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Gorillas in the Mist Paperback – October 6, 2000

ISBN-13: 978-0618083602 ISBN-10: 061808360X Edition: 1st Mariner Books Ed

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books; 1st Mariner Books Ed edition (October 6, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 061808360X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618083602
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,480 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In 1963, an occupational therapist from Kentucky, in uncertain health and spirits, traveled to central Africa in the quixotic hope of seeing a mountain gorilla in its natural habitat. Dian Fossey had read everything she could about the reclusive and much-feared animal, and she returned from her trip convinced that most of the books were wrong.

During her seven-week stay in Africa, Fossey had a chance encounter with the famed primatologists Mary and Louis Leakey, who encouraged her to follow her dream of living among the mountain gorillas and learning their ways. In 1967 she did just that, setting up a camp on the slopes of the 14,000-foot Virunga Volcanoes of Rwanda and studying four gorilla families there. Although it took them some time to accept Fossey's presence among them, she was immediately impressed by their peaceful nature and by their generous, guileless behavior--so unlike the images found in popular culture.

But, Fossey discovered, despite their peaceable way of life, the gorillas had many enemies in the form of poachers who hunted them for their hands, skins, and heads--ghastly remains sold to the tourist market. Much of Fossey's thoughtful but often rightly angry memoir Gorillas in the Mist is a well-reasoned plea for the protection of the gorillas and the suppression of the poachers' black market. That argument found a wide audience when her book was published in 1983, but Fossey's work remains unfinished: she was murdered, probably by those very poachers, in 1985, and today there are fewer than 650 mountain gorillas in the wild. To read Gorillas in the Mist is a first step for anyone concerned with their preservation, and that of other wild species everywhere. --Gregory McNamee --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"A classic of its kind."


"A fascinating combination of breathtaking adventure and absolute devotion to a cause." -- Farley Mowat

Customer Reviews

Very real story - full of emotion and passion.
Dian Fossey was a great woman who wanted to save the very mountain gorillas that she loved and protected from poachers.
Aaron F.
Though so much of the movie and the book are about her, I think if we could ask her, she'd say it's all about them.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By "diofoz" on January 30, 2003
Format: Paperback
Dian Fossey,author of Gorillas in the Mist uses this book to talk about her experiences researching gorillas in the wild. Starting in the year 1963 and ending in the year 1983, Fossey gives us an intimate look into her life and interactions with the mountain gorillas.
The book begins by telling the story of her first experience in Africa. The reader walks away from the first chapter of the book keenly aware that this is not an average woman writing of her weekend stay with gorillas in a zoo. Here is a headstrong woman willing to go to any lengths to travel to Africa to see the majestic gorillas, a physically capable woman handling the challenging terrain of the mountains undeterred even after breaking her ankle along the treacherous path to see the gorillas.
After her first African encounter Fossey cannot wait to come back and research the gorillas for an extended period of time. She leaves the United States in 1966 and travels to the Congo to study. However,this turns into an abbreviated stay because of the wars going on in that country. She moves camp to Rwanda,where she establishes a permanent home at the Karisoke Research Centre. Her study of gorillas starts here, and she quickly finds that living in the Parc National des Volcans will be physically, mentally, and emotionally challenging for her.
I was certainly ready to start reading about experiences with gorillas by the time that Fossey had gotten settled. The research at this point moves very quickly. Groups of gorillas are numbered and individuals are named. At times it became difficult to keep up with all hte names and numbers given to the gorillas; Fossey, however, does a wonderful job of keeping the reader informed of which group and which individual she is talking about.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful

By Jake on January 1, 2002
Format: Paperback
Don't Judge a Book by the Class your Being Forced to Read it in.

Early in the year(2001-02), we were assigned to read a book in high school Biology class. Not just any book though, one that had to relate to biology. Upon hearing this, a loud groan, mine probably being the loudest, arose from the class. Of course at the time I would have never thought so, but my groan would actually be wrong.

After much thinking, in other words procrastinating, I chose GORILLAS IN THE MIST by Dian Fossey. I had heard my mom say I should read it (I guess she liked it), which, honestly, usually means very little-I prefer to read books I choose-but that helped in my choosing this time.

After another month of "thinking", and my mom reminding me every night the report was due soon, I finally went out and got it. I started reading it right away, only the cover though. After another week I cracked the cover and actually began reading. Not just the inside cover, or the table of contents, but the first chapter.

Almost immediately (as soon as she actually arrived in Africa) I was met by a beautiful, lush environment. I was surprised she could explain it so well in words, and it made me wonder how much more beautiful it is in real life. This story was both funny and sad.

I loved the way she wrote. She left out no detail. You almost feel like you are in the forest, or in the campsite. She left out no details about their behavior either. Sometimes I forgot I was reading about gorillas, and thought I was reading about humans. Their actions were extremely close to that of humans. Their curiosity was both interesting and funny. Even after she got to know them really well, and they got to know her, a simple thing like a camera could set them off into a frenzy.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By vonnegut@concentric.net on October 18, 1997
Format: Hardcover
From the moment you open this captivating non-fiction book about the mountian gorillas of the Virunga Mountains, you crave to know more of these "gentle giants". Written by the first serious mountain gorilla observer, Dian Fossey, it is the first book to tell of these great apes and their very human-like characteristics and behaviors. It also tells all too well the gorillas' struggles for "freedom" and their troubles with poachers, zoos, and most of the outside world.
Though it would be easy for the author to stray away from the gorillas to her own personal life, Ms. Fossey stays completely focused on her selfless journey to explain to the world that these gorillas are not beasts but "gentle giants". She beautifully paints the picture of the gorillas' close-knit families and groups, and the hostility that can be felt in or between groups. Ms. Fossey also wonderfully incorporates her own experiences with the gorillas to bring a human touch to the book and to show that humans and gorillas can have relationships and can be "friends". This book is a must and I would definetly recommend it for all audiences.
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30 of 36 people found the following review helpful By ... on July 11, 2003
Format: Paperback
dian fossey's murderer was arrested in june 2001 and he as a government official called Protrais Zigiranyirazo allegedly involved in the poaching bussiness as well and sources say he did it because Dian new too much about his illigal activities and she was about to exposed him , he would have been disgraced. her murder was never a mystery because most people in rwanda knew he was the chief culprit just that he was never arrested because he was a senior politician. he hired a hitman to kill her but the hitman was later arrested by the police and found dead in his prison cell probably killed to silence him from exposing Protrais who had sent him. Potrais fled rwanda in 1993 and settled in belgium and was wanted by the international court in connection with his role in the 1994 genocide which occured in rwanda. it is from here that the present rwandan government started to investigate his background that they discovered his criminal shady past.he is due to stand trial this year 2003 and finally we may say justice has been done.i got to learn more about Dian Fossey and have become a personal admirer of her care after watching her movie and clearly i myself as an african admire her for her affection with natural conservation
of wild life and the need for man kind to respect its dignity in a time where the riches of this world have led us to be so ignorant about caring for nature.
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