Thunder Without Rain
A Memoir with Dangerous Game, God’s Cattle, The African Buffalo
Thomas McIntyre, David Mamet, Joel Ostlind
- 384 Pages
- April 11, 2023
- ISBN: 9781510738348
- Imprint: Skyhorse Publishing
- Trim Size: 6in x 9in x 0in
“When you hear thunder without rain–it is the buffalo approaching.” This line from a Yoruba hunting poem conveys the magnificent power of the African buffalo, also called “God’s cattle.” Hunter and writer Thomas McIntyre has pursued this special animal for the last forty years, and he now shares his expertise in Thunder Without Rain.
McIntyre's topics are wide-ranging, from the various species of the African buffalo and their territories to the cultural importance of buffalo and its place among wild bovids. Other material he covers includes:
- African, European, and American methods for hunting buffalo
- Historical explorers as buffalo hunters
- Great buffalo hunters, including Theodore Roosevelt, Robert Ruark, Craig Boddington, and Robert Jones
- Ernest Hemingway’s writing on buffalo
- Correct cartridges for hunting African buffalo
- And finally, what makes buffalo so dangerous—and so sought after?
After exploring all topics related to the African buffalo, including hunts of his own, McIntyre ends with the fate of modern buffalo hunting, now often guided and for a high price, and the sustainability of this practice. In Thunder Without Rain, McIntyre confronts his obsession with African buffalo and brings the reader along for a fascinating journey.
Thomas McIntyre has written hundreds of articles appearing in Sports Afield, Field & Stream, Gray’s Sporting Journal, Petersen’s Hunting, American Hunter, Men’s Journal, Outdoor Life, Bugle, Sporting Classics, Fly Rod & Reel as well as in a score of anthologies. Tom is on the mastheads as a contributing editor of both Sports Afield and Field & Stream magazines. He resides in Sheridan, Wyoming.
David Mamet is the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his play, Glengarry Glen Ross.
Joel Ostlind is an internationally recognized artist who works in several media. A native of Wyoming, he appreciates the wonder of Africa.
Tom McIntyre writes like a man from my beloved American century.
–David Mamet, from the Foreword
It’s difficult to pigeon-hole Thunder Without Rain. That’s what makes it unique, on a par with Ortega y Gasset's Meditations of Hunting. To be sure, it is a book about hunting, but it is also full of biological, ethnographic and historical references, all rendered in lively, evocative prose. Perhaps the best way to characterize it is to say that it’s a vivid portrait of Syncerus caffer, the African Cape Buffalo, one of the most dangerous beasts on earth when aroused to anger, and as iconic to the savannas of Africa as the bison is to the great plains of North America.
-Philip Caputo, author of A Rumor of War, Ghosts of Tsavo: Stalking the Mystery Lions of East Africa, and Hunter’s Moon.
At once erudite and visceral, Thomas McIntyre’s Thunder Without Rain conjures Africa in a vivid, vital hunt for the Cape Buffalo—not just the magnificent creature itself, but what he represents to all of us who value that which is wild in the world.
— Jim Cornelius, author of Warriors of the Wildlands: True Tales of the Frontier Partisans and keeper of www.frontierpartisans.com
In our unserious time people do not take hunting seriously as a subject. This is a shame. Tom McIntyre's Thunder Without Rain, his eccentric history of human civilization seen through the lens of his relations to the African buffalo, should be read should be read by anyone who cares about animals, conservation, and history. _ Stephen Bodio, author of A Rage for Falcons and The Hounds of Heaven.
Dr. Martin Dysart, from Peter Shaffer’s Equus: “A child is born into a world of phenomena all equal in their power to enslave. It sniffs—it sucks—it strokes its eyes over the whole uncomfortable range. Suddenly, one strikes. Why? Moments snap together like magnets, forging a chain of shackles. Why?” In Thunder Without Rain, Tom McIntyre uses literature, anthropology, zoology, and personal adventure to explain how and why a boy from suburban southern California should grow up obsessed with one of the most dangerous animals on earth. McIntyre’s chain of shackles has led him, again and again, back to an Africa he loves at least as much as his own home, and to a lifetime of encounters ranging from terrifying to humorous and back to terrifying, but never conducive to low blood pressure. — Jameson Parker, author of An Accidental Cowboy and Dancing with the Dead. He has written for multiple outdoor magazines, hosted hunting shows, and was once an actor.
An eccentric masterpiece of the relationship between man and all things wild and dangerous. As exciting as the African journals of the great explorers but with the sharpened language of a modern master. A shot to the heart and mind at the same time. Soulful. God will love this book. — Terry McDonell, author The Accidental Life and Irma: The Education of a Mother’s Son.