Tuesday, December 02, 2008

08.29 The Sands of Kalahari by William Mulvihill

Again, I think I heard of this book from Vintage Hardboiled Reads. It turned out to be a cool read.

The story is the classic plane crash survival trope. A small group of disparate people are flying across Africa when their plane crashes in the Kalahari. Because their flight was unregistered they expect no one to know where to come looking and so they set off across the desert in hopes of finding some rescue.

Eventually they come across a sort of mini-hill range in the midst of the desert where there is some shelter, water and fruit. Here the story becomes much more of a social experiment. The pilot decides that he will leave the rest of the group behind and strike out to try and find help somewhere. The rest of the group begins to subsist in their little valley according to their various skills. The old Afrikaner shows them desert survival skills. The strong game hunter decided to kill the family of baboons that live in the hills because he doesn't want them to compete for resources.

As the weeks go by one of the group devises a unique way of eliminating the others as he reverts to an almost prehistoric survival mentality. It's hard to convey how weird the story gets but you really get drawn in to the survival adventure.

1 comment:

Buzby said...

This is definitely going on my 2009 shelf, if for nothing else because of the awesome cover!