Monday, January 20, 2020

"Kidnapped on Safari"

Peter Riva is the author of Kidnapped on Safari. He has spent many months over thirty years traveling throughout Africa and Europe. Much of this time was spent with the legendary guides for East African hunters and adventurers. He created a TV series in 1995 called Wild Things for Paramount. Passing on the fables, true tales, and insider knowledge of these last reserves of true wildlife is his passion. Nonetheless, his job for over forty years has been working as a literary agent. In his spare time, Riva writes science fiction and African adventure books, including the previous two titles in the Mbuno and Pero Adventures series, Murder on Safari and The Berlin Package. He lives in Gila, New Mexico.

Riva applied the Page 69 Test to Kidnapped on Safari and reported the following:
This is an interesting question, Page 69... and here’s an excerpt:
....Mbuno always seemed to know what to say. “When tracking dangerous animals, it is always best to observe, be patient, then find their weakness. We may have a long wait.”

The ex-Marine slipped into battlefield mode and added, “Then we wait. Shifts?”

Mbuno said, “Food first.” He told Bob he should sleep first after the meal, then Pero, then Mbuno. The radio needed to be left on receiving, with someone always there. Pero and Bob nodded.

Bob asked, “Four on, eight off, that suit?”

Mbuno smiled and explained that in the bush, the sky and the place you are in tells the time, not a watch. Mbuno pointed up at the sun behind a cloud and asked, “How long will the sun need to change? You watch, it tells you when it is time.”

Bob had clearly had experience dealing with people other than Americans in remote places. “Okay, like the Tigris people I spent time with. They never used a watch and did things at different times of the day depending on the season.”

Mbuno did not know the people of Tigris, but he understood the concept. In the winter season, you rose later, worked harder, and prepared for an earlier sunset. It was cooler because the sun was not overhead like it was that day in equatorial Kenya. However, at this time of year in East Africa in the middle of the day, you planned your day differently. “Mr. Bob, here in Africa it is the same. You watch the animals, they tell you when it is time to move and when it is time to rest.
Mbuno, here, has already decided that the people they are up against are dangerous—not just wild—animals. As an experienced animal watcher, he is using those skills to evaluate and set about conquering the human enemy they were facing. But at the same time, Mbuno knows that doing “nothing” is often a good time to prepare, eat, rest and be ready for when action was necessary. Bob, an ex-Marine, is clearly deferring to Mbuno because he has recognized Mbuno’s leadership and bush skills. Meantime, Mbuno is tuned to the land, the animals are his guide. He relies on that connection to win the day.

The whole passage is a perfect microcosm explanation of who Mbuno is and why he and Pero survive and hope to win the day.
Visit Peter Riva's website.

Writers Read: Peter Riva.

--Marshal Zeringue