Big Jim (James Peck), the main character after whom this gripping novel was named, is a professional big game hunter who leads organized safaris in the jungles of Africa together with his partner Caesar Wilde. The action takes place in 1950s and I had to keep this in mind as it was a very common practice at the time, together with Hollywood promoting the life in the safari through many movies. “Not to mention that the kills we make feed villagers in need of meat.” With this line in mind, I managed to get over the thought of being bothered by the hunting that it is a big part of the plot. I just let myself enjoy the trip in the safari, got to know many things about the nature, wild animals, bit of Swahili words and the most important about all the danger while sitting comfortably on my sofa. The more I turned the pages, the more the pictures were displayed in front of me. While there may be a bit of romance between Big Jim and Mary, a journalist going on a shooting safari and asking a lot of questions for her piece in the magazine, the main happening was something else. Maybe not fully understandable for a westerner, but totally believable for the locals, we are presented with a Jabilo (medicine man) that wants to regain power by mystically controlling an amazingly big Cape Buffalo to help him achieve his goal. The Mnyama (beast) seems unbeatable, killing a lot of locals, destroying villages and fighting the white hunters. Someone had to stop the buffalo and not having much of a choice, Big Jim takes the deal. What happens next I will let you discover on your own, not to spoil the suspense.
Type of reader: f you are looking for a read of action, a non-stop adventure into the heart of Africa in the 1950s, just grab the book and join Big Jim on his greatest adventure!
My favorite quotes from this book:
“There was something about the Dark Continent which drew people from all corners of the earth. It had romance. There was danger and adventure beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. Hollywood provided people a taste of this in the cinema, but there was nothing close to the real thing as an African safari.”
“How next should I strike? This was the question plaguing him. The tribes were falling in line with fear. They scurried for help from the government against the beast wreaking havoc against them. It would only be a matter of days before chiefs sought his magic to rid the territory of the curse. But he needed something more to solidify his power as jabilo. I need a victory against the white hunters……..I need one of them to die! Only then will my power be unquestioned. Mokonzi only needed to choose his next victim. The Mnyama would take care of the rest. But which hunter?”
My rating: 4/5.
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