Leiningen Versus the Ants

A short but detailed adventure story by German author Carl Stephenson centring on a gutsy and spirited plantation owner in Brazilian rainforest called Leiningen.  Leiningens outright stubborn refusal to abandon his plantation in the face of an apparently unstoppable mass of army ants, described as “Ten miles long, two miles wide” army of ants, which are approaching and devouring everything in their path.  64 Billion ants each one the size of a human thumb with the ability to completely pick the flesh from a stag in six minutes, all matching ever closer sounds like the most horrific force of nature imaginable. The surrounding farmers all fleeing for their lives as the horde approaches while Leiningen standing his ground rally’s his workers preparing to fight.

The story is taken up with the day-long struggle in which Leiningen attempts to hold off the wrath of the huge black sea of ants. Rallying his workers with his courage, inspiring ideas and driving moral with his steadfast bravery and sacrifice Leiningen himself becomes as unstoppable force as the ants.  It is man versus nature, and how man should not underestimate that power but it also has strong political overtones most notably the rise communism and nazism.  However reading it for what it is proves to be an entertaining, fun and enthralling read.

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