Tag Archives: David Attenborough

Journeys to the Other Side of the World by David Attenborough

Overview
Image result for journeys to the other side of the world david attenborough book cover

Title: Journeys to the Other Side of the World: Further Adventures of a Young Naturalist
Author: David Attenborough
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Conservation, Non-fiction
Dates read: 7th December 2018 – 14th January 2019
Pace: Slow
Format: Novel
Publisher: Two Roads
Year: 2018
5th sentence, 74th page: There seemed very few people around Kumburuf from whom we could recruit replacements, but Jim said that there would be plenty about in a day or so.

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Synopsis

Following the success of the original Zoo Quest expeditions, in the late 1950s onwards the young David Attenborough embarked on further travels in a very different part of the world. From Madagascar and New Guinea to the Pacific Islands and the Northern Territory of Australia, he and his cameraman companion were aiming to record not just the wildlife, but the way of life of some of the indigenous people of these regions, whose traditions had never been encountered by most of the British public before.

From the land divers of Pentecost Island and the sing-sings of New Guinea, to a Royal Kava Ceremony on Tonga and the ancient art of the Northern Territory, it is a journey like no other. Alongside these remarkable cultures, he encounters paradise birds, chameleons, sifakas, and many more animals in some of the most unqiue environments on the planet.

Written with David Attenborough’s characteristic charm, humour and warmth, Journeys to the Other Side of the World is an inimitable adventure among people, places and the wildest of wildlife.

Thoughts

I almost screamed when I found out that David Attenborough had released yet another book. After all, the man is honestly my idol and I find it impossible to pass up anything that involves his work. Not only do I love finding out more about a man who has a lot to do with my choice in career path, but I also love the style in which he writes. He is funny and entertaining. And the beautiful way in which he writes transports you to another world and another time.

Where Adventures of a Young Naturalist takes you on the first few zoo quest expeditions and the animals that they encountered, Journeys to the Other Side of the World has more of a focus on the people that were encountered. And I loved this change of pace. Although it is the animal and conservation aspect of Attenborough’s work that I have always been obsessed with, the anthropologist in me is enthralled by the cultures that are encountered. Especially considering that this would have been at least fifty years ago, so the changes that would have occurred have made many of these places and peoples change entirely.

I’m so incredibly disappointed that this book is over. I loved going through the Pacific Islands, Madagascar and Australia. Especially considering it was such a different time, and even if I followed in David’s footsteps, I wouldn’t be able to see half of the things that he had. It’s a different world, a different time, and a different place. And one that I found incredibly fun and intriguing.

 <- Adventures of a Young Naturalist ReviewKangaroo Dundee Review ->
Image source: Hachette Australia

Adventures of a Young Naturalist by David Attenborough

Overview
Adventures of a Young Naturalist

Title: Adventures of a Young Naturalist: The Zoo Quest Expeditions
Author: David Attenborough
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Biographies, Conservation, Non-fiction
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Two Roads
Year: 2017
5th sentence, 74th page: We had constructed a large cage for the peccary from thin saplings bound together with strips of bark, and this was wedged in the bows of the boat.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Synopsis

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.

Thoughts

I love David Attenborough. So it’s not really a surprise that I love this book. Although I’ve seen him live, and talking about the years in which he travelled around filming and catching for Zoo Quest, it was a lot more fun to read about it. Or at least, to read about three of his adventures. It was completely unexpected, quite funny in spots and just a fascinating journey to be swept away on.

This journey starts with an introduction – it tells you a little about the background of Zoo Quest and how it all came about. Then you begin in Guyana. Each chapter is its own little adventure, and the three completely different journeys are structured and separated in a way that you almost pause and take a break in between. Much like Attenborough would have as he travelled on such a crazy whirlwind.

One of the things that really stuck out at me throughout this novel is how dramatically everything has changed. I highly doubt you could go on such an adventure anymore. And it’s even less likely that many of the animals that were found, filmed, and in some cases, captured are roaming about the wilderness anymore. This might be where Attenborough’s career really took off, but it is also a poignant reminder of the myriad of ways in which conservation practices and wilderness has changed in the last sixty years.

 <- Life on Air ReviewJourneys to the Other Side of the World Review ->
Image source: Blackwell’s