Veteran hunter-writer Capstick (Sands of Silence, 1991, etc.) offers what he calls ``escape reading'' as he tells--in his typical men-will-be-boys way--the stories of four hunters. As much buccaneers of the bush as great white hunters, the four men Capstick celebrates were in their time as famous as our less-energetic media personalities are today. All wrote well- received books, which have joined the hunting and African pantheon; financed their hunting by trading in ivory, snakes, or local foodstuffs; and survived as many close encounters with death as the proverbial cat. First-up and best-known is Frederick Courteney Selous, who in 1871 left Britain for southern Africa, where he hunted lions, elephants, and other big game; fought in all the local wars; and led the first pioneer column into Rhodesia. Selous also traveled in the Rockies, hunted in the Yukon, and dined at the White House as guest of his friend Teddy Roosevelt. A talented naturalist who gave his specimens to the British Museum, he was the quintessential patriot, enlisting in WW I at the age of 63 and dying as he fought in what was then German East Africa. The second hunter, C.J.P. Ionides, also English, was a great hunter of elephants, as well as an esteemed herpetologist who collected thousands of Africa's most deadly snakes for research, conservation, and venom-extraction. Capstick's third choice, Tiny John Boyes, ventured alone into the heart of black Africa, hunting elephants, establishing close ties with local tribesmen, and transporting horses and camels from Nairobi across the desert to what was then Abyssinia. Finally, there's Captain James H. Sutherland, author of the seminal Adventures of an Elephant Hunter, who hunted extensively in central Africa, as well as in Portuguese and German East Africa. Lots of hunting lore and lingo for the fans and, as promised, an escape to a time more brutal and dangerous than our own but perhaps also more challenging. Vintage Capstick.