- Hardcover: 400 pages
- Publisher: Two Roads; 1 edition (26 September 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1473664403
- ISBN-13: 978-1473664401
- Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3.7 x 24 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 662 g
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 20,541 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Adventures of a Young Naturalist Hardcover – 26 Sep 2017
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From the Publisher
The gripping adventures of a young David Attenborough - published in a beautiful gift hardback, with a new introduction and a new selection of 90 pictures, including colour.
The Sunday Times
In 1954, a young David Attenborough was offered the opportunity of a lifetime - to travel the world finding rare and elusive animals for London Zoo's collection, and to film the expeditions for the BBC for a new show called Zoo Quest.
This is the story of those voyages. Staying with local tribes while trekking in search of giant anteaters in Guyana, Komodo dragons in Indonesia and armadillos in Paraguay, he and the rest of the team battled with cannibal fish, aggressive tree porcupines and escape-artist wild pigs, as well as treacherous terrain and unpredictable weather, to record the incredible beauty and biodiversity of these regions. The methods may be outdated now, but the fascination and respect for the wildlife, the people and the environment - and the importance of protecting these wild places - is not.
Written with Attenborough's trademark wit and charm, Adventures of a Young Naturalist is not just the story of a remarkable adventure, but of the man who made us fall in love with the natural world, and who is still doing so today.
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David Attenborough must be one of the most recognised and famous people on the planet, but it's not until you read something like this that you realise what an extraordinary life he's lead. These stories hark back to a time largely gone, telling of adventures that in many cases are simply not possible today. Numerous photos enhance the narrative, and it's amazing to look at them knowing they were taken around 60 years ago!
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For decades, Attenborough has played an outsized role in the very conception we citizens of earth have of our planet's fauna and flora. The very idea of sending camera crews and naturalists to the four corners of the world to witness the miracles of nature in situ originates with Attenborough and his earliest work with the BBC in the 1950s. Before then, as this wonderful book makes clear, TV nature shows consisted of a bunch of scientists in white lab coats, pinning poor animals down on stainless steel display tables and poking them to see what they would do. It seems like a no-brainer now to send cameras into the wild, but it took the convergence of technological developments (smaller cameras, mainly) and the humane sensibilities of the Zoo Quest team in mid-twentieth century for this revolutionary development to occur. And though the mission of the team was in fact to retrieve animals for the London Zoo, the legacy of those early forays is a commitment to leaving animals alone in their habitats so they can get along with their quotidian pursuits—and a sense that we human beings are privileged to be able to witness this at all. And more: that we humans have an obligation to fight the degradation of the planet and the miraculous variety of life it supports.
So, this book: it's funny, self-deprecating, full of wonder, and downright thrilling in its descriptions of the team's (often bumbling) efforts to find, document, and in some cases capture the animals they were sent to retrieve. It is a terrific book, full of adventure. And if you have ever read and enjoyed James Herriot's lovely books about being a large-animal vet or the zoologist Gerald Durrell's hilarious accounts of his life, then you will be thrilled and have your soul lifted by ADVENTURES OF A YOUNG NATURALIST. Here's hoping that Gaia's gift to humankind, David Attenborough, carries on doing his thing forever and ever!
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