SHIKAR-a thrilling tale of man and nature.

Posted: September 26, 2010 in Uncategorized

I’ve always had a soft spot for big cats.There’s something about the combination of force and pure,raw beauty of lions and tigers that I find mesmerizing.I’d love to come face to face with one,to experience the thrill of being in its presence,first hand.

The closest I’ve ever come to facing a tiger was when I read an absolutely amazing roller-coaster of a novel,called SHIKAR,by Jack Warner,of which I had the great honor of receiving a signed copy from the author.

The plot’s simple,but highly original:a full-grown Bengal tiger escapes a travelling carnival and runs loose in rural Georgia,killing people and livestock. Sheriff Grady Brickhouse doesn’t like the idea of a tiger loose in his community(who would?) and starts trying to hunt down the animal. What follows is a cat-and-mouse game through Georgia,with the tiger proving to be a great adversary for the sheriff,who eventually calls in Jim Graham,an English hunter who is known for his experience with Indian man-eaters.The National Guard also comes into play,considering the animal a serious threat to security.While all these people are trying to put the tiger down,a 9-year-old boy,Roy Satterly,who loves nature with a passion,develops a unique bond with it. At any time he approaches the wild animal,it doesn’t harm him,and Roy believes the tiger’s trying to tell him something. Graham immediately befriends Roy,but ,considering his safety,puts the tiger’s life to an end,not feeling too proud of it.

The characterization is where this book shines in my view.There’s not one single character that’s unidimensional ,and I genuinely cared for all of them.I absolutely loved Graham,who’s inspired by real-life tiger-hunter and conservationist Jim Corbett,and young Roy Satterly.If all children nowadays were more like Roy,the world would be a far better place.I have to confess,I felt like crying as I read about Roy’s connection to the tiger and my heart broke when the animal was killed. I highly recommend SHIKAR to all people who love nature and want a thrilling story about what it means to be wild.A solid five-star rating! Thank you,Mr.Warner! Helluva job!

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