Just started the Ballantynes No Spoiler thread!

Discussion about Wilbur Smith's Ballantyne series

Postby Bids » Thu Feb 15, 2007 4:38 pm

audacter wrote:So just an update since I started this thread... It has been slower then I thought, I only read when traveling and it was light the last few months.

I finished A Falcon Flies a great book!!!
Also read Men of Men, at least as good!

Working on The Angels weep... So far so good


Im at the exact same stage as you audacter. Currently just over 300 pages through The Angels Weep which is so far equaly as good as the first two. Im loving the historical side of these Ballantyne books
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Postby delby » Sun Feb 18, 2007 8:29 am

i am just about to finish leopard for the fifth time just done all the ballantynes in just over a week , they are by far the best of willies books
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Postby Ramon » Thu Mar 15, 2007 10:22 am

Hi.

Just started "A falcon flies".

I've read the Courtney's before (except the last three published), and so far The Ballantyne´s seems to give me great reading pleasure as well.
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Postby Ramon » Mon Mar 26, 2007 12:59 am

Ended "A Falcon Flies" this weekend, and I'm right on to "Men of Men".
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Postby Nefer » Mon Mar 26, 2007 8:46 am

What did you think of Falcon, Ramon?
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Postby Bee » Mon Mar 26, 2007 8:00 pm

Just started Angels Weep on the weekend and am slowly going to pluck my way through it. However the first 18 pages sucked me in and I can't wait to find out what happens next! :D
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Postby Ramon » Tue Mar 27, 2007 2:35 am

Nefer wrote:What did you think of Falcon, Ramon?


As usual with a Wilbur book it was hard to lay it down after I started to read it. Mostly I read on the bus to and from work, and of course before I turn the light off at night (unless my wife has some other plans...) And I must say that the bus rides have gone very fast these two past weeks.

If I should compare it to the first book (in writing order) in the Courtney saga, I rate "When the lion feeds" higher. Sean was a guy you liked from the start, whereas Zouga had some bad moments in my eyes.

I also have a hard time believing that Robyn and Zouga actually would survive the adventure. Ok, Zouga had been fighting in India (would have liked to read more about that), and there he might have learned to be the tough guy he is, but how can you explain Robyn's extreme physical ability?

I don't want to be sexist here or anything, but just because you have pretended to be a man at medical school, you can't survive the African wilderness a year.

To sum it up:
Did I like it? Yes.

It's a Wilbur, so of course I liked it. But the fact that it is a Wilbur makes my expectations so high. If I were to read a book written by an author I had never heard about, and it would be anything close to "A Falcon flies" I would rate it 5/5. Now when Wilbur wrote it I compare it to other Wilbur books, and then I give it a 4-.

Right now I'm 130 pages into "Men of men", and so far I have the feeling I will like this one better.
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Postby Bids » Tue Mar 27, 2007 6:18 am

Well ive just completed Leopard Hunts in the Darkness. Absolutely loved it. Its amazing to think of how many different ways Wilbur can make Africa exciting. At first i was hesitant about getting into the Ballantyne's after the Courtney series. I beleived nothing could top the Courtney's. Well i may just have found something that can. Thouroughly loved all 4 Ballantyne books. Just started Triumph so on the home stretch of completing both Courtney and Ballantyne journeys. On thing i would hae loved to have read about is Ralph Ballantyne after the Matabele rebellion. Kinda sucks how it stops there.
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Postby Ramon » Mon Apr 02, 2007 2:46 am

I wish this day of work could come to and end soon, so I can finish "Men of men". It's 9.40 am now here in Sweden, so I have 6-7 hours more to go before I can read again without bad conscious. I'm trying to read a page every now and then at work, but it's hard when you're sitting in an open office space and your boss is right behind you...

Would be neat to have it on an e-book so I could have it on my computer or my handheld. That way I could read it and it would look as though I was working.
Last edited by Ramon on Mon Apr 02, 2007 10:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Penitent » Mon Apr 02, 2007 10:31 am

Ramon, make sure you don’t lose your job over this one…

Anyway, I’m happy to report that today I’m starting the Ballantynes. “A Falcon Flies” is in my hands and the other three waiting on my end table.
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Postby Ramon » Mon Apr 02, 2007 10:52 am

I'll be careful! Although, losing my job would give me a lot of time to read...

Glad to hear that you're on to the Ballantynes. I'll be done with MoM today, so I'll start The Angels tomorrow. I doubt it will beat Men of men, cause that might have been the best book I've ever read.
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Postby John R » Mon Apr 02, 2007 4:30 pm

high praise indeed Ramon.

Penitent, feel free to post your comments on Falcon Flies, i'm also reading it at the moment, have a look at my thoughts and see if u agree
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Postby Ramon » Tue Apr 17, 2007 6:56 am

I'm all done with the Ballantyne's now. I've read them all in a months time, and now I feel empty. I want more.

If anyone here hasn't read the Ballantynes yet - do it! They will grip you from page one to the very end.

I'll start Bird of Prey now, followed by Monsoon and Blue Horizon and then The Triumph of the Sun to conclude the Courtneys and Ballantynes for me.
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Postby Penitent » Tue Apr 17, 2007 9:50 am

I started “A Falcon Flies” last week, going slow since I don’t have much time to read lately, but enjoying every minute of it.

Ramon, I hope you enjoy “Birds of Prey”, “Monsoon” and “Blue Horizon” these are the only Courtney’s I have read to date.
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Postby John R » Tue Apr 17, 2007 2:04 pm

Ramon you are flying through the books! I think you will love the Sea Courtney's! Epic's! All 3 of them!
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Postby audacter » Mon Apr 23, 2007 3:28 am

Well I'm sad today :(

After starting this thread I have come to the end of the road and finished the Ballantyne series.

It was a great run, I think it was some of WS best work.
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Postby Twoscoops » Mon Apr 23, 2007 5:20 am

There is a lesson here for us all!

I always space-out my Wilbur Smith books by at least a couple of months. I once went from A Falcon Flies straight into Men of Men as I expected them to be precisely continual, but they are not.
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Re: Just started the Ballantynes No Spoiler thread!

Postby Henrik » Tue Feb 19, 2008 6:04 am

The Ballantynes are so underrated, I think they are just as good a the Courtneys. But unlike the Courtneys they are consistently good, perhaps due to the fact that there are only 4 of them :)
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Re: Just started the Ballantynes No Spoiler thread!

Postby Twoscoops » Tue Feb 19, 2008 11:14 am

I'm about a third of the way through The Angels Weep, after ignoring my own advice and reading the Ballantynes again in quick succession. If I'm honest I'm not enjoying it this time, as I finished Men of Men on Sauturday night and started Angels on Sunday. I think I've got Matabele fatigue, and If i read one more line about the Umlimo...

Anyway, I will stick with it and then have a break before picking up Leopard, and then have another break before starting either the Egyptians again or the Sea Courtneys. Maybe the former, and I can finish it off with the quest which I haven't read.

The Ballantyne novels are epic just like the Courtneys, and I love the length of time the books span. One thing that would help I feel is some notes at the end of the books with a few details about the accuracy of some of the events, such as the BSAC and Cecil Rhodes.
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Re: Just started the Ballantynes No Spoiler thread!

Postby Twoscoops » Tue Feb 26, 2008 6:06 am

Now I know I’m reading the Ballantynes too quickly. Last night I dreamt that there was an advert on the back of a bus for Matabele exercise classes at the local gym, complete with assegai technique. I think the difference with the Ballantynes Vs the Courtneys is that the Courtney books cover many different aspects of history and geography, wheras these are focused on the Matabele wars and their background.

I looked up Rhodes on Wikipedia and some of the info was fascinating, as well as pages on Jameson and the BSAC.
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