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Beartooth Regular
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Hey, I see the moderators sure like this section! I was wondering if anyone can recommend any good safari books. I have the Robert Rourke books and TR's African Game Trails; they just whet my appetite! I have watched a video of Capstick and he kind of seemed like a blowhard, but then Rourke can be kind of a blowhard and I love his writing! Is Capstick a good writer?
Let's hear it- what are your favorites? IDShooter
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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ID, some people don't like Capstick but I think that he is a fine storyteller. Let me tell you, anybody that spent as much time in the bush as he did (and survived) gets my respect, they can tell the story however they like. Cropping elephants, buffalo, etc., is a tough line of work, even harder than the usual P.H. job that we love to hear about.

One of his books, I think the title is something like "Safari, the last adventure" (my dad has it so I can't go look at the book), is a more matter-of-fact book about planning a safari and I thought it was very well done.

Another part of his work that I think is fantastic is his research on other people like Wally Johnson and Robert "Pondoro" Taylor.

You can usually pick up the paperbacks cheap enough to splurge on one or two. That ought to get you hooked. I haven't seen the video so can't comment.

I also remember seeing some of his articles in the American Hunter a while back. Very memorable one on warthogs, of all things.
 

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Well, if you are interested in spiral horned antelopes, I just finished a book by Terry Weiland, 'Spiral Horn Dreams' and it is a really good book.

Capstick is excellent, Death in the Long Grass is my favorite of his. He's a great writer, once you start reading, it is really tough to stop. WDM Bell 'Karamojo' Wanderings of an Elephant Hunter is really good also. Check out Atcheson's Hunting Adventures Worldwide, it is very good also.

I've been looking for Jesus Yuren's books, but have yet to find any english versions. The Man-Eaters of Tsavo is pretty good too.

If you like the dangerous game stuff, pick one or two of Capstick's books. If you want a little background on the game and the areas they live (lots of history), check out Spiral Horn Dreams. Bell's books are just fantastic, especially considering who wrote them.

Sir Richard Burton and John Speke both were commissioned adventurers and hunters (Burton was sent to discover the source of the Nile, Speke actually found it). They have a pretty British style of writing, but there is tons of information there.
 

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I started reading Capstick when he first started writing and I believe I have all of his books. He may not be the most cultured writer, but he is exciting to read, accurate in his details and quite eloquent at times. Basically, his books are a real "hoot" to read, I love 'em.

The "old guys", Ruark, Bell, Roosevelt, Taylor, etc., are all good, but my favorite author of African Hunting is Frederick Selous. I have 3 of his books and they are a fantastic read.
 

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ID, pop over to accurate reloading.com there is a whole section of books their are alot of them posted
 

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A couple years ago I read Capstick's book on Wally Johnson and found a number of inconsistencies. They may or may not be cases of intentional fabrication but one has to wonder. One book I haven't read yet but intend to one of these days is his biography of John Taylor. It will be interesting to see if any comment is made regarding the questionable veracity of ol' Pondoro. Ross Seyfried doesn't seem to think very highly of Capstick's work either. I really should write him to see if we're on the same page. (pun intended)

As for classic Africa, F.C. Selous' work is excellent. I also really enjoyed Stewart Edward White's African Camp Fires and The Land of Footprints.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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I too have found inconsistencies/errors in Capstick's books. But.... he makes you feel like you are there, and that seems to be a rare quality among writers (any genre). In terms of making a story come alive, he's among the best.

He does get tripped up on some ballistic details once in a while. You might consider that to be inexcusable, for a gun writer, but I've got a lot of friends that hunt that don't know squat about ballistics either.

I don't know why Seyfried has a beef with Capstick. Probably (my guess) because Ross feels that Capstick exaggerates about hunting dangerous game. No doubt about it, they're both experienced big game hunters, but I don't read books about Africa to hear how it's trivial to bump off a Cape Buffalo. If it doesn't get Ross's blood pressure up to do that, fine with me.

Bill, the book on Taylor is interesting, to say the least. Hope you find time to read it.
 

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Mike,

In the case of the Wally Johnson book it's not so much technical stuff but rather things that are said. Now it's been a couple years since I read it, so my memory isn't the best, but as I recall several of the captioned photos didn't add up with the text that told the story in full. I'd have to have a copy in front of me to refresh my memory. I'll see if the local library has a copy or can get an inter-library loan to clarify.
 
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