This book is a sequel to The Lost World of the Kalahari. First of all his book is a great tribute to a people of unique spirit, the Bushmen. These people have not always been treated the best way by the black and white invaders. Van der Post shows his respect for the Bushmen and tells about what he has learned to survive in the desert. Kalahari is the name of the disreputable desert located between Namibia and Botswana.
In Van der Post`s previous book he wrote about a journey in a great wasteland and search for some pure traces of a unique and almost vanished first people in Africa. The book ends with a short stay with the Bushmen. The author shares here his impressions about their life, art, crafts, music, dancing and hunting.
The sequel book starts where the previous book ends, but you can read this as a self-contained tale. In the beginning of the book The heart of the hunter, van der Post and his friends are on their way out of the Central Desert. Suddenly they meet a new clan of Bushmen who haven't seen the other people before, and they search desperately for water. Here you can read about meetings between human being from different part of the world for the first time. I can ensure that it is fascinating reading.
Photo: Cover from the book: The Heart of the Hunter - Laurens van der Post
A journey into the mind and the spirit of the Bushmen
This book is a sequel to The Lost World of the Kalahari. This book is a great tribute to a people of unique spirit, the Bushmen.
Van der Post's detailed knowledge about the animals' life is impressing; especially I liked the story about the lion. Keep your eyes open! Few other people have come so close to the Bushmen that they can understand their unique intimacy with nature and animals.
The way he defend the Bushmen wakes strong feeling inside me. He doesn't like the white man's effort to make "a useful citizen" out of the Bushmen. As he sees it: "Our own civilisation was already in danger itself, because we valued people for the use we could make of them than for what they were in themselves".
When others measure the Bushmen's heads and other parts of their bodies, Van Post is genuine interested in the Bushmen's mind and spirit. For some great people like Van Post this more important than discover a totally new world. He draws also parallels to the Bible, which show that the Bushmen have similar stories.
The Bushmen are great hunters, and so are the stars? Read this book and you will understand that there is much more to learn from other people if you have an open mind. Van der Post's books are a unique contribution to understand the Bushmen's life and culture.
You can't stop reading before you are finished, and then you never will forget it. There is something in this book that gives deep reflections about an impressing group of human beings, the Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert.
Stein Morten Lund, 29 June 2000
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