DEATH IN A LONELY LAND by Peter Hathaway Capstick


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More of Capstick's (Last Horizons, 1978, etc.) tipping Great White Hunter adventures and misadventures, these collected from such magazines as Guns & Ammo, Saga, and The American Hunter. ""Besides women and other species of dangerous game,"" Capstick writes, on safari ""the conversation usually turns to my favorite: the inevitable discussion of different cartridges and calibers. . ."" And not only on safari: here, too--as in ""Oldies Are Goodies,"" in which that typically macho Capstick quote lurks--the author obsesses about ammunition and guns. Of course, Capstick's relative charm is to be boyishly, impishly macho, so two of the essays here are about BB guns (on The Annihilator, $29.95 including postage: ""The only fully automatic gun you can buy without a federal permit is here! And it works""). For the most part, however, it's deadly arms that Capstick deals with, arms employed in one hunting feat after another as he roams jungle and pampas, going after killer baboon, deadly buffalo and crocodile and boar and jaguar (""He's studying you, calculating what you are and if you're good to eat. You grip the shotgun tighter, the checkering of the stock leaving its pattern in the flesh of your sweating fingers""); hauls a snake-bitten pal--descendant of Blackbeard--back to camp to be cured by native medicine; endures fire-ant and leech attacks, eats giant rats, is nearly fried by an electric eel. A few milder diversions take up the slack--fly-fishing in Iceland, duck-hunting in Florida, a rhapsody on and recipe for biltong, a kind of jerky made from antelope--but by and large Capstick roams the kind of muscled terrain where ""strong men hoist a glass and speak of great hunting deeds."" Vintage Capstick: sleek, fast, and funny, and aimed strictly and shamelessly at boys of all ages.

Pub Date: Feb. 19th, 1990
Publisher: St. Martin's