Jock of the Bushveld
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Jock of the Bushveld

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  369 ratings  ·  33 reviews
Jock of the Bushveld, published in 1907, has been read and enjoyed by millions of children and is now a classic among animal stories. It remains as fresh and exciting as it was when it was first written and is dedicated by Fitzpatrick to '...those keenest and kindest of critics, best of friends and most delightful of comrades the likkle people!'

Jock's owner was a young tra...more
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Published July 31st 2002 by Ad Donker Publishers (first published 1907)
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Community Reviews

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Dirk Grobbelaar
What we have here is a bona fide local classic. The tale of Jock of the Bushveld is as proudly South African as biltong and beskuit. Or perhaps not as proudly: the original version (which I obtained from the Gutenberg project) is absolutely rife with racial slurs. Here’s the thing: even though apartheid is an Afrikaans word, it was never an Afrikaans invention, as this book (which was written at about turn of the century) unflinchingly illustrates. The colonials at the time, and especially, it s...more
Mpscahill
I read this for geographic and historical perspective on the pioneer days of South Africa.
Sue
The author's experiences from his years of living in the bush and the hunting dog that he had from the time it was a puppy.
This kept showing up as a Goodreads recommendation. I was unable to find it anywhere here in the States so when I had opportunity to find it during a layover in Johannesburg, I decided to buy it. I'd had the idea it was fiction, but in reading the preface discovered it was book form of stories he'd told numerous times from his experiences - the ol' "you need to put these t...more
Sylvester
Fair warning: This book may be about a dog, but it's more about hunting with him than anything else. Which has it's good side, in that it gives you a good feel for the countryside and the amazing animals with their incredible capability to fade into the background - but once you've been given such an appreciation for them, it is hard to take the terrible gore of the actual killing. It's a very beautiful book, in a lot of ways, but it has this way of putting two opposite views so closely together...more
Paul
I normally avoid animal books as a genre and I'd never even heard of this book until being prompted by a South African workmate who had heard it as a boy and had fond memories of it.

I'm glad I read it. Its an enjoyable story. Clearly it was written in very different times to today. They really had a very tough life. I doubt I would have prospered under the same conditions.

It took a bit of getting used to the names they called the natives but I understand that those terms haven't always been dis...more
John Mountford
I think this story should have been left as FitzPatrick first created it: a series of bedtime short stories for his children. It's strength lies in the descriptive detail of each episode, and not in its combined effect as a novel. The ending is abrupt and unsatisfactory, demonstrating that the author possessed neither the skill nor the inclination to weave the truth into a satisfying work of fiction, allowing it to totter somewhere between the two. What a pity, as a hero with the potential for g...more
Billy
May 04, 2010 Billy rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: dogs
Enjoyable tale about a plucky bull terrier in the bushveld. While it may have been a boy's tale back in the day, it's probably a little too gritty for today's pampered weenies.

The next to last chapter where Jock's owner tries to get his wagon train to market is one of the best of the best Man vs. Nature stories I've ever read. Brutal and unsentimental.

The drawings are numerous and excellent.

The volume itself is not well edited and is full of typos.
Ian
I can see why this would be a hit with children, being about a boy and his loyal dog companion's exploits in the African bushveldt. While vividly describing the untamed wilderness and it's many inhabitants, the book is also about courage, being literally the underdog and overcoming that to rise above everyone else - surely a positive role model for kids! The extent to which Jock goes to tackle quarry many times his size, seemingly heedless to danger is exciting to behold, his tenacity legendary....more
Jill
It's a dog book, it's about South Africa, it's about a travelling trader/hunter... it's everything I ever wanted in a book!

Won't break your heart a la "Old Yeller", but a touching book about a dog indeed. And full of good South African history/vocabulary.

Dwayne Bailey
My mother read this to me when we spent a holiday in the Eastern Transvaal (now Mpumalanga), South Africa. I'm pretty sure we read the abridged version. Ever since then I've wanted to read this again. This time though I made sure I read the unabridged version of Jock.

The tale is that of a young transport rider. Moving goods from the coast to the gold fields of Johannesburg. The South African bush was rough and unforgiving and a place where the riders hunted game for food. Enter Jock a mongrel pu...more
Emma
Groot jeug favourite. Verbaas my 'n bietjie nou maar toe was dit geweldig en ook nog vertaal in Afrikaans.
Katharine Peddie
Jock of the Bushveld is a beautiful story that not many children read and definitely not here in Australia. This is a book about a dog called Jock in South Africa around the 1880's. I recommend this book because it based on true life events and can be classified as a non-fictional narrative. (Gamble and Yates 2008) I believe this is true literature at its best, children will be intrigued by the story of a man and his best friend. This story has recently been released as an animated film. This wi...more
J. Aleksandr Wootton
A childhood favorite - has the feel of an American tall-tale, about the larger-than-life exploits and adventures of a dog and his human in the African bush.
John
Jun 13, 2014 John added it
It is an interesting and adventurous book.
I really enjoyed it especially because it takes place in South Africa.
It really grabs a readers attention.
David Ferrers
I spent much of my childhood in Aftica and this book played an important part in my understanding and love of the countries where I lived.
Kenneth
I normally don't like animal stories but this is much more than that. It's the story of a scion of an English noble house going out to the South African gold fields and damn near starving to death. He manages to save himself and a puppy at the same time. He turns his hand to hauling freight over the Drakensberg mountains and if you don't know how to handle ox teams this book will tell you. Fascinating. Don't look for false sentimentality here. This is a real book about a man and his dog facing r...more
Mark
One of my favorite stories. This is one book I have read more than once and will probably read again some time.
Maxine
I chose Jock because I heard (or more likely, read) somewhere that it was a classic of South African literature. I thought it would be fictional, not a biographical account. I enjoyed the story, but the writing took some getting used to and I did struggle with getting into the author's way of writing. However, there are some very memorable events in this account of a bush dog's life, and I have no doubt I will never forget Jock. The author writes about him with a lot of love and I will remember...more
Dev
I have a deep and discomfortable connection with this book, which I read when I was eight years old, before I went to live in Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia) for a year. The story of the relationship between an English settler in South Africa and his hunting dog, was powerful and evocatively written. The tone had resonances of the noble savage when talking of the Zulu characters, no doubt I would find it somewhat racist today, but a powerful read nonetheless
Rachel Page
I didn't think I'd like this after the first chapter, that was a slog. But it really picked up and I really enjoyed it. There wasn't really a plot, it was just hunting stories, but it was surprisingly intriguing.
Milton Glenn Rankin
This was the first book I read from cover to cover — I never forgot it — before I had become a teenager, I think. A truly South African story. I remember that it made me cry — the ending was so sad. Years later, I would look for the sites that Jock and his master had visited — they are still marked, to this day.
Riana Snyders
It had it's ups and downs. I am a big nature and animal lover but I did not enjoy this book as much as I thought I would. There was interesting parts that I did like but it took me fore ever to finish this book. I allso watched the movie which I loved so that might be why I didn't like the book that much.
LeAnne
A young transport rider in the days of the Transvaal gold rush adopts a bull terrier pup who leads an adventurous life.
An adventure classic. Great reading for boys. This edition has had some of the racist comments omitted.
Vicki Wilson
I read this book years ago. Nice to read it again. Still as heartwarming as ever. A classic that will never die. Don't like the whole hunting thing though. It was this book that made me become a Staffie owner.
Donald
There are no words to describe the contempt for this book and its contents. What a spoiler after having read two great books by South African authors

At chapter 13 I finally gave up
Jennifer
This is an absolutely incredible book. If you are African or love Africa, you should read this
Howard
Just so very very good. It is the real Edwardian Africa, with a real Staffie.
Tim
My all-time favourite as a kid. And a real tear-jerker too, at the end.
Ross
Wonderful children's book about a dog in South Africa.
Solomon
A sort of Lassie, set in Africa. What's not to love?!
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Sir James Percy FitzPatrick, KCMG, known as Percy FitzPatrick, was a South African author, politician, mining financier and pioneer of the fruit industry. He authored the classic children's book, Jock of the Bushveld (1907).

The Percy Fitzpatrick Institute of African Ornithology at the University of Cape Town was named in his honour.

Motor trails in the eastern part of South Africa follow the trail...more
More about Percy FitzPatrick...
The Outspan; Tales of South Africa South African Memories The Transvaal from Within: A Private Record of Public Affairs The Outspan Fitzpatric K, South African Politician: Selected Papers, 1888 1906

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