Discussion in 'Hunting TV Shows, Books & Video Discussions' started by tigris115, May 26, 2019.
Get a safari press catalog and have fun, something for everyone
SAFARI...A Chronicle of Adventure. By Bartle Bull. A 380 page history of the Safari in India and Africa.
Months Of the Sun by Ian Nyschens is great even though he was a poacher.
Wanderings of an Elephant Hunter is also excellent. Both of these give you a good idea of what Africa used to be.
I enjoy Capstick’s books as entertainment but, of course, a grain of salt is handy.
Safari Press has enough great reads to keep you happy for years.
This was on F&S blog:
Just some recommendations.
Yea tbh, I'm thinking of selling Death in the Long Grass on Amazon, getting Horn of the Hunter instead, and checking out Capstick's books from the library when I feel like it as my system seems to have a ton of his works everywhere. Speaking of libraries, I've also rented Kuamon
I find reading something like Jim Corbett so in depth, you can feel his passion and knowledge bleeding onto the pages. I find it the type of writing capable of moving people and shifting their perspectives on conservation, hunting and nature.
To contrast that with Capstick, it reads more like a bloke sitting around a bar telling tall tales to a group of guys while getting on the piss.
There's nothing better or worse about either style. I'm cursed by being one of those deep thinkers is incapable of switching off. For that reason I think I need a bit more substance in my reading. Others just want some entertainment and that's fair enough.
I do a fair bit of my own writing and I guess I'm drawn to styles similar to mine.
man eaters of Tsavo !
The work behind ghost and the darkness.
Everyone should read Green Hills of Africa by Hemingway
One of my favorites is "In Africa, Hunting Adventures in Big Game Country" by John T McCutcheon. I read it on my Kindle, not sure if you can find a hard copy any more. The book was written in 1910. It's about the author's months long safari in East Africa where they were collecting specimens for museums. He even meets up with Teddy Roosevelt to hunt elephant. Pretty entertaining especially where they're trying to capture a Rhino charge with their state of the art moving picture machines.
Corbett is the absolute best. J.A Hunter's book was great but short. John Taylor was extremely knowledgeable and has some great stories. He was a gun buff more than the others. You get the feeling he was a very educated man writing down for an American audience. Also good were Selous and Bell, and as someone mentioned Martin and Osa Johnson.
Capstick I can't stand. Hemingway knew little about Africa and Ruark didn't either when he wrote Horn of the Hunter but went on to make many safaris.
As has been mentioned good idea to peruse a Safari Press catalog and search sources such as Amazon for Africa Hunting books.
I like Capstick, have read most of his work and find it easy to read and well done. I've spent time in a couple of the locations he describes in his books and he was very accurate in the description. One of his later books, "Sands of Silence", is spot on as it relates to the San Bushman culture of the Kalahari in Namibia and Botswana. Also, I've heard that he plagiarized a lot of his work... hmm? I noticed quite the opposite as he seemed to go out of his way to properly credit and cite the experiences of others when he was telling stories in second person. If Hemingway was the master of dialogue then Capstick would be the master of metaphor. Easy to read and full of "color".
And I agree with others who say that Ruark's style resembles Hemingway's style. I think Ruark must have studied and admired and been influenced by Hemingway. I also really like the works by WDM Bell, a lot!, whose style paints such a clear, vivid picture while at the same time being easy to read. Others worth reading would include Selous with his journal masterpiece "Hunter's Wanderings..." I'd also highly recommend a lesser known.... Frederick Everett "Heat, Thirst and Ivory". Of course "Horn of the Hunter" by Ruark is a classic as is "Green Hills of Africa" by Hemingway.
To me it's interesting to note that the "Green Hills of Africa", the title of Hemingway's famous book, is most assuredly the mountain range including Mt Loosiminguri (Losimingor) that's adjacent to the Rift Valley across from the Ngorongoro Escarpment in present day Tanzania.
Here's a nice article about that: https://www.americanhunter.org/articles/2018/6/27/finding-the-green-hills-of-papas-africa/
Also fun to notice some of the same places of Hemingway's "Green Hills" safari was also the area setting for the movie "Hatari"
I agree on Corbett especially The Man Eating Leopard of Rudrapryag. Very entertaining read
Just read Life with Ionides, interesting book that gives only a small insight into his earlier life. Kenneth Anderson A Tiger roars, okay book but not of the depth of Corbet and ruined in the middle with the black magic. Another one is Armand Denis On Safari, not a hunting book but interesting nonetheless
Having finished Green Hills of Africa, I can't help but feel really sorry for Papa. Reading this book is reading the diary of someone who was desperately struggling with their own inner demons and with the fact of his suicide in the back of my mind, it makes the read a good bit more depressing than it should be. Guy needed therapy
His whole family struggled with demons. His father committed suicide as well. One of his sons went on to all manner of mental issues, went thru sex change very early on. A real basketcase. As I noted earlier reading about Hem himself is really more interesting, to me at least, than his own writings. My own favorite book about him and his family is called Hemingway's Boat by Paul Hendrickson, a fascinating read.
I have never had the opportunity to hunt anything, but I am a birder, and an avid book collector. Out of a library of 3500 volumes, I have about 1200 sporting books of which about 1000 are Africa and India hunting books. Pig sticking books are a specialty of mine.
I started early with Corbett around age 7 and during my working years I bought as many as I could afford. Safari Press and I 'grew up' together. I loved John Burger's Horned Death, one of their early reissues. People at work thought I was a strange lady reading these wonderful books. I am retired now so can't buy as many as before, but I did amass a sporting collection with an eye toward retirement. My local library in Brooklyn is the main branch of the Brooklyn Public Library, but African hunting books are scarce. At one time they kepts a huge reference section of rare, rebound 799 books. I would spend hours there reading them. Now they are all gone. I have seen one or two crop up on eBay but way beyond my pay grade.
My favourite African hunting books are Hemingway's Green Hills of Africa, Ruark's Horn of the Hunter, JA Hunter's Hunter, Neumann's Elephant Hunting in East Equatorial Africa, Bell's Wanderings of an Elephant Hunter (and the Safari Press special editions) ,Roosevelt's African Game Trails, James Sutherland's Adventures of an Elephant Hunter, John Taylor's Pondoro, and Ian Nyschens' Months of the Sun. This last is probably the finest Africana literature ever issued by Safari Press (along with the Bell books). It gives you a true feel for the last days of old Africa. I was fortunate enough to get the Safari Press African Country series as they were first issued. I used to buy two with my tax refund every year! They were kind enough to reserve my book number. These books are excellent reading if you can get your hands on them. The Amwell Press African Big Five series are also excellent. I could go on and on. I love my bedroom with the wall of beautiful books, all of them on hunting.
Few things are more satisfying than a personal library tailored to one's own interests. Books are truly permanent pleasures. It's even better when you come across a book that reminds you of a place you visited in Africa. Jock of the Bushveld Trail, the Lebombo Hills (Haunts of Wild Game by Fitzpatrick), Leopards of the Luangwa, Mountain Nyala in Ethiopia, etc. At the Bale Mountains National Park HQ I actually "drew a bead" - with a stick ! - on a gigantic Mountain Nyala and a dark beast of a Menelik's Bushbuck! Ha! I always wonder how many hunters would love to get that close to such a rare trophy. Even if they have to imagine taking it. The local Ethiopian guide was very amused by my childish antics!
I recently read Thomas McIntyre's Augusts in Africa: Safaris into the Twilight: Forty Years of Essays and Stories. Like the title states, it is a collection of essays and stories rather than a longer narrative. My dad and I both thought it was interesting that he noted in his writing many of the same observations we had on our safari. I am currently working my way through Theodore Roosevelt's African Game Trails. I think it's a decent read, although not much of a page-turner at times.
Don't feel bad about TR's book. Its a classic, but its also a bloodbath. I was unable to finish it when I tried some years ago.
21 days in Africa by Dan Donarski was one of the best I've read. Retired army and plain spoken. Plus, it's a realistic read.
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