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The Bafut Beagles Paperback – June 1, 1981
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- Publisher : Viking Pr (June 1, 1981)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 208 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0140012664
- ISBN-13 : 978-0140012668
- Item Weight : 4.2 ounces
- Dimensions : 4.33 x 0.47 x 7.13 inches
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Gerald Durrell is one of those animal lovers since he was a young boy living with his family on the Island of Corfu. You can buy this charming book and also his "My Family and Other Animals" along with a DVD of the series on PBS television. His stories tell of amazing animals who survive in complicated ways- my favourite being the humming bird who even mates in mid flight faster than any helicopter. Gerald died a few years ago - after catching a bad cold which turned into pneumonia when on an overseas collection project. I'm sure he would join the protest of David Attenborough and his current fight to save the many animals in danger of extinction - not to mention the billions of cows, sheep, pigs and chickens who live and die in the horrific animal factories. The most dangerous animals on the planet? Why ourselves, the Naked Ape.
Even though I did have trouble with those two things I mentioned, I still enjoyed the book-- especially since I'd just returned from a trip to a local zoo where I'd seen three or four species of animals that the author talked about in the book. I look forward to reading more of Durrell's work in animal conservation.
It was fun to read pidgen as I heard it. I just remember there were more French words used in the pidgen.
Top reviews from other countries
The book is as good as I remember it, with wonderfully evocative writing painting the skyline above the Bafut mountains and their colourful inhabitants. A liking of animals is recommended (as for all Durrell's books) but as before the animals are just one member of the four piece band of beautiful landscapes, character sketches and 'I can laugh about it now' situations.
The slight aftertaste comes from the cultural mismatch between Durrell and his 'beagles' - the hunters he has working for them. Nicknaming an African for a loyal hound would be a bit 'off' in the modern world, let alone times where he is trying to convince them "he has good juju for poison". It's not racism fueled by a sense of superiority, and the written forms of pidgin add just as much to the atmosphere as the landscape, but the book was written in the 1950's and shows it. If you're reading it as a bedtime story, you might need to make sure this isn't echoed in the playground.
With that tiny caveat in mind, I cannot recommend this story enough. The edition I purchased has lovely pen illustrations, but the prose is clear enough they're merely the icing on the cake.