Reviews of "Men of Men"

Discussion about Wilbur Smith's Ballantyne series

Rate;Men of Men

10 - Brilliant
9
35%
9
8
31%
8
5
19%
7
2
8%
6
2
8%
5
0
No votes
4
0
No votes
3
0
No votes
2
0
No votes
1 - pathetic attempt at literature
0
No votes
 
Total votes : 26

Reviews of "Men of Men"

Postby Nefer » Sun Apr 16, 2006 4:20 pm

I'm going to be honest here & admit I really don't remember much of what happened in this book, except for the creepy Umlimo character & her prophesy, which I never understood.

Am wondering what everyone thought of the history in this particular re: Rhodes & company? & their dealings with Lobengula.
"If I ever ask anything of you it would be to please consider life with an open mind and respect the opinions and wishes of others as long as they bring no harm to you and as long as you bring no harm or corruption to others."
~ Jason Mraz
User avatar
Nefer
Geek in the Pink
Geek in the Pink
 
Posts: 1904
Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2005 9:20 pm
Location: Vancouver, BC

Postby Nefer » Sat Oct 28, 2006 1:48 pm

I'm finally re-reading the book and am half-way through alaready!

Must say I'm at a point where I'm so suprised that Zouga doesn't just shoot himself - poor man has been through so much. Of all the WS heros, he somehow feels more human to me than all the others.

Spoiler:
Because I've read the book before, I was in such agony when Ralph brings up the blue rock with the massive diamond in it! That and none of them knew that the blue was going to make them all rich beyond their wildest dreams - they just didn't have the key! Argh!!! And then Zouga just hands everything over to Rhodes on a damn plate!! Too much tradegy in one book... and it makes me like Zouga even more :)


Will report back with more!
"If I ever ask anything of you it would be to please consider life with an open mind and respect the opinions and wishes of others as long as they bring no harm to you and as long as you bring no harm or corruption to others."
~ Jason Mraz
User avatar
Nefer
Geek in the Pink
Geek in the Pink
 
Posts: 1904
Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2005 9:20 pm
Location: Vancouver, BC

Postby Nefer » Mon Nov 06, 2006 4:58 pm

I finished the book on the weekend - gave it an 8.

I forgot how visceral and powerful it was. Ralph's character epitomises so much of what has happened in Africa.

The depiction of Lobengula I found a little hard to believe - seemed so dramatic, but I guess WS was trying to make a point with it.

Rhodes was as ever - unlikeable. I found it hard, but him and Ralph are very much the same people. :( Sucks because there is much to like about Ralph.

I just never saw how he turned into someone who just wants more for the sake of it. His friendship meant something to him, yet he admited that it really didn't when he realised he may have shot Bazo. I still can't wrap my mind around that complexity.

Am off to start the next book... so much for spending my 3 hr break @ uni catching up on work!
"If I ever ask anything of you it would be to please consider life with an open mind and respect the opinions and wishes of others as long as they bring no harm to you and as long as you bring no harm or corruption to others."
~ Jason Mraz
User avatar
Nefer
Geek in the Pink
Geek in the Pink
 
Posts: 1904
Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2005 9:20 pm
Location: Vancouver, BC

Postby joachy » Thu Jan 04, 2007 5:47 am

Overall this book was good; although I actually read it before I read A Falcon Flies; so I ended up flipping through it again. If the Ballantyne books are a fairly accurate description of Zimbabwe's history (a bit of poetic licence aside) then it is absolutely fascinating. I was shocked by how both Zouga and Ralph seemed to betray their friends Gandang and Bazo and Lobengula . . . or have I misinterpreted the whole thing?

I do have some comment on one tiny passage within the book - the part where Robyn Codrington, upon finding out about her husbands death, had sex with the man who told her of his death within minutes of hearing it. The man who told her was none other than Mungo St John; who she abhors because of his history as a slave trader. I laughed so much at this point; I just could not believe that a woman who hates a man so much, would have sex with him the day he tells her about her husbands death (of which Mungo was responsible, although Robyn did not know that). This one little passage just defied belief. And then she married him, happily allowing him to act as a step father to Clinton Codrington's daughters? Sorry . . . I just found that segment totally unbelievable. I know Wilbur is sexist, and I know that he is allowed to write a story as he sees fit, but this was aspect just lacked credibility.

Overall though, the book is good. The myths regarding the Umlimo and the falcons throughout give the Ballantyne series an air of fantasy that is missing from Wilburs other books.

Cheers,

Craig (aka Joachy)
joachy
Junior Member
Junior Member
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2006 3:29 am

Postby audacter » Thu Feb 15, 2007 6:46 am

Well... what to say. I really enjoyed Men of Men, the plot was well developed and the way he showed the progression of greed really drew me in. Overall I rated it a 8 on the WS scale of books :)
audacter
Member
Member
 
Posts: 37
Joined: Fri Jul 21, 2006 3:51 am

Postby audacter » Thu Feb 15, 2007 6:55 am

joachy wrote:O
I do have some comment on one tiny passage within the book - the part where Robyn Codrington, upon finding out about her husbands death, had sex with the man who told her of his death within minutes of hearing it. The man who told her was none other than Mungo St John; who she abhors because of his history as a slave trader. I laughed so much at this point; I just could not believe that a woman who hates a man so much, would have sex with him the day he tells her about her husbands death (of which Mungo was responsible, although Robyn did not know that). This one little passage just defied belief. And then she married him, happily allowing him to act as a step father to Clinton Codrington's daughters? Sorry . . . I just found that segment totally unbelievable. I know Wilbur is sexist, and I know that he is allowed to write a story as he sees fit, but this was aspect just lacked credibility.


I think on this point you are not taking history into account. Have you read A Falcon Flies yet? If you haven't I don't want to ruin it for you but they have a past and that is the reason for her reaction to Mungo. This even continues into The Angels Weep but that is another story. I can see her powerful reaction considering the circumstances.
audacter
Member
Member
 
Posts: 37
Joined: Fri Jul 21, 2006 3:51 am

Postby Ramon » Tue Apr 03, 2007 1:08 am

Just finished "Men of men", and I must say it is amongst the best books I have read.

Spoiler:
If anyone else than Wilbur Smith would have written a book like this, he would have let Zouga find a big fat diamond early in the book. With the money he then would have gone north.

Wilbur just doesn't take the easy path. He lets Zouga go bankrupt, and you can't really see how he ever will make it to the north.

That's one of the things I like with Wilbur.


I gave it a 9/10.
Image
User avatar
Ramon
Member+
Member+
 
Posts: 177
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2005 7:02 am
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden

Postby delby » Fri Apr 06, 2007 5:32 am

I also gave this A nine only one thing spoiled it for me
Spoiler:
and that is the convenience of the death of Zougas wife leaving him free to fancy Mungos missus thats the only thing in willies books that I can find Fault with.



sorry I forgot that what spoiled it for me could be a spoiler duh(slaps dumb head)
Last edited by delby on Sun Jun 17, 2007 7:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
WILLIE SMITH IS KING
User avatar
delby
Veteran Member
Veteran Member
 
Posts: 352
Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2007 1:41 pm
Location: northeast uk ferryhill
Currently Reading: The Slave Stealer By Boyd Upchurch

Postby John R » Thu Jun 14, 2007 11:58 am

Just starting out on this book now, already Zouga's character is being developed. It seems a really interesting story line at the moment. And reading this reminds me why Wilbur's Stand alone books are not quite as good as the series, you have so much more time to get to love or hate each character in the series books. The prospect of reading men of men and finding out how Robyn, Clinton and Mungo are doing is a lot more exciting now, because of A Falcon flies.
User avatar
John R
Founder Member
 
Posts: 1376
Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2005 6:40 pm
Location: South Wales, UK
Currently Reading: A Time To Die

Postby delby » Sun Jun 17, 2007 7:42 am

OOOH JOhn I wash I was starting men of men for the first time

It was the last one of the four I read so it was like a gap filler and answered alot of questions for me

I really should learn to read series in order but I have no self control :lol:
WILLIE SMITH IS KING
User avatar
delby
Veteran Member
Veteran Member
 
Posts: 352
Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2007 1:41 pm
Location: northeast uk ferryhill
Currently Reading: The Slave Stealer By Boyd Upchurch

Postby John R » Sun Jun 17, 2007 1:47 pm

lol yeah it would help del if u read them in the right order! :razz:

Spoiler:
was surprised at the death of aletta. seems there was no point of her character other than to give us the 2 boys. Ralph and .....uh....wotever the other one's name is!!! The diamoind rush is just crazy! Wilbur takes u there in great detail, brilliant as always.
User avatar
John R
Founder Member
 
Posts: 1376
Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2005 6:40 pm
Location: South Wales, UK
Currently Reading: A Time To Die

Postby Penitent » Mon Jul 16, 2007 7:22 pm

I took a little break from Wilbur after “A Falcon Flies” and today I’m starting “Men of Men”. I hope my favorite characters from the first book. Codrington and Mungo come back to action!
The Penitent
User avatar
Penitent
Veteran Member
Veteran Member
 
Posts: 321
Joined: Tue Dec 26, 2006 4:42 pm
Location: Denver, CO

Re: Reviews of "Men of Men"

Postby jeffw » Tue Nov 27, 2007 10:13 am

Men of Men was written for men who know Africa, by a man who was born in Africa, for men who love Africa and understand the way it is. For those who struggle to understand such things as the 'Umlimo' and the aspirations of Rhodes at the time? Perhaps you should stick to 'jolly old Biggles', or a good old PC 'Secret Seven' - or was that part of Robyn's sex scene? Sounds like you wouldn't understand that either. :lol:
jeffw
Senior Member
Senior Member
 
Posts: 297
Joined: Sun Oct 28, 2007 7:31 am

Re: Reviews of "Men of Men"

Postby Matbow » Tue Nov 27, 2007 1:28 pm

jeffw wrote: For those who struggle to understand such things as the 'Umlimo' and the aspirations of Rhodes at the time? Perhaps you should stick to 'jolly old Biggles', or a good old PC 'Secret Seven' - or was that part of Robyn's sex scene? Sounds like you wouldn't understand that either. :lol:


Not really sure who you're criticising Jeffw, but seeing as though all the reviews of the book are extremely positive I think you're probably getting the wrong end of the stick.

jeffw wrote: Men of Men was written for men who know Africa, by a man who was born in Africa, for men who love Africa and understand the way it is.


Do you really believe this?! I think that's a very naive point of view to take. Wilbur Smith is an international best-seller, his books have widespread appeal to numerous market segments - different age groups, genders and geographical locations. How can you explain Wilbur Smiths success if his books are only aimed at (and understood by) men who know and understand Africa?

People who have never been to Africa can easily enjoy (and understand) this book just as much as someone who "knows" Africa, I know...I'm one of them.
“Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people.”

Forum Rules|Wilbur Smith FAQ|
Matbow
Webmaster
Webmaster
 
Posts: 1544
Joined: Tue Sep 13, 2005 11:34 am
Location: Boston, Ma
Currently Reading: Desert God

Re: Reviews of "Men of Men"

Postby nancytheframer » Thu Nov 12, 2009 4:52 pm

I am a woman that was given Monsoon several months ago, and to date have read all of the Courtney and Ballantyne series. These are books for anyone that loves to read, enjoys interesting characters, marvelous locations, and appreciates someone who knows how to write. I think Wilbur Smith fits the bill.

I loved the Ballantyne series, not quite as much as the Courtneys. I wasn't crazy about the first one, A Falcon Flies, but thoroughly enjoyed Men of Men, The Angels Weep, and The Leopard Hunts in Darkness.

Perhaps others disagree, but I think to really understand the characters, these books must be read in order, and also to get the appropriate feel for the country and the times.

I had never been particularly interested in Africa, but since reading Wilbur I have found myself searching on the net for other information, for example reading more about Cecil Rhodes, which I thoroughly despised. (By the way, Ralph's brother is Jordan.) In fact, except for the unrest I would really like to visit Africa. And I would really like to meet Wilbur Smith' he must be fascinating.
nancytheframer
Junior Member
Junior Member
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2009 1:23 pm
Currently Reading: Assegai


Return to The Ballantynes

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

cron