I read most of his early books then got to one in where he p0oh poohed /denigrated the one and only JIM CORBETT...wtf? PHCapstuck questioning JC.
I stopped reading his books and since then realise that literary licence has been well used.
growing up I read everything capstick I got my hands on ,picked up some good capsticisms my granny told me at about 6 years old that if I nlearned to read well I could go anywhere in the world I wanted to even if it was only in a book.PCH fueled a fire in this young lad that has burned for 60 plus years.Rest in Peace PCH raised glass to you
I first discovered Capstick as a freshman in highschool - his books, thank goodness, were in the school library! I credit his writing - he is a very gifted and humorous writer - with my interest in hunting Africa.
I still remember buying my first ever hunting book (and first online purchase) in the desert north of Meekatharra in Western Australia, during a training placement in which I shot my first big game animal with the local Aboriginals - a 39.5” billy. That was in 2002, and in 2004 after a close call bouncing a .30-30 round of a wounded buffalo bull’s skull in the long grass, that book helped me choose a .416 Rigby when information was hard to come-by in my world (I then got a shock when I asked the price of ammo, and commenced handloading as a result). The books Peter wrote introduced me to the idea of hunting in Africa.
His writing is absolutely superb, and I recommend “Death in the Tall Grass” to all new African hunting readers. However, a lot of the old PH community will tell you he took enormous literary license with many of his adventures - particularly when he put himself in them. One former PH/ now a well established gunwriter who hunted with him, calls them “pretty good novels.”
Like many writers, his early work was the best, and as he searched for new subject matter, he could offer up unusual opinions. For instance, his critique of Patterson’s efforts at Tsavo is hilarious - But his review of Corbett is seemingly uninformed and mean spirited. His biography of “Pondoro” Taylor sifts through every rumor about the man and treats them as gospel.
His hunting stories are the best and they are wonderful. Read them as just that.
Mule deer and Colorado elk seasons almost done! Hunters driving farm roads, looking for racks, their PH driving them along, I ask that you not pull into my drive. The buck behind me, on the boundary line of the GMU somehow knows. The hunter laughs, I would invite you in to see my Searcy rifles but social distancing prevails, darkness arrives and the buck slides away into secret tree grove...