If ever a time and place have had a profound effect upon a man, that time was the 1950s, the place was Africa, and the man was Robert Ruark. It was in Africa that the author of The Old Man and the Boy and The Old Man's Boy Grows Older finally grew up. There the author of Horn of the Hunter and Use Enough Gun finally came to grips with himself, came to realize his very essence and the measure of his being.
When Ruark hunted in Africa, the Dark Continent reverberated with the last echoes of a great and passing age. Ruark found Africa to be anything but dark, for it was there that he finally found enlightenment and a measure of contentment for his troubled soul.
Just as Africa changed Robert Ruark, Ruark watched firsthand as Africa changed itself. That was, of course, the time of the bloody Mau Mau Emergency where terror held an entire nation captive, but it was also a time of changing political climates, uncontrolled poaching, and open warfare that left a hunter, seeking solitude, little to enjoy. Through it all, he never hesitated to speak his mind or express his heart.
Robert Ruark's Africa spans the years from his first safari, when Horn of the Hunter was born, to a story published just two months before he died. These stories, originally published in magazines as diverse as Playboy and Readerís Digest now appear for the first time in book form, presented with special permission from Ruark's estate, and chosen for what they reveal of Ruark both as a writer and a man.
In them, you'll meet Ruark's heroes, the white hunters; you'll walk with Ruark in the tracks of Karamojo Bell, carrying Bell's favorite .275 rifle across the same African wilderness that the famous ivory hunter once trod; you'll see the atrocities of the Mau Mau; face down a charging elephant; and feel the warmth of a sundowner after hunting buffalo from dawn to dusk.