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"Death in the Long grass" by Peter Capstick

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Sun May 22, 2011 11:07 pm Unread post
Hi forumites,

i would like to recommend the book "Death in the Long grass" written by Peter Capstick.
Peter Capstick was one of the most famous big game hunters in the middle of the last century. In this book he tells about his adventures in the African bush.

When i heard about this book for the first time i refused to read it. I am not a fan of trophy hunting at all. But someone convinced me to read only a few pages and to my surprise i liked it.
Although written by a professional hunter the hunting is not the main topic. It is more about what happened in the bush while Peter Capstick was on hunting safaris or had to hunt problem animals on behalf of lodges or wildife authorities. And although written more than 30 years ago even culling and the pros and cons of it is one of the topics.

Here is the product describtion from one of the leading online-bookshops:

Few men can say they have known Africa as Peter Hathaway Capstick has known it-- leading safaris through lion country; tracking man-eating leopards along tangled jungle paths; running for cover as fear-maddened elephants stampede in all directions. And of the few who have known this dangerous way of life, fewer still can recount their adventures with the flair of this former professional hunter-turned-writer.

Based on Capstick's own experiences and the personal accounts of his colleagues, Death in the Long Grass portrays the great killers of the African bush-- not only the lion, leopard, and elephant, but the primitive rhino and the crocodile waiting for its unsuspecting prey, the titanic hippo and the Cape buffalo charging like an express train out of control. Capstick was a born raconteur whose colorful descriptions and eye for exciting, authentic detail bring us face to face with some of the most ferocious killers in the world-- underrated killers like the surprisingly brave and cunning hyena, silent killers such as the lightning-fast black mamba snake, collective killers like the wild dog. Readers can lean back in a chair, sip a tall, iced drink, and revel in the kinds of stories Hemingway and Ruark used to hear in hotel bars from Nairobi to Johannesburg, as veteran hunters would tell of what they heard beyond the campfire and saw through the sights of an express rifle.

As thrilling as any novel, as taut and exciting as any adventure story, Death in the Long Grass takes us deep into the heart of darkness to view the Africa that few people have ever seen.
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Re: "Death in the Long grass" by Peter Capstick

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Mon May 23, 2011 7:03 am Unread post
Thanks Andreas, sounds like an interesting read. :thumbs_up:


Re: "Death in the Long grass" by Peter Capstick

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Sun May 29, 2011 9:03 pm Unread post
Yes, Capstick wrote a number of books. And quite the wordsmith he was. The francolin never flies up from below his feet - it explodes into the air. The buffalo doesn't simply charge, as you quote below, it charges like an express train out of control. Everything is excessive. Yes, he knew how to write, that he did!


Re: "Death in the Long grass" by Peter Capstick

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Tue Jun 07, 2011 1:44 pm Unread post
Aaaah - Peter Hathaway Capstick! Grand master of the Purple Prose.... No doubt about it, he certainly had a way with words, and his books (quite a few of them - Long Grass, Death in the Silent Places et al) made great reading! A friend (who was a Senior Game Ranger in the Kruger for many years) reckoned that the authenticity of the stories was good, so it looks as if Capstick didn't 'invent' any scenarios.
My copies of Death in the Long Grass and Death in the Silent Places are pretty dog-eared - I've owned them for years and regularly read chapters again and again....
Sure, we might not agree with hunting and trophy collecting, but the pure pleasure of reading well told stories shouldn't be denied! Look out for his books at second-hand book shops and add them to your collection
You won't be sorry.... :rtm:


Re: "Death in the Long grass" by Peter Capstick

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Sun Apr 08, 2012 11:46 am Unread post
I also have a copy of this book, enjoyed reading it.


Re: "Death in the Long grass" by Peter Capstick

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Sun Apr 08, 2012 12:00 pm Unread post
It can be an entertaining read as long as it is seen in perspective and one recognises the overly dramatic and excessive prose for what it is: One of those authors with a big ego problem!!


Re: "Death in the Long grass" by Peter Capstick

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Sun Apr 08, 2012 12:09 pm Unread post
Agreed not like Robert Ruark's old Africa safari books.
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