves. No DH Lawrence narration of quivering mounds, or hard body parts. But, leaving things to the imagination does have its virtues.

I came to a point where I just took in the book as it was. Noth
Sly Schmidt
Apr 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I remember this book series being on my mothers book shelf from a very early pubescent age. I wanted to read it because the cover intrigued me. She would never let me read it and after finding it a few weeks ago I see why.
It was a captivating tale, as it offers a view of slavery I had never heard of before. Fir starters the "mastahs" in this book speak no better than the slaves. The slaves seem to accept and often seem quite happy with their lot in life to serve in their inferior capacity, even
Jan 08, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mandingo by Kyle Onstott was tough to read and understandably so due to the controversial topic of slavery. I gave the book 4 stars and was not triggered by the violence depicted in the plot. I read the book with an open mind knowing that there would be some abhorrent acts done to black people. Whenever I read books like this I read them with this in mind and try to think of the plotline as a historical depiction of what it was like to live in the antebellum south. After finding out this book an ...more
Schuyler Wallace

I first read “Mandingo” as a young teen and, as I recall, was titillated by its sexuality and shocked by its brutality. I just read it again and found the sexuality greatly diminished and the shock value diluted by more recent revolting narratives. So my review will reflect my latest opinion.

Kyle Onstott made no apology for writing this book to make money. He achieved his goal. It sold well, was made into a movie that was widely viewed (and panned), and was never considered anything but a sensat
May 01, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, historical
This is a very old book that I meant to read many years ago but never did for one reason or another. It’s about a plantation in the south in the 1850’s. They do grow cotton, but their major crop is slaves. They are involved in selective breeding of members of one particular African tribe. Their slaves are well fed and seldom beaten. They don’t want marks on them.
The book was alright. I would recommend Beulah Land by Lonnie Coleman instead.
Eric Edwards
Dec 20, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
DNF. There is “trying to get a taste of a time period” and then there is “slave porn” and this book is the latter. I tried to read it but felt so morally queasy. And having no real overriding good reason for reading this book I stopped.
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(Information from the article "The Master of Mandingo" by Rudy Maxa, which appeared in The Washington Post, July 13, 1975.)

The son of a midwestern general store owner, he moved to California with his widowed mother in the early 1900s and was a local breeder and judge in regional dog shows. He was an eccentric who was happy with a life of little work, ample cigarettes, and gin.

After collaborating w

Other books in the series

Falconhurst (1 - 10 of 14 books)
  • Drum
  • Master of Falconhurst
  • Falconhurst Fancy
  • The Mustee
  • Heir To Falconhurst
  • Flight to Falconhurst
  • Mistress of Falconhurst
  • Taproots of Falconhurst
  • Scandal of Falconhurst
  • Rogue of Falconhurst

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