Brian Plummer is self-consciously and proudly eccentric and his passion is hunting rats with ferrets or terriers. There’s a lot in this book about killing rodents but along the way we learn a great deal about rats and I learnt enough about the author to grow to dislike him. He appears prejudiced, patronising, self-centered and annoyingly jocular.
But the country he inhabited was one I knew nothing about, and I was fascinated by it. I loved the autobiographical bits and the little asides that brought his childhood in the South Wales valleys, between the wars, to life. Even though I’m not a hunting enthusiast, I found that I was interested in his descriptions of the vicious wildlife that Plummer lived for; stoats, ferrets, rats, buzzards, badgers, foxes and terriers fight, chase and kill each other chapter after chapter. It’s a short book and for strangely perverse reasons, I recommend it.
Tales of a Rat-Hunting Man by D.Brian Plummer is on sale at Oxfam Wilmslow for £7.99.