AUTHOR: David Chandler
PUBLISHER: Safari Press
Legends of the African Frontier


Safari Press
15621 Chemical Lane
Building B
Huntington Beach, CA 90803

WEBSITE: Safari Press.com
COST: $85; Safari Press books are not sold in bookstores and are only available from the publisher.

Safari Press has done it again. This company has become known around the world for producing some of the finest books on big-game hunting that have ever been written. The books are hardbound, cloaked in cloth or leather, and often come in a beautiful slipcase that protects the book.

As superb as the construction of these books may be, it’s what is inside them that sets Safari Press titles above those published by many of the trade publishers. These titles are numbered and signed in the limited editions, and from a literary standpoint, they rate the highest of marks.

I dreamed of Africa as a kid in the 1940s and 1950s, hoping one day to shoot the key big game of the Dark Continent. I wanted to take a Cape buffalo, elephant, kudu, leopard, lion, and rhino. I wanted to go to India to hunt leopards and tigers.

Haven’t visited either place, and likely never will. But the fire of going there, and hunting big game, still burns in my belly. So, if you can’t do it, the next best thing is to read about it. I’ve been hooked on Safari Press books for many years simply because they help keep that dream alive.

This book clawed its way into my consciousness like a wounded leopard ambushing the unwary hunter. My reading about the African continent and its big game has been a part of my life for over 50 years. Some of the names in this book are familiar and some are not, but each of the people listed make up the fabric from which African stories are cut.

I’ve read books by Bunny Allen, Sir Samuel Baker, Karamojo Bell, John Burger, Douglas Chadwick, Isak Dinesen (who wrote Out Of Africa), Raymond Ditmars, Paul duChaillu, Negley Farson, William Finnaughty, Edouard Foa, Atilio Gatti, William Cornwallis Harris, Frank Hibben, William Hornaday, John Hunter, Martin & Osa Johnson, Cherry Kearton, Kalman Kittenberger, Bert Klineberger, Alexander Lake, R. Lydekker, Denis Lyell, Beryl Markham, James Mellon, John Millais, Arthur Neumann, A. Blayney Percival, J. H. Patterson, Theodore Roosevelt, Tony Sanchez-Arino, Frederick Selous, James Sutherland, John ‘Pondoro’ Taylor, Rowland Ward, Harry Wolhuter and many others.

Books by these author-hunters fired my imagination years ago, and many of their books have been read and continue to intrigue me. Over a half-century of reading about their tales of Africa is the stuff of which hunting dreams are made.

There is a short (or long, in some cases) biography of all those who are named in this book, and the biographies give birth and death dates (when known) for each person, and a background on each one. The book kept me up and reading nonstop for three days. This is one great book, and it’s a title to get lost in.

Anyone interested in the history of Africa’s hunters needs this book. It’s one of the best I’ve seen, and I’ve seen others with far less information and less entertaining as well. It gets my vote for superb information about African history and hunting,

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Written on February 23rd, 2008 , Book Reviews Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

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