Up Close With the Wild Ones

An autobiography of Jonathan Scott from the Big Cat Diaries
Up Close With the Wild Ones
Up Close With the Wild Ones

Jonathan Scotts Big Cat Diaries have been enthralling television fans for a long time, so his decision to write an autobiography could hardly be surprising. In true Scott style, what he puts together is a story packed with mistakes, love affairs, strokes of luck and ruined film rolls The tone is set by the anecdote where Kiki the cheetah is sitting on top of his jeep just above Scotts head and threatening to take a quick crap.

Scotts love affair with animals started young and sent him wandering into Kenya, chasing a degree in zoology. It was an edgy political climate plagued by the Mau Mau armed with pangas who were likely to be found anywhere, including the rough of Nairobis golf courses. Scott realised it was a place haunted by Hemingway and the big safari Bwanas but managed to establish himself as a safari guide, wildlife artist, photographer and writer in a career that seems to be beyond everyones wildest dreams. Obsessed by his love for the Mara he was lucky enough at the age of 40 to find a woman who shared his passion, Angie though while mentioning her again and again, he takes his time over describing their meeting.

With 40 years of Africa under his belt, Scott uses his conversational narrative style to describe the wild country he has chosen to make his home in the face of depression and health and spiritual doubt. His Africa is a combination of corruption and beauty, a place where airplanes are deliberately crashedone had an explosive in a wooden lions heador naturalists hacked to death, as Diane Fossey was. His Africa also includes the Rwanda genocides side by side with the death of Cecil the lion.

The book is filled with illustrations and photographs. For those who like watching the Big Cat Diaries and reading about Africa, this is the ideal book to flip through.

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