'a terrific tale' LITERARY REVIEW 'an admirable book' INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY 'destined to become a modern adventure classic' FOCUS 'John Hare is a modern version of the adventurers of old... How wonderful that, in this materialistic world, people like John exist to champion that endangered, fast-vanishng wild Bactrian camel.' Jane Goodall 'THE LOST CAMELS OF TARTARY is one of those quests that sounds preposterous but which becomes increasingly compelling thanks to the strength of Hare's exuberant narrative.' TES 'This is more than a book about exploration. It's a great education.' SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST 'stirring stuff, as rich in human as in natural scenery.' DAILY TELEGRAPH In 1992 John Hare talked himself onto a Russian-Mongolian expedition into the Gobi desert as their hastily appointed "expert" on the wild Bactrian camel, one of the most endangered species on the planet. Hare was no camel expert, but four expeditions into the wastelands of the Gobi desert and seven years later, Hare has miraculously persuaded the Chinese authorities to establish a massive nature sanctuary to prevent what looked like the inevitable extinction of this particularly enigmatic ship of the desert. The Lost Camels of Tartary is Hare's remarkable story. As he says at the outset of this extraordinary book, "I am neither a qualified naturalist or a scientist, but have always had the instincts of an explorer". As a consequence the book often reads like a good old- fashioned tale of epic discovery and adventure, including being marooned in one of the world's most forbidding deserts, the Gashun Gobi in Central Asia, as well as the discovery of ancient cities stretching back to the days of Genghis Khan and Marco Polo. Yet The Lost Camels of Tartary is also a compelling account of Hare's growing commitment to the cause of the remarkably resilient wild Bactrian camel, living on a diet of salt water and radiation courtesy of the bombardment of its natural habitat by repeated Chinese nuclear tests. Hare's bloody- minded determination to find and save the camel permeates the entire book, to the extent that it becomes easy to forget the magnitude of his ill-equipped and increasingly dangerous forays into the desert, which on his final two trips find him riding on camels which at one hair-raising point desert him. A series of breathtaking colour photographs of the desert give some idea of the epic (some may say crazy) nature of Hare's journeys. The Lost Camels of Tartary is a remarkable story of one man's determination, and which promises a happy ending for the camel. - Jerry Brotton, AMAZON.CO.UK
About the Author
John Hare has lectured to the Royal Geographic Society, the United Nations and the Royal Society for Asian Affairs and broadcast on BBC radio and television regularly.