THE COMPANY OF ANIMALS by Ronald McKie
Kirkus Star

THE COMPANY OF ANIMALS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This takes place in the same part of the world where his earlier The Heroes 1960--(an account of WW II action) took place and it is the biography of McKie's great good friend, Jim Hislop, the last white game warden in Malaya. A Scot, Hislop lost an eye in childhood, fought as a secret British commando against the Japanese in Malaya, and can cover eighteen miles through Jungle in a day. This ""jungle sings, whistles, rings bells, squeaks, squeals, buzzes. It plays scales, pipes, hoots, howls, scrapes in a dry sandpapery way...."" Eighty percent of Malaya is rain forest and filled with such harmonies, mimicries and chirrings. And Hislop's virgin world is still unspoilt; like death, the rain Forest is the great equalizer. To him, ""the untouched forest is creation, a place of exquisite pattern... where the original blueprint is so exact and the balance between leaf and soil, food and animal, bird and insect, water and root so precise that it could not have happened by accident."" Ants and elephants interest him equally and Hislop's Joy in animals is paternal but hard, clear and appreciative of their perfection. Where man may have become effete, the animals are fit to inherit the earth and dominate this part of the world, so fully alive here. The writing is electrical.

Publisher: Harcourt, Brace & World