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Book Review: 'Call Me Hunter' by Jim Shockey

'This is my story:' Famed hunter's debut novel is not a hunting story.

Book Review: 'Call Me Hunter' by Jim Shockey

Jim Shockey's debut novel goes on sale Oct. 17.

"Call Me Hunter" is a debut novel by Jim Shockey, a man who is not unfamiliar to hunters across North America. For more than 30 years, Shockey has traveled the world experiencing and documenting his adventures in hunting and wildlife conservation, as well as cultural diversity.

This new book is not a hunting story—it's categorized as a fictional, abstract "thriller" by the publisher—but hunting is an important theme for the two protagonists. In the preface, Shockey writes: “This is my story. I mean that figuratively … but also literally.”

Fans of the author will recognize the names of people, objects, locations, events and a favorite saying or two in the book, but likely not the murder confessed in the first two lines!

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Review of "Call Me Hunter" by Jim Shockey.
”Call Me Hunter,", a novel by Jim Shockey
  • Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books
  • Scheduled Release: October 17, 2023
  • 400 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781668010358
  • Available from: Simon & Schuster, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, BAM!, Bookshop.org

The Plot: A clandestine, well-connected and unbelievably powerful syndicate searches the world for its greatest art treasures. Old World operatives possess innate abilities to sense exquisite beauty and thus, recognize the most valuable works of art. These operatives are trained to acquire their targets, doing so with callous regard for the method—theft, bribery, forgery and even murder … whatever it takes. When a masterpiece is acquired, it is secretly sold to the highest bidder—an opportunity offered to only the wealthiest of the world’s private art collectors—and subsequently disappears. Old World profits handsomely, collecting billions.

The title character, Hunter, is involved in this scheme. His story and the evolution of his involvement is revealed in an unusual manner, through both first- and second-person narratives, switching from one to the other throughout the book. This style leaves a few loose ends, which are eventually tied together for readers. As Hunter grows with maturity, so does his disenchantment with Old World and its methods. When the life of his daughter is threatened, he is compelled to act, prompting a cross-continent, investigative and ultimately life or death journey to destiny.

Success for this original and remarkably authentic work could open doors, particularly in the realm of fictional literature, where distortion of truth with an agenda is common, and hunters are considered vermin. It is highly unusual when hunting is characterized in favorable light. Jim Shockey, one of the world’s most influential hunters, outdoorsmen and conservationists, is the ideal person to spearhead efforts to change wrongful, ignorant, prejudicial thinking about hunters, and further the provable science that hunting is conservation. Due to the unusual writing style, with alternating first- and second-person perspectives, two different narrators will be used for the audiobook version. A bonus: The author himself will narrate the second person dialogue. After all, he says in the Preface: “This is my story.”

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