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What an Incredible Read! - Peter Hathaway Capstick's "Death in the Tall Grass"

DrawbarFlatsDrawbarFlats Posts: 776 Senior Member
edited July 1 in Hunting #1
I've seen this book floating around in gun shops and book stores over the years and finally decided to give it a go. In short, I cannot put this book down! With all the touchy feel good "Don't hurt my fragile whittle fweelings" PC crap going around these days I found this book refreshing. Now I'm not much of a hunter but this book seems like a great introduction for those interested in reading about African big game hunting. Have no clue to the credibility of this guy but this book makes me want to win the lottery and buy one of those beautiful double rifles even though I'd be too much of a wuss to even consider stepping one foot in the African bush - Lol! 


Replies

  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 12,622 Senior Member
    It is my go to book to get someone if they are convalescing, I particularly enjoyed the elephant and crocodile chapters. The first time I read it I was in the panhandle of Florida on vacation, I did not realize until the last day I was there we were in the town he lived in, he was still alive and in the phone book, I could have bought him a beer if there was still time on my trip.
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 16,916 Senior Member
    It's an excellent read...
    Another worth reading is "River Gods and Spotted Devils" if you can find a copy
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 8,249 Senior Member
    Drawbar, if you don't yet have all of Capstick's books, you will.

    In one or two of them he writes biographical chapters on many of the famous African adventurers such as Bell and Selous.  It's neat to read J.H. Patterson's The Man Eaters of Tsavo (Patterson being more forced into lion hunting by circumstance than an actual pro), then read Capstick's pro-hunter perspective on Patterson, THEN plug in your DVD of The Ghost and the Darkness

    And yeah, you're spot on - Capstick's stories seem to remind us that we're missing something today.  Nobody wants to have to deal with man eating lions, but I've often had the feeling that we're becoming a lesser species for the lack of that kind of activity.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • DrawbarFlatsDrawbarFlats Posts: 776 Senior Member
    Bigslug said:
    Drawbar, if you don't yet have all of Capstick's books, you will.

    In one or two of them he writes biographical chapters on many of the famous African adventurers such as Bell and Selous.  It's neat to read J.H. Patterson's The Man Eaters of Tsavo (Patterson being more forced into lion hunting by circumstance than an actual pro), then read Capstick's pro-hunter perspective on Patterson, THEN plug in your DVD of The Ghost and the Darkness

    And yeah, you're spot on - Capstick's stories seem to remind us that we're missing something today.  Nobody wants to have to deal with man eating lions, but I've often had the feeling that we're becoming a lesser species for the lack of that kind of activity.
    Thanks a million for the recommendations, Bigslug. Going on Amazon right now to look up those titles you mentioned. And yes, I completely agree with your last paragraph. Whether it's big game hunting in Africa or the men who built the eary skyscrapers, that class of people is becoming an endangered species, ESPECIALLY in today's bubblewrap society. 
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 7,026 Senior Member
    I don't own all of Capsticks books, but I've read them all. All are great, but I consider Death in the Long Grass, (his first book) the best.  Read it for the first time while I was stationed at Camp LeJeune, and have re-read it at least a dozen times since.

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 6,748 Senior Member
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 7,026 Senior Member
    That's pretty cool. I'm a coward. I'd have been shooting a whole lot earlier.

    Mike


    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 6,748 Senior Member
    Its like Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom. With blood.....
  • DrawbarFlatsDrawbarFlats Posts: 776 Senior Member
    Bigslug said:
    Drawbar, if you don't yet have all of Capstick's books, you will.

    In one or two of them he writes biographical chapters on many of the famous African adventurers such as Bell and Selous.  It's neat to read J.H. Patterson's The Man Eaters of Tsavo (Patterson being more forced into lion hunting by circumstance than an actual pro), then read Capstick's pro-hunter perspective on Patterson, THEN plug in your DVD of The Ghost and the Darkness

    And yeah, you're spot on - Capstick's stories seem to remind us that we're missing something today.  Nobody wants to have to deal with man eating lions, but I've often had the feeling that we're becoming a lesser species for the lack of that kind of activity.
    Thanks Bigslug. I just finished watching The Ghost and the Darkness. Enjoyed it. I also ordered J.H. Patterson's The Man Eaters of Tsavo. 
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 8,249 Senior Member
    Michael Douglas' character being a total fabrication was mildly irksome, but I write it off that his presence allowed a way for the scriptwriters to verbalize some of the things that were going through Patterson's head while he was numbing his butt on a tree branch alone in the dark.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,148 Senior Member
    edited July 6 #12
    "Death in the Long Grass" is next on my list.  I read Robert Ruark's "Horn of the Hunter" around the time I went on safari in South Africa, and it was an outstanding, engrossing book that accurately and beautifully captured the ups and downs of such a hunt.  Capstick has a stong reputation for his African chronicles, and it's been far too long since I picked up a good safari book.  Great to hear that it sucked you in.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 7,026 Senior Member
    Do it, Luis.....I've re-read that book so many times I can almost recite it.

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • DrawbarFlatsDrawbarFlats Posts: 776 Senior Member
    Six-Gun said:
    "Death in the Long Grass" is next on my list.  I read Robert Ruark's "Horn of the Hunter" around the time I went on safari in South Africa, and it was an outstanding, engrossing book that accurately and beautifully captured the ups and downs of such a hunt.  Capstick has a stong reputation for his African chronicles, and it's been far too long since I picked up a good safari book.  Great to hear that it sucked you in.
    Finished "Death in the Long Grass" and am now reading Lt. Colonel J.H. Patterson's "The Man-Eaters of Tsavo." ...another one I can't put down.

    Your mention of Ruark reminds me of when Capstick, on the Cape Buffalo chapter, pg 159, quoted Ruark as saying, "...they [Cape Buffalo] look at you as if you owe them money." Got a good chuckle on that. Just from what I've seen in pics and vids that definitely describes them to a "T." I'll definitely be reading "Horn of the Hunter" after I'm finished with Tsavo. 

    Btw, please enlighten us on an anecdote of your time in South Africa. I'd be very interested in reading that. Thanks. 
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 7,026 Senior Member
    edited July 7 #15
    The "Man-Eaters of Tsavo" was the last birthday present I gave my Dad before he passed away. He enjoyed it very much. After his passing, the book was returned to me and I read it every couple of years.

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • DrawbarFlatsDrawbarFlats Posts: 776 Senior Member

    DAMNNN!! That dude needs a Cat 797 just to carry those brass balls. 
  • DrawbarFlatsDrawbarFlats Posts: 776 Senior Member
    The "Man-Eaters of Tsavo" was the last birthday present I gave my Dad before he passed away. He enjoyed it very much. After his passing, the book was returned to me and I read it every couple of years.

    Mike
    Very cool, Linefinder, very cool. 
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,148 Senior Member
    Six-Gun said:
    "Death in the Long Grass" is next on my list.  I read Robert Ruark's "Horn of the Hunter" around the time I went on safari in South Africa, and it was an outstanding, engrossing book that accurately and beautifully captured the ups and downs of such a hunt.  Capstick has a stong reputation for his African chronicles, and it's been far too long since I picked up a good safari book.  Great to hear that it sucked you in.
    Finished "Death in the Long Grass" and am now reading Lt. Colonel J.H. Patterson's "The Man-Eaters of Tsavo." ...another one I can't put down.

    Your mention of Ruark reminds me of when Capstick, on the Cape Buffalo chapter, pg 159, quoted Ruark as saying, "...they [Cape Buffalo] look at you as if you owe them money." Got a good chuckle on that. Just from what I've seen in pics and vids that definitely describes them to a "T." I'll definitely be reading "Horn of the Hunter" after I'm finished with Tsavo. 

    Btw, please enlighten us on an anecdote of your time in South Africa. I'd be very interested in reading that. Thanks. 
    Drawbar - 

    I think you're going to love "Horn of the Hunter."  Ruark is an incredibly talented narrator, and he doesn't get mired in excessive dialog, something that turned me off to Hemingway's "Green Hill of Africa".  Ruark shares the victories and defeats with equal weight, and gives insight into the limitations of bullets of his day.  

    As for my trip, I'll do you one better than an anecdote:

    https://forums.gunsandammo.com/discussion/comment/77173#Comment_77173
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,394 Senior Member
    I've never read "Death in the Long Grass" all the way through, I've just read excerpts from it over the years. But I know he tells about some very exciting things dealing with everything dangerous in Africa from snakes to elephants.

    I may be getting it confused with another of his books but I read one about him going to a PH friends house in Africa and he noticed a big chunk out of the back of the couch. He asked he guy what happened and he told him he was sitting in his favorite chair one evening across from that couch and his wife and baby were at one end and he looked up and a Black Mamba was crawling along the back of the couch towards his wife and baby. The guy said he always kept his 12 gauge close by so he grabbed it and shot the snake taking the chunk out of the couch.

    I've read other stories about everything from Hyaenas to Elephants.He was an amazng writer. Kept me on the edge of my chair.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • bellcatbellcat Senior Member Posts: 1,851 Senior Member
    White Hunter by Brian Herne is an excellent book about the history of African Safaris. 

    One of many I read before I went to Africa.
    "Kindness is the language the deaf can hear and the blind can see." Mark Twain
  • Jeff in TXJeff in TX Senior Member Posts: 2,054 Senior Member
    Great book, I read a couple of his books back in 80's as I recall.  Great stories and experiences!
    Distance is not an issue, but the wind can make it interesting!

    John 3: 1-21
  • Johnny rebJohnny reb Member Posts: 601 Senior Member
    Capstick was defenitely a story teller. His books are good reads they will draw you in. Ruarks Horn of the Hunter as mentioned above is also a good read. 
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