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The author, who is eighteen, recounts his coming of age as a killer of jaguars in Brazil's Mato Grosso. Sashino's father is a well-known lecturer in the States and is himself the author of a personal history, Tigrero, published in 1953. Sasha Sr. has killed over 300 jaguars, some thirty of them with a spear. The boy was thirteen when his father took the family off to Brazil's jungles on the hunting expedition described here--it was time for Sashino's baptism in blood. They were accompanied by Sashino's mother, his older sister, younger brother and by his father's agent, a pretty socialite. Sasha's father talks in the heroic cadences of Hemingway's old fisherman, Santiago. The boy is determined to take a jaguar with a spear, for he has a justifiably king-size sense of hero worship for his father. Month after month they stalk the jungle, but jaguars are scarce today. During the interim they make pets of an anteater and some anacondas and fish for deadly piranhas. On his fourteenth birthday Sashino does bring down a great killer, finishing him off with a spear. This is pleasantly written and at times makes the flesh crawl; jaguar is big game.

Pub Date: April 30th, 1965
Publisher: Prentice-Hall