Even the boats differ on occasions, too: the slim Dayak boat for the depth of Kalimantan jungle, the cleverly-designed Bugis 'prau' to cross to Pulau Aru. He had to be careful of centipedes on his bed and fought a losing battle with mosquitoes.
However, I love reading about the world when it was a much different place and traveling to exotic locations meant something else. I also learnt one thing: people of Kalimantan apparently wrote poems out of their love for the king of fruits, the durians.
I have yet to hear one. Jul 17, Daren rated it really liked it Shelves: non-fiction , travel , borneo , indonesia , south-east-asia , uk-author , excerpt , p-great-journeys , 4-star. The excerpts seem particularly well chosen, and in the introduction it even states It has proved nightmarishly hard to extract sections If there was one book in this series I am compelled to read in full it would, so far, be this one.
Having said that it is immediately apparent that this book wil A great selection of excerpts taken from Wallace's The Malay Archipelago and my pick of the Penguin Great Journey books so far. Having said that it is immediately apparent that this book will be disliked by many. At the time Wallace made his journeys and researched the flora and fauna, it was common practice to 'collect' as many samples as possible. As such it is pretty heartbreaking to read how many Orangutan he shoots during his time in Borneo. The book starts with a fairly simple explanation of his theory known as the Wallace Line.
Basically a theory of which parts of southeast Asia and Australia were joined together in the past, and how recently they have parted. This is based on the dispersion and evolution of various plants and animals located on each island a the time of his investigations. It isn't a long section, and it explains it very well. I found the whole thing fascinating, well written and richly descriptive.
Mar 23, Brian Kovesci rated it really liked it Shelves: travel. I love this series, but this volume bothers me.
It highlights the attitude that lead to rare game hunting and intrusive exploration that has resulted in mass deforestation and extinction. It was the attitude of the time, but that does not forgive them of their sin. Sep 01, Don rated it liked it Shelves: travel. As they say, you should never meet your heroes: they will disappoint. Whilst Darwin was cautious and plodding, fearful even of the conclusions he was being required to reach on seeing the evidence of natural selection being laid out before him, Wallace took it all full on and forced the hand of his greater correspondent to go ahead and publish.
Reading these essays we find out more about As they say, you should never meet your heroes: they will disappoint.
Reading these essays we find out more about what being dashing and adventurous actually meant: wandering around the islands of the East Indies decimating the population of poor orangutans. The scenes of a hunt are often distressing. A grazing ape peers from the treetops curious at the activity below and receives a gunshot that blows his hip off. He staggers on for a while yet, looking for branches against which he can prop himself upright, all the while taking more wounds from the gunfire.
Eventually he dies, in such an inconveniently wedged position that Wallace curses him and has to engage the services of local Malay lads to prise him down. Truly a grim business. But all this happened in the midth century when science was done by gentlemen explorers who had acquired obsessions about the fauna and flora of distant parts. Through their fastidiousness they invented scientific methodology or at least updated it from the ancient Greek ideals , examining each stem or wing shape and wondering where it fitted in with the larger schema laid out in body and plant parts in their studies.
Perhaps its knowing that which makes me grieve for those poor orangutan fellows: even as he was murdering them Wallace did as much as anyone else to help us understand, in the horror of their bloody deaths, they were, after all, our cousins. Mar 20, Ape rated it it was ok Shelves: travel. It was a good deal with the book people. Anyway, that's beside the point! I was actually disappointed to discover that this collection is just 20 books of extracts from longer books.
Stupidly I thought you'd be getting the whole book.
I suppose it's a nice way to get introduced to a lot of historical travel writers without having to plough through entire books, but at the same time, if you're going to read a book, why not read all of it? Any bookcrossing: I got this set of 20 for Christmas. Anyway, I shall read them all, as they do look interesting. This particular one I have already read. It's from the s and is the travel writings of a naturalist on three islands round Indonesia way. There's a couple of chapters on each of the islands mentioned in the title, and as well as telling us a bit about the fauna and flora, there's also a bit about the native people and travelling from here to there.
It is interesting, but this old school naturalism of 'kill several specimins of everything you see' does get quite depressing. How these animals live in their natural environment seem to be completely irrelevant to him in this book. It's all about killing as much as possible so he'll have plenty of stuffed examples to take back to England, and lots of skeletons to put in display cases. The chapter on orang utang hunting is particularly depressing. He is just so unfeeling and arrogant in his supposed superiority. Ok, it's a child of its time, but to be honest, I think this taster was enough for me and I wouldn't want to read his entire works.
Sep 30, Sarah rated it did not like it. This was terrible! Your recently viewed items and featured recommendations. View or edit your browsing history. Get to Know Us. English Choose a language for shopping. Amazon Music Stream millions of songs. See all condition definitions - opens in a new window or tab Read more about the condition. See full item description -.
Wallace deliberately planned some of his field work to test the hypothesis that under an evolutionary scenario closely related species should inhabit neighbouring territories. Visit Seller's Storefront. It's all about killing as much as possible so he'll have plenty of stuffed examples to take back to England, and lots of skeletons to put in display cases. This is based on the dispersion and evolution of various plants and animals located on each island a the time of his investigations. A chronological arrangement would have puzzled my readers.
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Few reading experiences can begin to match that of engaging with writers who saw astounding things: great civilisations, walls of ice, violent and implacable jungles, deserts and mountains, multitudes of birds and flowers new to science. Reading these books is to see the world afresh, to rediscover a time when many cultures were quite strange to each other, where legends and stories were treated as facts and in which so much was still to be discovered. Visit Seller's Storefront. Brit Books endeavours to provide each and every customer with an excellent shopping experience, backed by our customer satisfaction guarantee.
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