Last Ivory Hunter

Peter Hathaway Capstick, Author St. Martin's Press $23.95 (266p) ISBN 978-0-312-00048-6
At a time when elephants were the scourge of the Mozambique countryside, trampling crops and killing villagers, and when lions mauled and killed dozens of people annually, good hunters were in great demand. Wally Johnson was one of the best; a professional ivory hunter, gold prospector and safari leader for more than half a century, he shot nearly 100 lions, 1300 elephants and perhaps 2000 buffalo. After the 1975 revolution in Mozambique, he was forced to flee. Not a conventional biography, this book is really a collaboration, a dialogue, between old friends with shared interests. Capstick, who has acquired a large audience with his books about hunting in Africa ( Death in the Long Grass and others), makes a few explanatory remarks at the beginning of each chapter, leading Johnson into reminiscence. He talks freely about his hazardous experiences in the bush (he survived the bite of the deadly gaboon viper and goring by a Cape buffalo); about safari clients (among them, Robert Ruark); and about the natives and their magic arts. Capstick and Johnson are splendid raconteurs, vividly recalling a vanished era. Photos not seen by PW. (August)
Reviewed on: 07/15/1988
Release date: 07/01/1988
Open Ebook - 240 pages - 978-1-4668-0396-1
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