The Wheel of Life
by Bunny Allen
(Ross Murphy - Oklahoma, USA)
I have now read about 100 books on Africa, hunting, biographies, histories, short stories and diaries. This book is one of the most unusual to date. Bunny is a solid story teller, an accomplished hunter but spends a great deal of the book discussing his relationships with the various women that cross his path. He appears to be one of those men that attract women of a variety of types and has no problem with exploiting the situation to the fullest. Not to say that he is totally at fault, but he did not ever appear to put the brakes on while in the heat of the moment. He must have been a remarkable charmer and conversationalist as well as a hunting companion. The stories cover his career from before WWII to about 1977. There are numerous gaps in his stories but he did a good job of avoiding the "I shot this and he killed that" type of safari/hunting book. He focuses on his clients, the types of people he meets and his opinions of them. He makes an interesting comment about Texas hunters saying that they are traditionally very good rifle shots, even the women. He does not spend too much time talking about his hunting abilities, however, his romantic prowess is well described.
He seemed to be one of those rare people who wake up each day with anticipation of a great event or happening in the offing. His outlook on life was upbeat and he seems to be a content person.
From a literary standpoint, the book is well written, very well illustrated and an easy read. However, I personally have a hard time getting past his love affairs and multiple wives. I cannot in good conscience recommend this book for that reason. A cheap romance novel provides the same type tales.
I rate this a 7 out 10 for literary quality but a 1 out of ten for content as I do not feel this book was entertaining or increased my appreciation for the PH in Africa. My judgment is biased based on this. I do not like nor go to R rated movies and hence, I did not enjoy this book.