Why did I love this book?
This might just be my desert island book. I’m not ready to put a pin in that statement just yet, but I can’t think of another book that captured my heart quite like this one.
Written by Douglas Adams, of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy fame, and British zoologist Mark Carwardine, this 1990 masterpiece takes the reader on a round-the-world journey to encounter some of the most endangered and charismatic species on Earth. Destinations include Zaire, China, New Zealand, and Mauritius. Subjects include blind river dolphins, the Komodo dragon and the kakapo – a giant, flightless parrot that is the living embodiment of a muppet.
The beauty of this book about animals is just how utterly human it is. To see the deep connection Carwardine has with the species they seek and Adams’ wide-eyed curiosity as he tries to keep up through remote forest hikes and rocky boat rides is exhilarating.
I can also thoroughly recommend the 2009 television series of the same name, which stars British comedian, Stephen Fry, as he follows in Adams’ footsteps. Carwardine once again plays host, and his interaction with a rather frisky kakapo has become legendary.