Lt. Col. J.H. Patterson's "Man-Eaters of Tsavo"

Discussion in 'Hunting TV Shows, Books & Video Discussions' started by FerRGarza, Jul 4, 2013.

  1. gizmo

    gizmo AH ENABLER SPONSOR Since 2015 AH Ambassador

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    One of my favorite books, I own the movie but it really irritates me to watch it considering all the Hollywood nonsense added into it. I think Death in the long grass would make a great movie if it was done properly.
     

  2. siml

    siml AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    After watching Ghost and darkness, those lions scared me so much, I gave up hunting lions.....samething happened when I watched Piranha as a young kid, I haven't put my toe in the water since them. Just kidding. The book is brilliant, but as we all Hollywood sometimes pushes it a bit too far. But I will admit I have watched the movie several times, Val is a brilliant actor and sure did his bit in the movie as well as his tattooed side kick.
     

  3. Christina Nyczepir

    Christina Nyczepir AH Enthusiast

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    While I had seen The Ghost and the Darkness a few times (purely entertainment), I finally read the book The Man-Eaters of Tsavo last summer. I thoroughly enjoyed it so much, that I decided to start collecting some of the classics in reading concerning hunting in Africa. (If I cannot hunt Africa at the moment, I can at least spend some of my free time reading ABOUT hunting in Africa. :LOL::rolleyes:) Now, if I could only find the time to read even one book in one sitting.

    A book I am currently reading (along with four or five others), and HIGHLY recommend, is Kambaku. Henry Manners does a beautiful job of making you feel as if you are walking alongside him every step of the way. If you enjoy elephant hunting, or dream about one day going on that big elephant hunt, this book is a must read. :)

    10677399_762904350415249_1281517507_o.jpg
     
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  4. Jay Kelley

    Jay Kelley AH Veteran

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    I really enjoyed the book - because it's about more than the lions of Tsavo. The book covers his adventures building the railroad of which the lions were a part. A great view of Africa in the late 19th/Early 20th Century
     

  5. PLM

    PLM AH Enthusiast

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    Patterson may have been inexperienced but you can't fault his courage or his doggedness in getting the job done. He spent a lot of sleepless nights in very uncomfortable situations and still managed his day job, which under the circumstances would have been tough for the best of men. I was duly impressed.
    Philip
     

  6. spike.t

    spike.t AH ENABLER SPONSOR Since 2013 AH Ambassador

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    yup and you wonder at how he survived some of the situations he put himself in and didnt become a victim......
     

  7. adgunner

    adgunner AH Fanatic

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    I thoroughly enjoyed the book, a true life adventure. There were many of these young officers that went to Africa or other areas of the world and luckily LCol Patterson penned the book preserving his story. I often wonder what other stories could be told by the many young officers that didn't return due to sickness and peril. Sealous's book "A hunter's wanderings in Africa" really describes the tough conditions these guys endured albeit he was there quite a bit earlier than LCol Patterson. As for the movie, it is just that a Hollywood movie, although it is entertaining I believe as I have watched it more than once!
     

  8. Witold Krzyżanowski

    Witold Krzyżanowski AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    The book " Man - Eaters of Tsavo" is wonderfully written.
    Witold
     

  9. FerRGarza

    FerRGarza AH Veteran

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    Thanks for your response WalkingPrey2! I will definitely look into reading Kambaku. I have several elephant hunting books and enjoy them very much!
     
    Christina Nyczepir likes this.

  10. FerRGarza

    FerRGarza AH Veteran

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    Thanks guys for your input!
     

  11. CDorroh

    CDorroh AH Senior Member

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    I just finished the book, and it was definitely a fantastic read. It's one of those books that is hard to put down once you have started it. I found some of his other stories in the second half of the book to be equally as entertaining as the story of the man-eaters. A few take home points for me:

    1. I've never hunted in Africa, but his stories really gave me an appreciation for modern high quality bullets vs what people in his time had to use, as well as using enough gun. Many of his close calls and wounded animals might have been avoided if he had better constructed bullets and/or something more powerful than his .303. I found the part particularly amusing where he improvised a heavy rifle for a hippo hunt by loading double charges of powder behind slugs for his 12 bore shotgun, and test fired it with a string in case the barrels exploded.

    2. Patterson may have started out as an amateur, but he seemed to really have a knack for killing lions by the end of the book, given what he had to work with.

    3. I don't understand why there is so much hate for the movie. Having watched it countless times, I was surprised to learn upon reading the book just how much of the movie was not far from reality. Some of the things that I had assumed were hollywood embellishments turned out to be somewhat accurate; the manner in which the lions reportedly fed on their victims, the trap he set for the lions that failed, the borrowed heavy rifle that failed to fire at a critical moment, the finding of the man-eaters' den with human remains, etc. I do agree that Michael Douglas' character was not necessary, and the final sequence could have been better. However, I felt that the movie does a decent job of capturing the highlights and overall spirit of what occurred. It even uses period-correct weapons that appear to be, for the most part, wielded in a somewhat authentic manner. Considering the source is Hollywood, I think its about as good a rendition as one could expect from them.

    4. Seeing the Lee-Speed in the movie has always made me want one, and now reading the book has only perpetuated this.
     

  12. 28Shooter

    28Shooter New Member

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    Patterson's book was excellent. I always enjoy firsthand accounts from the colonial days and his was particularly good. I liked the comment I read that he was an engineer who had to come to the rifle. Very fitting because as an engineer, he had a project to finish (the bridge and railroad), a problem to resolve (the lions), and he dealt with same. I often wonder what he really thought was his greater accomplishment - the lions or the railway. Again, a great book and certainly a must read.
     

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