TALLER THAN TREES by John Gordon Davis


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Davis' novels pivot on violence of one sort or another, usually set to hazy romantic themes. This time it's a battle to the death between two obsessed old creatures of Africa: a raunchy Irishman, former Great Elephant Hunter, and a battered rogue elephant, taller than trees. Inhibited from pursuing his usual illegal trade of searching for ivory by a shrewd young priest who likes both Jumbo McGuire and elephants, McGuire is boozing away quietly in a native village. Until the huge pachyderm, which had been stalked and tortured, terrorizes the villagers and ""kills"" Jumbo's bicycle. Then the chase begins, with McGuire following his prey, sun-baked spoor by sizzling boulder, through terrible heat, thirst and mutually inflicted wounds, until at last the two seedy anachronisms lie side by side near death. McGuire's kill becomes an act of friendship and mercy. There are pages and pages of precisely detailed agony and miasmic intimations about the arcane unity of hunter and hunted. A white elephant which still has plenty of takers.

Pub Date: Nov. 7th, 1975
Publisher: Doubleday