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Follow the Author
Golden Bats and Pink Pigeons: A Journey to the Flora and Fauna of a Unique Island Kindle Edition
From the Publisher
From the Illustrated Biography
Durrell Around 10 Years Old
Durrell, around ten years old, in typical natural history “exploration” mode—wellies, collecting bag, walking stick, and his loyal dog, Roger, at the ready. Roger traveled with the family when they went to Corfu in 1935 and when they returned to England in 1939; he and Durrell were inseparable companions.
Durrell often gave “illustrated” talks about his expeditions, brought to life by lightning-quick sketches of some of the animals he had nurtured during the long months spent in the bush. At the 1954 launch of his third book, The Bafut Beagles, about his second trip to the Cameroons, he brought a sketch of an African brush-tailed porcupine. His first two books, The Overloaded Ark (about his first trip to the Cameroons) and Three Singles to Adventure (about an expedition to British Guiana), appear on the stand.
A bronze statue of Durrell by sculptor John Doubleday stands at the entrance to Jersey Zoo, now called Durrell Wildlife Park. It was erected in 1999, the same year that the trust was renamed Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust in Durrell’s honor.
(Photo courtesy of Gregory Guida.)
“[Durrell’s] books have an unfailing charm. . . . It is a tribute to his skill that one never tires of his accounts.” —Chicago Tribune
“Animals come close to being Durrell’s best friends. . . . He writes about them with style, verve, and humor.” —Time on The Whispering Land
About the Author
- ASIN : B01NBKDE1M
- Publisher : Open Road Media (February 21, 2017)
- Publication date : February 21, 2017
- Language : English
- File size : 5092 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 157 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #870,018 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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Durrell tells of his preparations and of trying to get all the supplies and everyone in his group in and out of boats and onto tricky landing spots in remote areas. A great deal of thought went into how they would trap the birds, bats, and reptiles so that they would not be injured as well as how the animals would be housed until they were ready to depart for Jersey. Each species required a specific number of animals for a chance at a successful breeding program, and Durrell and his group did not take any more than they needed. (There are records from the 1700s of ships leaving these islands with thousands of turtles and other creatures on board, at least half of which would die before they reached their destinations.)
Hunting the animals was fascinating reading which often made me laugh out loud as Durrell described travel with Jak fruit and being in a hut during a torrential downpour with land slugs and a nervous rat.
In addition to the laughter, it's the beauty of Mauritius that I will remember, especially Durrell breakfasting with birds out on a terrace and his incredible descriptions of marine life when he went snorkeling. If you love wildlife, this is a book you must read.
In GOLDEN BATS AND PINK PIGEONS, Gerald Durrell takes us to Mauritius – don’t know where that is? Visualize the map of Africa that one of your teachers might have pulled down in front of one of your long ago classrooms. See that island off the right hand side? That’s Madagascar – and Mauritius is off to the left of that.
And it seems as if it might be a tropical paradise! Not so Round Island that he also visits that is off Mauritius, an eroded volcanic cone that presents all kinds of problems trying to catch various reptiles along with a good bit of comedy, for Durrell knows how to laugh at himself and is adept at it.
Of course you also meet weird and strange creatures you may have never known existed – so join Durrell and his friends as he sets off on yet another fascinating adventure to capture creatures to breed at his breeding zoo before they disappear from our Earth.
Durrell tales are entertaining and funny. His description of the Jak fruit as "an obscene green fruit, covered with knobs and looking rather like the corpse of a Martian baby" sent me into hysterics. My husband and I had just seen one at Kroger two days before. The Jak was meant to lure the Golden Bats and had a pungent smell "vaguely reminiscent of a putrefying body." And the produce man told us it was like "Juicy Fruit" gum! Glad we were not tempted.
After several delays, which involved the party's eating the bat fruit before it spoiled and buying more, the team finally landed on Rodriguez island. That evening the mosquitoes attacked. "I'm rather glad we came really, I would hate to think of all these mosquitoes going hungry," remarked one of the party. "Yes it's a form of conservation, really." Durrell replied.
The party must contend with other invasions as well, by giant land snails that invaded their tent and ate their food and baby Shearwaters that invade their bed.
The descriptions of Mauritius's flora, fauna, and coral reefs are vivid and gorgeous. My favorite was the chapter on the coral reefs, The Enchanted World. His writing is evocative and lovely as he describes experiencing the overwhelming life and color of the reef. You understand his enchantment.
As I read this chapter I experienced a tightness in the pit of my stomach, fearful that these teeming reefs are dying like reefs all over the world. I checked it out. The reef is suffering from higher temperature water due to El Nino events, and is also impacted by a billion tourists a year and the agricultural runoff from the island.
Mother Earth is losing her children from human impact and climate change. Durrell strove to save species from extinction. I am glad to have read his memoir and learned about his work.
I thank the publisher for the free ebook through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.
Top reviews from other countries
I am gradually working my way through all Gerald's books.