on 22 February 2000
Nick Hazlewood has come up with a historical masterpiece. The story of Jemmy Button is one that touches us all, of a man taken from his roots by an alien culture and thrust into a world where he is nothing more than an object of fascination. Nick Hazlewood has discovered a story that sheds new light on the behaviour of so called "civilised" man and takes us into the life of an individual whom we learn to understand, love, and admire.
The story is fascinatingly told working its way from Jemmys origins in Tierra del Fuego to his capture by the British and his travels across to a Victorian England obsessed with the new. The tale of his reception by the British establishment and his realisation of the danger which his people faced is a remarkable piece of writing from an author who has obviously worked hard to reach deep inside this character from the past. It is an entertaining and gripping story remarkably told. If you have never picked up a history book before then I suggest that you start at the first page of "Savage" and work your way through to the end. You will not be disappointed.
on 3 June 2002
I ha no idea what to expect from this book when I picked it up, but I was surprised to find myself fascinated by the story of Jemmy Button and pulled efforlessly through (what is a long book)by the skill of the writer.
Although the story of one man, the book does fill out his world for the reader with first rate historical research, meticulous detail and a host of truly amazing characters. Yet, at all times, these always relate directly back to Jemmy and his centrality is never lost in a sea of irrelevant detail, as so often happens in books such as this.
The later sections concerning the missonary attempts to 'tame' the Yamana where, I felt, entirely appropriate and I was surprised at how interested I was in their story too. Even after Jemmy's death, the reader is so involved, I would have felt cheated if the author had not told us how the story of his people (as Jemmy had known them) ended.
This is a great book and deserves to be read by a great many more people. The writing is erudite and engaging, the story gripping and the research impressive. Buy it!