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The Man-Eaters of Tsavo by J. H. Patterson

The Man-Eaters of Tsavo (1907)

by J. H. Patterson

Other authors: Peter H. Capstick (Introduction)

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A spine tingling good adventure set in colonial Kenya. This story is so weird it could only be well-told if it's true. Has become and important part of Kenyan national myth, too. ( )
  kaitanya64 | Jan 3, 2017 |
The paperback that I have is a 1996 Pocketbooks reprint with an introduction by Jeanne Dixon, a tie-in to the release of the film, "The Ghost and the Darkness", which relies heavily on Patterson's Memoirs. He was a creature of his times and the language and attitude's of the author are not in 21st Century tastes. But is useful showing 19th and early 20th century attitudes. He likes a good story, and his account may have gone for colour rather than accuracy. I refer the reader to Charles Miller's "The Lunatic Express" for a less self-centred account. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Sep 5, 2013 |
The Maneaters of Tsavo - Lt. Colonel J. H. Patterson ***

After watching the film 'The Ghost and the Darkness' I decided to purchase the true story account of the man who actually managed to kill the maneaters.

The book started off quite well and goes into quite some detail regarding the area and methods used in order to trap the Lions. Anyone reading the book should also be aware of the times the book was written in. Expect non pc descriptions of natives and reports of the hunting of wild animals.

The reason I only awarded the book 3 stars was that only half the book actually dealt with the Lions, the rest just detailed Patterson's time in africa leading up to World War 1. A few nice stories if you care about it - I don't. ( )
  Bridgey | Sep 3, 2012 |
I love this book. I like to read book about the Dark Continent. This book explains in detail how as a professional hunter, J.H. Paterson tracked and killed the two male lions that were killing and eating railroad workers in Uganda. This true story is the basis for the blockbuster movie The Ghost and The Darkness staring Kirk Douglass and Val Kilmer. Like most books that have been made into a movie this book is much better, and gives a more historical view point. ( )
  ertreada | Apr 21, 2012 |
A reasonably good and interesting memoir about hunting wild animals in East Africa. John Henry Patterson became famous for killing the two man-eating lions of Tsavo, who are now on display in the Chicago Field Museum. Only the first half of this book is about the Tsavo lions, though; the second half is about his hunting other animals such as rhinos, etc.

Patterson seemed like a pretty likeable guy to me, modest, and not very racist by late 19th-century British Empire standards. The book made me feel distinctly uncomfortable though, because just about every animal whom he stalked and killed with such relish is now an endangered species in large part because of hunters like him. But if you like African adventure stories, you'll like this. ( )
  meggyweg | Nov 19, 2011 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
J. H. Pattersonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Capstick, Peter H.Introductionsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0671003062, Mass Market Paperback)

In 1898 John H. Patterson arrived in East Africa with a mission to build a railway bridge over the Tsavo River. What started out as a simple engineering problem, however, soon took on almost mythical proportions as Patterson and his mostly Indian workforce were systematically hunted by two man-eating lions over the course of several weeks. During that time, 100 workers were killed, and the entire bridge-building project ground to a halt. As if the lions weren't enough, Patterson had to guard his back against his own increasingly hostile and mutinous workers as he set out to track and kill the man-eaters. This larger-than-life tale forms the basis of the entertaining film The Ghost and the Darkness, but for readers who want to know the whole--and true--story, The Man-Eaters of Tsavo comes straight from the great white-hunter's mouth.

Patterson's account of the lions' reign of terror and his own subsequent attempts to kill them is the stuff of great adventure, and his unmistakably Victorian manner of telling it only adds to the thrill. Consider this description of the aftermath of an attack by the lions: "...we at once set out to follow the brutes, Mr. Dalgairns feeling confident that he had wounded one of them, as there was a trail on the sand like that of the toes of a broken limb.... we saw in the gloom what we at first took to be a lion cub; closer inspection, however, showed it to be the remains of the unfortunate coolie, which the man-eaters had evidently abandoned at our approach. The legs, one arm and half the body had been eaten, and it was the stiff fingers of the other arm trailing along the sand which had left the marks we had taken to be the trail of a wounded lion...." This classic tale of death, courage, and terror in the African bush is still a page-turner, even after all these years.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:07 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

When the British government undertook the construction of the Uganda Railway through East Africa in 1898, harsh criticism from the press, tremendous amounts of money spent, and rebelliousness of the workers turned out to be the least of the government?s worries. Their biggest obstacle came in the form of two ravenous lions with a taste for human flesh, terrorizing the 35,000 laborers building a railway bridge over the Tsavo River. After killing more than one hundred-thirty people over the course of nine months, the lions completely halted construction, as the workers were too afraid to continue. Colonel John Henry Patterson, the chief engineer overseeing the project, then took matters into his own hands. An inexperienced hunter at the time, but a courageous and clever man, he took on the beasts and single-handedly brought an end to their nine-month reign of terror. Patterson?s true account of his gripping and terrifying adventures confronting the lions and overseeing the project termed ?The Lunatic Line,? while tackling countless other obstacles, is a must for anyone looking for a thrilling read. With over 100 original photos of the East African lands, native tribes, and wild animals, The Man-Eaters of Tsavo is a true hunting classic.… (more)

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