The story is familiar to movie fans-the horrifying tale of the 1907 book The Man-Eaters of Tsavo has been retold by Hollywood many times, most recently in the 1996 film The Ghost and the Darkness-but hearing it directly from the source remains a thrill.
Patterson, a natural storyteller, immerses us in the horror of the workers' fear and his own attempts to track the beast, which eventually would kill 140 people before Patterson took them out.
This real-life escapade will rivet fans of adventure fiction and nonfiction alike.
Anglo-Irish hunter JOHN HENRY PATTERSON (1867-1947) was an officer in the British army when he was commissioned by the British East Africa Company to oversee the construction of a railway bridge in Kenya. Just after he arrived in Africa, a pair of rogue male lions-animals that do not typically attack humans-began preying on the railroad workers, killing them viciously and consuming their corpses.