Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Two Book Reviews--Last Chance to See by Douglas Adams and Mark Cawardine/ Bumbling Through Borneo by Tom Schmidt

Last Chance to See is a powerful book, both hilarious and heartbreaking. It is the story of several of the countless species on our planet that are on the brink of extinction, and the individuals who have devoted their lives to saving them. From the half-blind river dolphins of the Yangtze River to the charming kakapo birds of New Guinea, the stories of these animals, and those who fight to save them, will inspire you--perhaps even to take action yourself. Travel across Africa, Mauritania, China, and more with famous science-fiction novelist Douglas Adams as he takes you on a journey to see some of the rarest animals alive today...and pay attention, because this just may be your last chance.

I loved this book! I laughed out loud so many times I lost track while reading it, and yet it was also very serious at some points. Adams manages to inspire empathy through his humor and also through his stark portrayal of what is really happening to species all around the world. A must read for anyone interested in biodiversity loss.

Bumbling Through Borneo
, by Tom Schmidt, is the story of an American architect named Bob, who has received a mysterious note in his mail inviting him to travel to Borneo in search of a "great reward". Perhaps against his better judgement, Bob does so, and soon meets up with a myriad of unexpected traveling companions to help him on his quest. They find themselves traversing through an unknown country, hacking through thick jungles, fighting blood-sucking leeches, and more, while they come to the realization that all around them, this seemingly pristine jungle ecosystem is coming apart at the seams...

I really enjoyed this book. It combined humor, interesting travel stories, and environmental issues into a quick and satisfying read. The characters were funny and likeable, and the facts about Borneo scattered throughout this book were very informative. Definitely an enjoyable read for anyone interested in travel/adventure books.


  1. Annie,

    Great review of Last Chance to See. I really want to read this book!!

  2. Dad--Thanks! I think you should read it, it's really good.

  3. Last Chance to See is such a great book! Though it made me sad to read that in the meantime that dolphin subspecies is completely gone, and the other animals aren't faring much better :\

    And yes, do encourage your dad to read it, as I really think he'd love it too :P