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The Last Great Ape: A Journey Through Africa and a Fight for the Heart of the Continent Hardcover – April 1, 2012


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The Last Great Ape: A Journey Through Africa and a Fight for the Heart of the Continent + Empty Hands, Open Arms: The Race to Save Bonobos in the Congo and Make Conservation Go Viral
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 282 pages
  • Publisher: Pegasus; 1 edition (April 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1605983276
  • ISBN-13: 978-1605983271
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,063,084 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Skillful storytelling...Readers who share Drori's affection for Africa or his passionate animal activism will not be disappointed." (Publishers Weekly)

"A lifelong love of Africa leads to a compelling blend of travel memoir and environmental activism." (Shelf Awareness)

“Ofir Drori is a man on a mission. LAGA has made a difference and shows no sign of stopping.” (BBC News)

“Intense and uncompromising. LAGA’s success has galvanized groups around the world. Ivory dealers now warn one another of ‘this dangerous man in black.’” (Conservation Magazine)

About the Author

Ofir Drori is an Israeli activist based in Central Africa.  A former army officer, educator, journalist, photographer, and adventurer, he has spent the past decades in two dozen different African countries.  He founded LAGA in 2003 and leads various efforts against corruption for conservation, democracy, and the rule of law.

David McDannald is an American writer, who lives on a ranch in the West Texas mountains.  He splits his time between caring for the cattle herd and traveling in Africa and South America.  He has published fiction and nonfiction in various magazines and journals.  He and Ofir met in Kenya in 2000 and they became best friends.

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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This is an amazing story, an amazing young man on a mission.
judyjudyjudy
He has built a force for good in Cameroon and is now attempting to help build similar organizations through out Africa.
DR
Both writers clearly have a gift for narrative, and a spirit of adventure that makes you shake your head.
Andrew Lasher

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Yael Bergknoff on April 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Before starting to read (kindle edition) I googled Ophir and read about his impressive work ... I expected the book to be an ode to his accomplishments but instead it was an emotional journey with him as he struggled to find himself before he made his mark on the world. This personal and honest tone makes for excellent reading, and then there is of course the backdrop of Africa - beautiful always, scary and forbidden and disgusting sometimes, heartwarming a lot of times...
Highly recommended, both for the travel/adventure aspect and for inspiration.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By AnnMarie Holmes on April 11, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is an amazing story of Ofir's work with LAGA. The stings, the raids, the conservation efforts, the heartbreak. It's not a textbook of how to be a conservationist, it's a story of his journey. Well told and a great read. I highly recommend this to people who are interested in conservation and want to know more about the reality of the day to day efforts of people like Ofir.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By judyjudyjudy on April 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an amazing story, an amazing young man on a mission. I've never heard of anyone else like Ofir Drori. And to think that he gave up the love of his life to try to make Jane Goodall's prediction not come true! The meeting of the two authors is also amazing. Israeli and American citizens meeting by total chance in Kenya - and becoming such great friends. Well written beginning to end.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Lasher on April 18, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I decided to read this book after seeing an interview with its insane protagonist/author and wound up coming away even more impressed. Like the best non-fiction, I sometimes couldn't believe it was true. Both writers clearly have a gift for narrative, and a spirit of adventure that makes you shake your head. I didn't think it would be a pager-turner given the subject matter, but it's been a long time since I consumed a non-fiction book this quickly. Any reader of National Geographic or Outside will tear through this book like I did.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Nitzan Dror on April 15, 2012
Format: Hardcover
A greate book on a very important subject.
highly recomended to anyone that cares about our planet's nature life.
a very talented writer and a real fighter for animal rights
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By H. Irwin on April 11, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you're looking for a new book, you must consider The Last Great Ape. Like the Blood Diamond, it's a fantastic view into life in central Africa. I left the story amazed with how distant my current life is from this one, and feeling more aware of realities of life in other parts of the world.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Gabriel Chown on April 23, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When I first heard about this book, I had a feeling that this book would be an interesting read. After starting to read it, I couldn't put the book down, I have found encapsulated in this tale of a brave adventurer a whole world of excitement, taking place in one of the most dangerous places in the world.

Being exposed to the might and wonder of Africa through the eyes of someone who came to make a difference gave me not only an inspiring perspective of the world but also a feeling that something can (and must) be done, anywhere we are.
Thanks!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Reading Mom on July 7, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Review based on digital copy borrowed through Overdrive at my local library

This book starts out with a determined,intelligent,independent, stubborn, passionate, but somewhat naive young Israeli man's journey to Africa alone at age 18. Ofir's hunger to absorb the continent of Africa into his soul,on his own terms sometimes leaves him somewhat unprepared, even endangered by his wanderings. However, the reader becomes drawn in by the experiences he encounters that become part of his very existence, that make him who he is. His travels through multiple African countries eventually bring him to Cameroon. Here Ofir finds an outlet for his passion to be someone who makes a difference. His mind and heart focus completely on enforcing the laws of Cameroon regarding endangered animals. Laws that have to this point been unenforceable due to apathy and corruption. It's a fascinating journey, with deep insights into a man who comes to realize that he has crusaded for so long with a passion powered by hate for the injustices suffered, that he has perhaps lost the ability to deeply love people ( he mourns a lost relationship with a woman he deeply cared about) and to re-discover the simple joys in life of laughter and just "having a good time" that he remembers from his past. Ofir acknowledges loneliness in his way of life, but a deep satisfaction at being able to make a difference in the world and to encourage others to do the same. The endangered species of Africa can have no greater advocate that Ofir Drori and I wish him well as he continues his work. which has branched out from the original NGO, The Last Great Ape Organization (LAGA) to include other advocacy groups as well. The book tears at the emotions and it's story isn't an easy one to hear, nor are the photographs easy to view--but they are vital to know and support so that extinction of more and more species can be avoided.
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