A Neotropical Companion 2nd, Revised Edition

31 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0691009742
ISBN-10: 0691009740
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Editorial Reviews

Review


One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 1998


"The book is exactly what it says it is, a companion to take with you on your travels in the New World tropics. . . . The author has written . . . with just the right amount of informality and humor."--Journal of Natural History

"An intense and lively field guide. . .compact and richly substantive"--Scientific American

About the Author

John Kricher is Professor of Biology at Wheaton College, where he is the first recipient of the Bojan Hamlin Jennings Chair in the Natural Sciences and Mathematics. Among the many books he has written are A Field Guide to Ecology of Eastern Forests and A Field Guide to Ecology of Western Forests.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 451 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press; 2nd, Revised edition (August 16, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691009740
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691009742
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #110,110 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Christopher J. Sharpe on November 15, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is just about the best introduction to the natural history of the New World tropics available and is a real bargain at this price. Another good alternative is "Tropical Nature" by Forsyth and Miyata.

I have been using this book since the first edition came out and now have both. It's also one of the books I try to pick up used to give to budding tropical naturalists. And to judge by the number of first-time visitors who carry this book, it is still proving extremely popular. I like the way the author has tried to give a broad overview of the important themes without compromising accuracy. Besides explanations of ecological processes and descriptions of wildlife, there is a strong emphasis on conservation with the final chapter devoted to "Deforestation and Conservation of Diversity". As a companion to the tropical naturalist this will be hard to beat.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By J. Hanna on May 19, 2004
Format: Paperback
I found Kricher's text to be an enlightening, easy read for those interested in learning a subject they're not too familiar with. His explanations are satisfactory and he provides a broad, encyclopedic insight into the Neotropics as well as references for further reading. I also found his quips to be a nice break from the dry and tiresome technicalities that the topic often entails. Overall I think his book provides exactly what it he intended: an introductory text into Neotropical ecology.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey McCrary on December 24, 2000
Format: Paperback
I live and work in Central America, and therefore often need information on a wide variety of topics regarding the local ecology. This book has served me very well as a resource which gives concise but engaging explanations of lots of the aspects of the ecosystems here. Perhaps the most important flaw is the lack of information on freshwater aquatic ecosystems. Similarly to other publications, this book leaves one with the impression that there is not much interesting about freshwater except in the Amazon drainage.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By David A. Baer VINE VOICE on July 2, 2006
Format: Paperback
Kricher's NEOTROPICAL COMPANION is not the kind of 'field-guide-for-dummies' that many of us depend on to find our way around Central and South America's flora and fauna. Rather, it's the next step for people who've become familiar with that kind of guide and want to understand at a deeper and occasionally more abstract level why the natural life around them is what it is.

Ours accompanied us through many years in Costa Rica.

The photos are stunning, but there are not many of them. Fairly dense, instructive prose dominates.

A fine book by a recognized authority. Buy the field guide and get it well-thumbed and into your mind. Then add Kricher's NEOTROPICAL COMPANION to it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 18, 2001
Format: Paperback
Kricher's prose is easily read and digested with fascinating details of the workings in a tropical forest. A delightful read for both the student wishing to understand tropical ecology and the traveler who wishes to get a better feel for the environment in South America. Highly recommened.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Laurie Bechtler on November 9, 2006
Format: Paperback
I took this book along with me to Peru and read it during long boat rides on the river. If you have an interest in biology and ecosystems, this book is a great introduction. It covers a little bit of everything, from birds to mammals to plants. You can dip into one topic without having to read it linearly.

The book greatly enhanced my trip. Guides are great but they can't be experts in everything at once.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By gardener on March 25, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book provides a good overview of several ecosystem types within the neotropics, including information on plants, insects, birds, mammals, and inter-species interactions. It's written in an academic but accessible style. My only criticism is the presence of numerous typographical and measurement-conversion errors in the book. Overall, I would definitely recommend this book - I brought it with me to Peru, and read it from cover to cover.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Martin Pruimers on April 7, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've had to choose between 3 and 4 stars, but I'll stick to 4 stars.
It's really a good introduction to the natural history of the Neotropics. Yet, I've got the feeling that Mr. Kricher wants to tell us about too many things in too few space, thus leaving much things for further explanation. Of course, it's a heavy task to pack such a diversity in so small a book. The general introduction is thorough, but in the group description some groups remain heavily underexposed.
He shouldn't be playing on words this much only to let every pun be followed by a hypocritical "no pun intendeed". There's nothing against making puns, though.
The colour pictures do not add much to the book. I think he'd better have fewer and larger pictures than this stamp collection that give a somewhat disorderly impression.
Nevertheless, I enjoyed reading it, making me wish to return to the neotropical rainforests.
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