Harimau – Rudolf Voorhoeve (1957) (1st ed)


Harimau – Rudolf Voorhoeve (1957) (1st ed)


A personal account of a Sumatran village’s attempt to hunt down a deadly tiger.

Title: Harimau

Author: Rudolf Voorhoeve, Jan Fabricius (trans), Pamela Mara (illus)

Publisher: Elek Books, 1957. First edition.

Condition: Hardcover, with dust jacket. Good. Some small tears to dust jacket. Slight foxing and tanning to edges and first few pages. Text clean, binding tight. With line drawings. 162pp., app 7.5″x4.5″.

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About the book (from jacket flap):

In Harimau (the Malayan word for tiger), a professional hunter in Sumatra has written the story of a tiger that led to a unique duel between man and beast. For this particular Harimau was no ordinary tiger and the hunter has treated him with the respect he deserves. “Though abandoning the chase would have gone against the grain,” Voorhoeve writes, “deep in my heart I enjoyed each new failure I experienced and even now I rejoice over the fact that Harimau never suffered the humiliation undergone by so many other tigers of having his beautiful striped skin degraded to a rug adorning a wall or a floor.”

In fact, Voorhoeve has used his profound knowledge of the ways of the tiger to penetrate beneath Harimau’s skin and, in a manner worthy of Kipling, to recreate the very sight and sound of Harimau’s jungle world. And side by side with the world of the animal is that of the Sumatran village community, headed by the village chief, Hadji Salim.

These two worlds meet in tragic conflict when Harimau mauls and kills one of the village women. At once the villagers, who have previously tolerated Harimau’s presence in the neighbourhood, are alive to the menace in their midst. They mount a hunting expedition and even call in the help of a white hunter, as preliminary to a thrilling duel between man and beast.

Harimau is a book that will appeal equally to adults and teenagers. It will live long in the reader’s memory for its qualities of excitement and suspense.