cover image A Wolverine Is Eating My Leg

A Wolverine Is Eating My Leg

Tim Cahill. Vintage Books USA, $14.95 (302pp) ISBN 978-0-679-72026-3

Cahill ( Jaguars Ripped My Flesh ) courts intercontinental adventure in these collected travel pieces. He fishes for pike in Wisconsin's icy Lake Nagawicka (and competes in a minnow-drinking contest at Chuck and Sue's bar). Over the protests of the late Dian Fossey, he eyeballs Rwanda's now-famous mountain gorillas. And he joins the journalists flocking to the scene of mass suicide in Jonestown, Guyana. His pen is filled with adrenaline; he batters down obstacles and dares to do the difficult, whether this means braving the scent of decay (Jonestown's ``last bodies to be removed had been in such a state of decomposition that bits and pieces kept falling off'') or surviving a serious wind-chill factor. Though Cahill's humor and machismo can be heavy-handed, and his occasional sexism is annoying (``menopausal waitresses'' cramp his style in Oregon), the writer's appetite for fun and trouble off the beaten path is exhilarating. (Feb.)