‘Shot of Short’ #13: The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber

Title: The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber by Ernest Hemingway
Date Read: 17 October 2008
Available Online?: YES
Briefly: Francis Macomber, on an African hunting trip with his wife, attempts to make amends for his cowardice in front of a lion, to win back the favour of his wife, and Wilson – the hired hunter that Mrs. Macomber has taken more than a shine towards.
Afterthoughts: Classic Hemingway! It’s Africa. It’s a hunting trip. And there’s a bit of a love triangle. I have a passion for the ‘to the point’ uncomplicated prose of Hemingway, and this is a fine example. The biggest highlight for me was Hemingway’s description of the lion being taken down, from the lion’s perspective – liquid gold!!
Notable Quote: “…he turned his heavy head and swung away toward the cover for the trees as he heard a cracking crash and felt the slam of a .30-06 220-grain solid bullet that bit his flank and ripped in sudden hot scalding nausea through his stomach. He trotted, heavy, big-footed, swinging wounded lull-bellied, the trees toward the tall grass and cover, and the crash came again to go past him ripping the air apart. Then it crashed again and he felt the blow as it hit his lower ribs and ripped on through, blood sudden hot and frothy in his mouth, and he galloped toward the high grass where he could crouch and not be seen…”

Rating: ★★★★½

*Story read as part of my 100 Shots of Short reading challenge.

About Rob

Rob, a self-confessed bibliophile, is without any hope of rehabilitation. He gets unnaturally excited over anything book-shaped, and if book sniffing were a crime then he would have been locked up years ago (which wouldn’t bother him in the slightest provided his cell was lined with books).


  1. Great challenge and I wanted to let you know I’m joining too.

  2. Hi,
    I am in this challenge too! But well got a little distracted and now am restarting my short story reading 🙂

    The link you provide is not working. But thank you for the review.

    • Rob (Twitter: robaroundbooks)

      I’ll check that out Veens, and welcome back to the wonderful world of short story reading 🙂

  3. hi

    i know this is bit late but could u pls tell where can i find this story online ,the link given above is not working ,thanks in advance

    • Rob (Twitter: robaroundbooks)

      I’m really sorry Rahul, but I can’t help :(. That link was obviously valid when I posted it. I’ve had a quick search but can’t find it anywhere else. You may have to buy a ‘hard copy’ of it in a collection.
      Sorry and good luck