GILLIGAN'S LAST ELEPHANT by Gerald Hanley

GILLIGAN'S LAST ELEPHANT

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A taut, graphic story is set in Africa and projects the hunter's psychology through Gilligan, 57, and old hand. He is a cross, taciturn loner who often quarrels with the hunters he sometimes guides for pay and is extraordinarily proud of his strength and skill. But he meets his match in Muller, a younger American with a similar war-and-hunting background. Muller hires Gilligan to hunt down a big rogue elephant, and discovers that Gilligan's one weakness is his terror of this elephant which had killed his only friend some years ago. Meanwhile the hunt becomes a terrible show of endurance between the two men. Gilligan, furious and tormented by Muller's knowledge of his secret fear, sets out to exhaust Muller through a series of terrible marches which leave the native boys gasping in the brush, and both men are in a state of collapse. Neither will give in, even after a stampeding herd of elephants tramples a native into dust. Gilligan is finally killed by an elephant, and Muller, half-dazed, is dragged reluctantly from the hunt by one of the natives. He has come to have a kind of respect for Gilligan and realizes that he too has nothing much to live for but physical prowess, loneness, and- a hunt.... Tightly written, full of authentic details, this is a very believable story of a destructive personal conflict, with some, terse, grim and exciting hunting scenes.

Publisher: World