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The Outspan Tales of South Africa   By: (1862-1931)

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In "The Outspan Tales of South Africa," Percy Fitzpatrick invites readers on an immersive journey through the vivid landscapes and captivating stories of rural South Africa. Through a masterful blend of humor, compassion, and insightful observations, Fitzpatrick paints a rich portrait of the region's unique culture, wildlife, and people.

One of the book's standout features is Fitzpatrick's ability to effortlessly transport the reader to the heart of the South African countryside. With his vivid descriptions of sprawling plains, lush mountains, and vibrant wildlife, the author creates a strong sense of place that draws readers into the story. Each tale is meticulously crafted to reflect the beauty and harshness of this untamed land, leaving readers with a deep appreciation for its complexities.

The collection comprises a series of interconnected stories, each presenting a different facet of life in South Africa. Through memorable characters and their captivating experiences, Fitzpatrick deftly explores themes of resilience, friendship, and the struggle for survival. The protagonists' interactions with the native population shed light on the cultural intertwining that characterizes the region, and offer a compelling commentary on race relations in post-colonial South Africa.

One of the book's greatest strengths lies in Fitzpatrick's ability to inject wit and humor into his storytelling. From the colorful dialogue to the comical escapades of the characters, every page is infused with a lightheartedness that tempers the more serious themes. This balance not only makes for an enjoyable read but also serves as a reminder of the resilience and vitality of the human spirit in the face of adversity.

However, amidst the book's many virtues, there are a few moments where the pacing can be a bit sluggish. Some stories feel overly detailed, causing the momentum of the narrative to wane. Yet, Fitzpatrick's impeccable storytelling and his insightful reflection on the human condition quickly reignite the reader's interest, making these moments of deceleration forgivable.

Overall, "The Outspan Tales of South Africa" is a remarkable collection of stories that captures both the enchantment and challenges of life in rural South Africa. Fitzpatrick's vivid prose, unforgettable characters, and keen observations make this book a delight to read, regardless of one's familiarity with the region. Through its tales of triumph and downfall, the collection embodies the resilience and indomitable spirit of the South African people, leaving an indelible mark on its readers' hearts.

First Page:

The Outspan Tales of South Africa By Sir Percy Fitzpatrick Published by William Heinemann, London. This edition dated 1897.

The Outspan, by Sir Percy Fitzpatrick.



" There is no art in the Telling that can equal the consummate art of the Happening !"

It was a remark dropped by a forgotten someone in a prospector's hut one night, years and years ago, when we had exhausted snakes and hunting, lucky strikes and escapes, and had got away into coincidences. One of the party had been telling us an experience of his. He was introduced on the day he arrived to a man well known on the fields. It seemed quite impossible that they could have met before, for they compared dates and places for ten years back, and yet both were puzzled by the hazy suggestion of having seen the other before, and, in our friend's case, of something more definite. His remark to the other was:

"I can't help feeling that I saw you once in a devil of a fright somewhere or dreamt it, I suppose!"

But this first feeling faded quickly away, and was utterly forgotten by both. Later on they shared a hut near Rimer's Creek, and afterwards, when houses came into vogue, they lived for several years together, while the first impression was lying buried, but not dead... Continue reading book >>

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