What makes a great read? Here at Never Not Reading, we think it ultimately depends on great characters. Whether you find yourself loving them, laughing with them (or at them), or even loathing them, a great character can draw you into the story and keep you reading. To celebrate our love of great characters, we are starting a new weekly feature called Character Matters. Each week we will highlight a character that has literally jumped out at us from the pages! If you would like, please join in the fun. Feel free to link to your own character matters in the comments below if there is a character that you simply have to share with us!

A few ground rules:
1. Who: List the name of the character
2. Where: List the book(s), and the author
3. Description: Please keep your descriptions as spoiler free as possible. Ruining the ending of the book might not be the best way to inspire potential readers.
4. Why: How does this character inspire you?

This week, let me introduce:

Who: Jim Corbett (Edward James "Jim" Corbett), 25 July 1875 – 19 April 1955
Books - Man-eaters of Kumaon, The Man-eating Leopard of Rudraprayag, My India, Jungle Lore, The Temple Tiger and more man-eaters of Kumaon, Tree Tops
Author - Jim Corbett

Description: Jim Corbett was a true real life hero. He was born in India, to Irish parents, during the British occupation. Jim, a colonel in the British Indian Army, worked for the railway. However, his other occupations were frequently interrupted as he was requested by the provincial government to hunt the dangerous man-eaters which terrorized the local populations from time to time. Jim was fascinated by animals and nature all of his life. He was a very skilled hunter, but eventually his love for the big game animals themselves, specifically tigers and leopards, outweighed his desire to bag a trophy. Corbett determined no longer to hunt leopards or tigers unless the animals had threatened cattle herds (a source of livelihood in those days), or had become man-eaters. Corbett was beloved by many of the villagers he helped; some even considered him a saint.

Why: Imagine stalking a man-eating leopard, that has already killed over 100 people, through a misty jungle on a foggy night, alone and with only your trusty rifle and tracking skills for protection. This is precisely why Corbett is so amazing. There are plenty of moments of terror in his stories of tracking dangerous man-eaters; made even more horrifying when you consider that the stories are all true. Corbett's memoirs are intriguing without ever seeming over-exaggerated. His love of India, and the animals shine through on every page, and the man himself comes across as anything but conceited. My husband and I read this book aloud on our honeymoon, and the stories were so vivid and unforgettable that we still find ourselves talking about them now and again over five years later.
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