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What a fascinating read is this account of Attenborough's early adventures around the world. David writes with such articulation and passion that the reader cannot help but fall into a trance of fascination and interest at the unusual people, places and (of course) animals that we meet along the way. This is a must read for any adventurers, animal enthusiasts and Attenborough groupies. Rated four star because I felt the concept of searching for and procuring animals from their natural habitat for transport to the Zoological Society of London - a concept which the book revolves around - gave the book a somewhat out-dated aftertaste and begged consideration of the complex, age-old question of the value of zoos. Fantastic read nonetheless.
David Attenborough is a legend and he has led an amazing life. This tale of his early years and the adventures of travelling through relatively uncharted lands looking for (then) rare animals is fascinating. It's not just the animals they found, but the lands, the people and the things that happened including some very tough challenges. Whilst Attenborough writes well, he doesn't have the skill to elevate this into as an exciting read as it could have. After reading Rohd Dahl's going solo (another young man's story of adventure) I couldn't help wish he could have written this as well. 3 and a half stars
These Zoo Quest stories are similar to the 2016 DVD of similar title and the two go great together. However the Zoo Quest DVD episode in Africa is not presented in the book and is replaced by an extra story from South America. The story of filming Komodo dragons is great with all the elements of high adventure along the path: dangerous storms, uncertainty, new friends and dodgy characters. The films one sees gives the viewer no clue what they endured to actually get that footage and this book provides the behind-the-scenes window of insight. However the final story about the Pantanal perhaps isnt as exciting as...other places David has surely been. Lacking David Attenboroughs fascinating voice narration and charisma the book is not as good as the movie, but still a must-read for die hard fans.
Very easy to read, informative and enjoyable. Lighter moments included alongside botanical and zoological facts and figures. No wonder he has gone on to do such wonderful tv programmes for us all to marvel at and think seriously about the ramifications. I read it with David's voice in my head and thoroughly enjoyed it.