Reviews by Kingsley Turner

Hunting with the Bow and Arrow

by Saxton Pope

"Hunting With the Bow and Arrow" is a true story about a doctor (Saxton Pope) and a Yana Indian “Ishi”. Ishi was found as the last remaining tribesman, brought ill to the doctor. They became friends. Ishi teaches the doctor forest-lore, hunting and bow-craft.

It’s possibly a bit heavy on the archery for someone not interested (but if you are even better). It also gives insight into traditional hunting methods. The initial (true) story about finding Ishi is absolutely fascinating, and overall the book is interesting, yet easy to read.

Reviewed on 2010.12.10

The Ghost Pirates

by William Hope Hodgson

"Ghost Pirates" is the tale of a ship surrounded in mystery.

The story is explored through the experiences of the narrator "Jessop". He joins the ship for a return journey to England, knowing beforehand that strange things have happened previously. Most of the crew has left the ship, only one sailor is left who has knowledge of the goings-on, but is not keen to elaborate.

As the journey home unfolds, strange things appear at night, benign at first; but then things start to go amiss high-up in the rigging.

One of my most favourite parts, was the chase-down of something up in the sails during the dead of night. Sailors scramble up with only the meagre the light of a lantern, and the blue-white blaze of an occasional, frantically lit flare. Up and up the go, forcing back the darkness and unknown, only to find more than they bargined for.

At times I felt a bit confused interpreting the written accents of a few of the sailors, in particular (what I think was) the Scottish ones. Also the book jumps straight into sail and rigging terminology I had no idea of, but you quickly learn that "the royal" is one of the sails, and similiarly for other terms.

Overall this book is great, the story isn't very long, but once the narrator made his first "sighting" I was hooked.
I'd rather give it 9/10, than 5/5 though,
it's good, but not perfect.

Reviewed on 2006.08.30

Among Malay Pirates

by G.A. Henty

Perhaps a better title for this collection of short stories might be Tales of Heroic Adventure, as only the leading text actually deals with pirates.

I quite enjoyed the stories, they're easy to read, yet quite compelling. Geographically they range all over. The first in the jungles of Malaya, then sailing off the stormy coast of Britain, rebel armies India, gold rush North America. Henty manages to capture the feeling of each region though his charcters, their hardship, and localised accents with jargon in the dialogue.

His tales are definately directed at a younger audience - at times there's great battles, guns and knives and spears... but rarely does anyone significant get mortally injured.

Overall this is a great book, you can pick it up, read a story, then switch to something else for a few days before coming back for further adventure.

Reviewed on 2006.07.30

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