Hmm. I have to give this book a definite “Meh.” 3 stars.
Long story short, I often end up poking very odd subjects on my own dime, given local libraries aren’t so keen on ordering interlibrary loans. This book I got for obvious reasons: it’s about hunting in and around the Carpathians, and I thought it might be cool to have more background info for Taka, especially if I end up writing another story in that setting. Hunting, werewolves – makes sense, right?
And it’s not a bad book. It gives a lot of locales, how people get from other countries to the various hunting locations, checklists on “what you should bring”. If you want some light reading on hunting big game in Eastern Europe, this will do you.
That… wasn’t exactly what I was looking for, though.
I guess I’ve been spoiled by books like “The Man-Eaters of Kumaon” by Jim Corbett, or “The Tiger” by John Vaillant. Books that go far beyond “I went X and shot Y”, to the details of what it’s like to be out in a pitiless natural environment hunting down something that may be all too willing to hunt you right back.
I was hoping for more… sensory impressions, I’d have to say. What does it feel like to be up well before dawn, stalking through the woods or up mountainsides with native guides who only share some common words of German, to take that one perfect shot? This author tends to fall back far too much on “there’s nothing like it”. Without ever trying to describe what it is like.
So… I don’t know. If you want to read what kind of guns the guy likes, what high-society names he likes to arrange hunting trips for, how many and what animals they shot, you might like it. If you want to really try to get into the head of a hunter, though, there are better books.
I do think it’ll be useful for reference info. Just, if I want real sensory meat, I’m going to have to look up other stuff!