A life of adventure. An adventure to read. The sheer gritty sweep of this magnificent autobiography both astounds and impresses. And what one is most impressed with is the toughness of body and mind Tim Braybrooke exhibited throughout his life. The resilience necessary to undergo the tasks he details so matter-of-factly is uniquely admirable. Enduring thirst, leg-weary fatigue, and illnesses, life-threatening encounters with everything from lions to Cape Buffalo to elephants, to poachers, are like raisins in a pudding of sweaty endeavor.||The man himself describes his career as a series of journeys, though the book is not formally so divided. Beginning in his home country of Rhodesia, Tim and his friend Storm obtained a concession to hunt crocodile in the Okavango Delta. Journey one saw night hunts, seeking water-dwelling predators whose hides represented a chance at what was then serious money. After eight months of that striving, the partners were a bit… bushed. But they were in funds.||Journey two, 1956-1957, took the young men to Cape Town and first class passage on the //Winchester Castle// to England. En route, with the bribed help of the chief Steward, they managed the company of some engaging young women. Tim found himself with a Danish damsel, Inge, whom they revisited in Oslo after some months in England, where they made acquaintance of extended family for both men, and where Tim met his future wife, Bridget.||
Puttering about Europe preceded a decision to do something against all advice and sound judgement. They decided to return home overland through the length of Africa.||After meeting some very welcoming French Foreign Legionnaires, among others, they had to avoid traversing Tunisia and Egypt by themselves, as they were warned they would be interned or killed there. The buddies found themselves waiting on a French convoy that would take them south. It was a two month wait.||Funds exhausted, the travelers had to sell their beloved Willis. The rest of their journey was, essentially, hitchhiking. Sometimes meeting hospitality, but sometimes forced to forage the bush for sustenance, they found themselves, as Tim puts it, “skint” by the time they arrived back in Rhodesia.||Tim gained employment as a Junior Ranger at Wankie National Park. This would be his first step on Journey three, 1957-1964. He would go on to become the youngest-ever Game Warden in the country, after advancing to Senior Ranger. And became the father of two.||Here I must pause. Not only are the writer’s recountings full of sensory immediacy, putting his reader into the landscapes traversed, but this volume is full of wonderful illustrations. Multiple series of plates, black and white photos, many sepia-rendered. Maps, firearms, family pictures, wildlife portraits, hunters with trophies, all dramatically presented. Color enhances many of those plates.||Reading //TIMOT// was a rare privilege for me. I sincerely hope you will grant it to yourself.
|Page Count||281 pages|
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|Category||Biographies & Memoirs|