Philip Caputo Peter Andrews - Essay

Peter Andrews

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Tales of adventure set in Africa, with their prefabricated plots and pasteboard heroes, have become so much the special preserve of hack novelists that the genre has been all but spoiled for serious writers. Philip Caputo's [Horn of Africa, a] story of African gun running and clandestine warfare, begins in such a conventional way that it took me a few more pages than it should have to realize that it is the genuine article: a real novel stuffed with excitement and filled with sharply drawn characters, written by a tough, sinewy writer who has something more important on his mind than finding a new tax shelter….

As is to be expected from the author of "A Rumor of War," the finest memoir of...

(The entire section is 488 words.)