As Sanger Rainsford "of New York," an American big game hunter who has authored several books on hunting as well as fought in France during World War I, acquaints himself with General Zaroff during dinner at the general's chateau, he learns that his host comes from an aristocratic family of Crimea, a Ukraine peninsula that was part of Russia. The general also was the commander of a cavalry division in the Russian Army until the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution established a Communist government. Zaroff, then, departed for a new world in the Caribbean seas where, struck with ennui, Zaroff has devised his "most dangerous game."
As a captive, Rainsford finds himself enmeshed in battle again with this noble savage of a Russian. In fact, he is at a disadvantage since Zaroff has read his books and he knows little of the Russian or of the island itself. In fact, Rainsford is, again, doing battle on a foreign soil again a despotic leader. Once again, Rainsford "lived a year in a minute" as he is pursued by a new enemy and "had new things to learn about fear" not learned on the European stage of war.