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BOOK REVIEW: THE GAMEKEEPER by Portia Simpson

BOOK REVIEW: THE GAMEKEEPER by Portia Simpson
Simon & Schuster Australia
Autobiography, hard cover, rrp$35.99
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
7 ½ /10

I never thought I’d find myself reading the biography of the first woman to have graduated as a Gamekeeper and Wildlife Manager in Scottish history – it’s just not the sort of thing likely to stimulate my radar.

But, the good folk at Simon & Schuster were quite prescient, sending me a copy unbidden – and I must confess it’s pretty good.

Portia Simpson’s story is exotic, unusual, fascinating at times, occasionally gross (and animal rights activists and vegans will NOT enjoy the many tales of hunting, trapping, butchering herein), and ultimately enlightening.

Even when delving into the minutae of day-to-day life working on grand estates in the Scottish wilderness, Simpson avoids being mundane. Her story is interesting not only on a personal level – her determination and drive are absolute – but also on a societal level, battling centuries-ingrained sexism, and the many insights into the wonderful workings of nature herself are gripping.

Tales abound of hunting, camaraderie, poachers and even some of the royal family – all told in Simpson’s endearingly natural voice, making this an unexpected delight.

BOOK REVIEW: THE GAMEKEEPER by Portia Simpson

Filed Under: Book Reviews

About the Author: Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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