- Hardcover: 312 pages
- Publisher: Counterpoint; 1st edition (November 11, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1619024500
- ISBN-13: 978-1619024502
- Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.5 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,335,926 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Hunt for the Golden Mole: All Creatures Great & Small and Why They Matter Hardcover – November 11, 2014
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"The Hunt for the Golden Mole is...an informed and informative, provocative and rousing work. Exploring the startling changes in our attitudes to exotic and extraordinary animals over the past 200 years, and surveying the current scene notably the mass slaughter of elephants in Africa, and such heroic projects as Edge of Existence, which works to protect endangered species Girling brings passion to vital issues, and may help move at least a few readers to action." The Telegraph
"This is a book that bursts into life from the first page. Part memoir, and part survey of a bewildering variety of animal species, Richard Girling’s rousing, fascinating study takes the reader on a romp down the corridors of museums and zoos, into previous centuries and back again, and in and out of the lives of extraordinary and flamboyant characters: hunters, trappers, scientists and circusmen." The Sunday Times
"The Hunt for the Golden Mole is an engaging story which illustrates the importance of every living creature, no matter how small, strange or rare. It is a thoughtful, shocking, inspiring and important book." The Guardian
That rarest of delights: a roaring book of huge importance written by a master storyteller exploring our fragile relationship with the animal kingdom, offering insights into how a hopeful future could yet be snatched from the jaws of despair. Not a hint of preaching, not a whiff of worthiness. A great story written not by an idealist but by a pragmatist with a heart of gold with a clear eyed view of the world.’ Sir Tim Smit
I loved this book. This is natural history at its funniest, most curious, enlightening and heartfelt. I couldn’t put it down. It was like going on safari with Gerald Durrell, Rachel Carson and Redmond O’ Hanlon I was alternately wide-eyed with wonder, appalled and then tickled to laughter. It’s beautifully written. And it’s powerful. An elegy to every living thing on this remarkable planet. Impossible to finish without being uplifted by the wonder of the natural world and driven to do something about its plight.’ Nicholas Crane
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Top Customer Reviews
The book is much more than that, it's really about the interface between humans and animals, with particularly interesting discussions of how researchers in the past got specimens (shooting them, among other means). This discussion muses on how attitudes have changed; things we now find horrible would in their day have been unexceptionable. There is considerable autobiographical detail; Girling has been a nature and environmental journalist for many years (he must be in his 70s by now). This may seem indulgent to some readers, but I found it absorbing.
He has grown in his writing, from a rabid environmentalism to a more nuanced view. In particular. he writes that unless local people can see value in preserving biodiversity, conservation will not occur. He gives a very promising example in Kenya (and one slightly less encouraging from Mozambique). He's got some nasty comments to make about environmental purists, saying essentially that such rigid views are really extremely harmful to the causes advocated.
He seems to alternate between optimism and pessimism. His discussion of the trade in elephant ivory is deeply disturbing. There's an amusing side to it, grimly amusing. In Europe in the last few years a new kind of crime has been occurring--robbing places that have stuffed rhinos or rhino heads on the wall. Rhino horn is much more valuable than gold, and say at $40,000 a pound, lightly guarded local museums and other venues makes it profitable and low risk.
He argues for a kind of triage. There are species that will go extinct regardless what we do, and some that will survive anyway. He has some wry comments about the public interest in megafauna as opposed to the far larger and perhaps more important small species--like the golden mole.
so am putting the link here.
Suffice it to say that this is an outstanding book that everyone should read. Why it's so ignored at Amazon I have no idea, but I hope it doesn't indicate that nobody's reading it. There should be a Kindle edition.