I released my autobiography, FACING DOWN FEAR, in 2018 and have been very encouraged by the response it received. The book touches briefly on my unsettled youth, and how I finally found and began to live a dream.
Below are some of the very kind and positive comments and letters that readers have sent me.
I hope this email finds you well and you are having a great hunting season so far.
For my birthday last month I was given your book and I have just finished reading it and i might just start from the first page and read the book again. It was fantastic.
I have heard a lot about you seen your pictures in the Courtney brochures, and now in some very small way experienced a fraction of what you have done for conservation and the experiences you have had.
I have read your book every morning and evening on my commute to and from work on the trains and tube here in the UK
( had a few funny looks from people who saw a picture or too )!!
And without a shadow of a doubt it has secured my thoughts and drive even more to finish off my license.
I was born in Zimbabwe went to school there and In 2011 I got my LPH license and worked at Antelope Park, went to South Africa and did my FGASA level one Advanced rifle-handling and Trails Guide course. I also worked in Hwange for a couple of years and built Camp Hwange near Shumba Pans and worked for Julian Brookstein and David Carson. While working for camp Hwange I also ran mobile tented hunting safaris for Richard Cooke, Tim Ellement and Howard Hunter in Ngamo forestry area. And did all my PAC from the airport to the grid just before you enter Vic Falls.
Unfortunately in 2013 I left Camp Hawnge and subsequently could not find any other work for 6 months and by May / June of 2013 I was desperate and bought a ticket to the Uk and set myself to work to get a trade and passport. And then return home to finish off what I set out to do all those years ago
I have got my trade now as a Plumber, Heating and Gas engineer and the passport will be in my hand by the end of this year and next year I am moving back to Zim to finish my dream and passion and start the process of finding an outfitter to work for, and finally get my license now I am a little older and wiser.
Thank you again For writing down your memoirs I think it is an important part of history that you hunters are very privileged to experience and live and writing them down and publishing your experiences can live on and inspire the next generation and this one. Hopefully one day I can do the same and I hope again that we will meet one day out in wilderness and share a campfire and you can sign my book !!
Take care and god bless
Hope you are well,
I hope you receive this letter.
Thank you for writing your book, I specifically bought it cause you write a lot about Lusulu and it brought fond memories for me.
I was one of the last persons to hunt in that area which I know as Kabuba, I hunted there the first time in 2003 and was there when Russ packed up camp in 2008( Rory Muil did), I know not all Safari operators see eye to eye.
I was deeply saddened to see the portions of the camp being off loaded in the Songo camp close to Siabuwa in 2008, the area was overrun by cattle and small patches of crops, I know it will be lost for ever. That area along the Mbele river with its meandering flow was one of the most beautiful places I have ever been in- nasty big bodied buffalos.
I hunted with several PH’s in Siabuwa and still remember the “a” and ”b” roads, Kapinda, Rhino spring jess and the Jess close to Van der Riets place I think it was called Masekili ( not sure of the spelling), that area was also overrun by poachers and cattle etc., there is a local guy- Kura( used to work for Dudley) that hang around in that area now.
I have hunted Chete , Sengwa research and Gokwe North and south as well , the last time I passed through Lusulu was in 2011 returning from Research on route to Matetsi, the dirt road was graded for all the mining activities in the area, the little white building next to the airstrip was still there.
Thank you for giving me a small window on how those areas used to be before all were lost, I wish I could have been there in the early days as well cause in 2003 it was only a shadow of what it used to be.
2011 was the last time I hunted in Zim cause it became too expensive and most campfire and safari areas were not in a good state, we as SA hunters cannot compete with foreign hunters- we normally waited for end of season specials, since the quota de-crease in areas and high trophy/permit fees the door was closed on most of us.
All the best for you and I hope dearly that BVC will remain in good hands for the future.
Morning Young man from a blustery Karroo….really lovely weather after the winds from the Cape subsided….they sent their Cape of Storms in retaliation for the loss to the Banana Boys in the Currie Cup final…
Your book came in second in the autobiographical…second to the best seller Brutal Legacy by Tracey Going…who was here to collect her award and what a story………there were almost a dozen books in the category by the way so no mean feat 2nd in a big race…..congratulations!
All the best and keep well…
John, I finally got the time to read your book “Facing down Fear”. It reads better than Capstick, flows like Ruark’s best and goes down like a good 18 year old single malt. Absolutely outstanding. Well done, mate. Honesty, humility and love for your dogs all rolled together into an amazing adventure.
John, I just finished your book. What a fun, mesmerizing read! I cannot express the joy and delight I experienced on every page, with every story. You have stoked my anticipation to get back to Africa SOON and pick up the hunt. Thank you, be well.
From Jeff Doris:
Just received your book and I cannot put it down. Absolutely amazing! I had the privilege of meeting you several years ago at an African hunting convention in Atlanta. You were a real gentleman to my son and I and a true example of what a sportsman should be. Thank you for setting the right example and especially your Christian testimony. Just wanted you to know you are appreciated all the way in Georgia.
I just received my signed copy of Life Behind the Crosshairs by Jeanette L Hall. I downloaded the book and it was so good I had to have a signed copy to go with some of my other favorite authors like Capstick, Boddington, Ruark, J Alain Smith, and John Sharp. The ostrich feather as a book mark is a great touch!
Lesley Cripps Thomson, Africa Talked
4 November 2019
A great read for anyone interested in wildlife, conservation, inspiring in that it encourages one not to give up, but to follow your dreams – you DO NOT have to be a hunter to enjoy this exciting book by John Sharp.
One of the pleasures of reviewing books for other authors is the variety of incredible stories we read, one being John Sharp’s book ‘Facing Down Fear’. Internationally recognised as one of today’s most respected, ethical and larger-than-life professional hunters and a passionate conservationist, this gripping memoir is also about John’s love for Africa and his desire and dedication to see it preserved for future generations. We felt that this is a case where the cover may be somewhat misleading, as it is not a ‘gung-ho Rambo’ tale, but has lots of depths, philosophy and reverence for colleagues, friends, family and his Christian beliefs.
28 October 2019
I’ve got to know this larger than life, amazing gentleman John Sharp through the Rice’s. I’ve learnt many lessons from him, even in his silent way and by his example.
Thank you so much for signing my book and so good to see you John Sharp!!
27 October 2019
John Sharp has written an excellent autobiography. The chapter “a puff Adder strikes” is frightening and makes me realize I did the correct thing, not putting my hand near the Cobra I killed in my hide with an arrow!!!
The short two pages titled “Amber” first caught me off guard, then made me laugh and finally, I feel I should send John a sympathy card.
I’ve only had the pleasure to meet John briefly in Las Vegas. We made contact through social media and he has been gracious enough to private message me after one of my classic battles with an anti hunting, anti conservation , animal rights looney and complement me on my knowledge. He has also sent me numerous amounts of information for which I’m grateful.
If you have ever dreamed of high adventure, traveled to hunt or been to Africa and hunted things that scratch, bite and stomp…..order and read this book.
Dear Mr. Sharp,
I have been in South Africa last week (Limpopo area) for a Warthog & Plains Game Safari and guess which book has been my favourite reading during these wonderful days… see attached photo!
I would like to thank you for sharing your impressive Life Experience with all of us… THIS IS A “MUST READ” BOOK FOR ALL HUNTERS!
I have no doubt your book will help me to be a better hunter, but above all, it has inspired me to be a better person… for sure, I will recommend your book to everybody!!!!
John, again thank you very much to be who you are… worldwide hunters would have to be very proud of a person like You!!!
I am looking forward to meeting you someday… and if some time you visit Spain, don’t hesitate to contact me.
I have been very busy since returning from the shows and have intentionally saved your book for rainy evenings which have certainly come. I just cannot say enough good about the book and the level of enjoyment in reading it.The book encompasses both trial and joy, and is a great picture of life. The account of the puff adder bite is near unbelievable and a testament to your toughness and faith. It is my opinion that your survival of this, and not losing either hand or arm constitutes a miracle. So many great and interesting accounts of hunting and places it has been my dream to live and experience. I know so much more about you now having read your book, as you have really shared many very personal details. Truly a ‘life well lived’ John and my very best wishes to you for many more years of happiness and adventure. I am both humbled and honored to call you my friend!
I have just finished reading your book and I want to tell you how much I thoroughly enjoyed it. Rean kindly gave it to me and I thank you for signing it.
Although I now live in Zambia I came from Rhodesia and although I was never one, we had several Professional Hunters in the family so I could appreciate all of the hunting stories in the book – your recollection were honest, down to earth and humorous, the latter very necessary when dealing with the occasional weird characters visiting our country. I also know you probably couldn’t repeat all of them.
I knew several of the people mentioned in the book – Mavros when he was a callow youth working for Benny Lobel and before he was oh-so-lucky to discover that gem called Catja, and you’re right, they have bred four wonderful sons. Also Mike ‘Paddlebum’ Rowbotham who I was in partnership with, along with Trevor Lane, in a whitewater rafting company below the Falls. Your assessment of Paddlebum was right on the nail but, because you’re a gentleman, you were very polite and restrained in recalling that particular episode. Duff Gifford, now in Australia, is married to my niece and the list of people mentioned that I have occasionally crossed paths with goes on and on.
Your book is another historic strand in the fabric of our once great country and I thank you for writing it, and although we appreciate your book, it will mean so much more to our children, grandchildren and those that follow when they want to know something about that country called Rhodesia that seems to have disappeared off the maps.
My Very Best Regards
12 February 2019
Thanks for the signed copy of Facing Down Fear John. I read it in two sessions and enjoyed it very much. It brought back so many memories of people, places and similar adventures and made me long for Africa. Thank you too for the lovely comments you made about my books. Take care and if there is anything I can do to help…?
10 January 2019
This is the Legendary John Sharp! We are so blessed to know this man and to be able to call him a friend. He has led an amazing incredible life full of real adventures that we all could never imagine. It was such an honor to visit with him today and for us to receive a personalized autographed copy of his book “Facing down Fear”. John Sharp is a gentleman and a scholar of his trade. He is a decent kind human being. We need more men like him on this earth. Love him and what he represents!
An exceptional book. I’ve read just about every book and novel there is on Africa, including all those on the Safari Press Classic series and many of those printed in the mid-19th and 20th Centuries by overseas publishers. There are few that I had a hard time putting down, and John’s book is one of them. For those who have hunted Africa, or for those who just love reading about Africa, this is a MUST read. Thanks John for sharing your life adventures in print. If anything, it will definitely bring out the “Walter Mitty” in all of us :-))
27 December 2018
Boy if you haven’t picked up a copy of John Sharp’s new book “Facing Down Fear” you’re really missing out. It’s a great read and has tons of classic photos in it. Enjoying every page of it.
21 October 2018
John started the book that night and finished your book on the trip home and loved it! It was especially nice as David Langerman and I would talk about chapters in the book as we were out hunting or over meals. Everyday there was something interesting about Uncle John to talk about.
It was a great perspective into a person and his life. Insights into history and your profession. The many People that also have stories. (Sat next to Mavros Dubai to Harare) Liked the way it was told and can’t wait to hear the stories you didn’t put in there.
My son is reading it now and my grandson has already asked if he can have it. Then it goes into the section with the classics. Hope to see you in January.