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Posted March 5, 2003
Mostly intruiging and enjoyable
80% of the the book addresses lions, wildlife, Africa, history, the safaris, the science, the adventures and the interesting characters. When reading that 80%, I found myself enjoying page after page. However, the other 20% philosophically addresses such hardly-related subjects as cloning, human suffering and telephones. It was during the other 20% that I easily put the book down. In the end, I find myself knowledgeble, awed and very interested in Africa and lions.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 8, 2003
Great stuff by a great writer
Hmmm. Someone above falts Caputo for not writing like Capstick? Well, buy Capstick, for goodness sake. Caputo's body of work stands on its own without comparison to a great white hunter. This is a thoughtful and well-written piece, the best of the bunch of recent African books. It is a physical safari and an intellectual, scientific safari. Caputo pays his dues by walking the talk and his career as a novelist and journalist shows in the writing and the reporting. Capstick is great. But Capstick couldn't have written this book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 2, 2002
An update on a deep, dark mystery
Although lion research might not be the most important issue in the world right now, as Philip Caputo points out in this book, it certainly has it's place in the lore and appreciation of our natural world. This book expounds on a paticularly chilling leoine topic: Why do lions occasionally single us out for lunch? Are we but mere food in the eyes of the king of beasts? This book opens with an account of hunting down the largest maneating lion ever recorded. From there, it goes on and explores the subject of maneless male lions, who seem to be responsible for much of the maneating among lions. Mr. Caputo then spends most of the book describing two trips he took to Tsavo National Park in Kenya, East Africa, where the most famous account of maneating lions ever recorded took place. Other people on these trips were noted researchers from the Field Museum of Natural History (Owners of the Tsavo Maneaters) and the Lion Research institute. In the course of the book, many interesting incidents and even harrowing adventures that one might encounter when doing research in Africa are recorded. Two major schools of thought concerning Tsavo-area lions are compared and contrasted by the two different groups of researchers. Although no conclusions are drawn (Nor can they yet be drawn), enough material is presented to encourage the reader to learn more for themselves. The author takes his time to share some of his own thoughts and opinions on this subject without spending too much time discussing them. The book closes with a review of a recent paper by the Field Museum of Natural History explaining why the maneaters of Tsavo may have behaved as they did. As a person who has personally extensively researched the Tsavo Maneaters story, I can give this book a very good recommendation. It ties together almost all the research that has been done on this incident, and on maneating lions in general, in the last several years.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 28, 2002
Capstick or Ruark this is not
When Caputo describes other people's adventures he comes close to being Capstick, whom he is perhaps unconsciously imitating. Otherwise, ones gets impatient with him as he is impatient with the scientists in his company.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.