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Journey of the Pink Dolphins: An Amazon Quest Hardcover – March 9, 2000

3.9 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Pink dolphins--and yes, in the Amazon River the flamingo-colored mammals do exist--are believed by Brazilians and Peruvians to take human form, impregnate women, lure lovers to an underwater paradise, and in various ways drive those who encounter them mad. They seem to have worked their magic on science writer Sy Montgomery, who journeys through rain forests and sunken cities in a mad-dash pursuit of the enigmatic creatures.

Despite encounters with piranha-filled waters, toxic ants, and large rats--not to mention boat failures, foreign language problems, and alternate blasts of sun and rain--the persistent Montgomery pushes happily on, offering a lyrical account as intoxicating as the subject itself. She eventually makes contact, swimming with them, even holding one in her arms, but that may be the least relevant aspect of the entire book. Montgomery turns nature into a bewildering drug, opening doors into cultural and biological worlds invisible to most, but which teem with as much unseen life as a drop of river water held under a microscope. --Melissa Rossi

From Library Journal

Local folklore says that pink dolphins can entrance you and take you, never to return, to live with them in Encante, the enchanted city beneath the Amazon river. This book will claim you as well. Nature writer Montgomery's (Spell of the Tiger) tales of her trips to the Amazon to follow these elusive and little-studied animals are heady stuff. She visits researchers, scientists, village folk, and shamans, and although her efforts don't add much to the scientific knowledge, her vivid descriptions of the Amazonian rainforest (you will be scratching your bug bites, feeling the sweltering heat, and wanting to swim with the dolphins) and conservation attempts in reserves such as Pacaya-Samiria make this a recommended choice for all natural history collections.
-Nancy J. Moeckel, Miami Univ. Libs., Oxford, OH
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (March 9, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 068484558X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684845586
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,012,717 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
It's not that I learned a lot about pink dolphins; there actually isn't a lot of info about them here. But I loved this book. Sy writes so poetically and describes the areas where she worked so vividly, that I imagined her every move and drop of sweat in this hot tropical adventure. She does inform us in great detail of many natural creatures and events around the Amazon, and I learned a lot about that part of the world. It was so delightful I never wanted the book to end. Her writing style is memorable and beautiful. I especially liked the description of "man rain" and "woman rain" and have used this concept in my conversations with people.
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Format: Hardcover
In reading this book, I feel as though I learned as much about the Amazon and its people and culture as I did about pink river dolphins. Mythology, botany, entomology, anthropology, zoology...it's all there, along with doses of history and present-day conservation and environmentalism.
I love Montgomery's style of writing (and thinking). There were times which were poetic, educational, reflective, and others in which I found myself laughing out loud.
A long-time dolphin lover, I appreciate Montgomery's enormous effort she undertook to connect with pink river dolphins. I'm happy to have found and read this book so she could share them with me...
This was the next best thing to being there.
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Format: Hardcover
I can't believe how many people (including myself) had never heard of freshwater dolphins before seeing this book. Why isn't there any information out there about these intriguing cousins of the saltwater dolphins that we all know and love? Well, now there is! And Sy Montgomery takes us deep into the habitat of the freshwater dolphins --- the Amazon (where, as she explains, there are trees and ants that can kill you, among many other things). She not only explores the life and biology of these dolphins, but she also explores some of the myths that surround them. She learns that many native Amazon peoples believe that these creatures can take the form of humans in their efforts to seduce women into their underwater world. She relates first hand accounts of these stories and myths. But the author doesn't stop there, she writes extensively about the atmosphere of the Amazon, the people, the ecosystem, the cultures, the tourists, the industries, etc... She provides alot of interesting information about a very unique subject. As I read the book, I felt as if I was being pulled into the Amazon. Her writing is clear and approachable, sometimes poetic, but other times drawn-out. There are some very insightful passages as well. And fascinating photographs are scattered throughout. I recommend this book to anyone interested in animals, conservation, adventure travel, aboriginal/native cultures and all those intrigued by the idea of a freshwater dolphin!
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Format: Hardcover
I loved this book! Sy Montgomery is a talented writer, able to put you in exotic places with vivid descriptions, I almost felt I was in the Amazon. She really brought it to life, I look forward to reading another book of hers I have purchased, "Search for the Golden Moon Bear."
The book focuses on the author's quest for the pink dolphin, but really it is a journey to find not one but two dolphins. I don't refer to the other species of dolphin that lives in the Amazon, the tucuxis (one which she also covers in the book), but for two sides of the same animal. On the one hand she searches for the pink dolphin, the bufeo in Spanish or boto in Portguese, a living animal of which little is known about in comparison with many other dolphin species. Living in the most massive river system on earth, one connnected to innumerable lakes in the rainy season, in waters often black as coffee and infested with caimans, piranha, stingrays, and electric eels, in often very remote regions to which there is no reliable transportation to, it is a difficult subject to study. An example of cetaceans from an earlier geologic era, primitive when compared to modern oceanic dolphins, the pink dolphins preserve something from an eariler era, a holdover in the modern world. Montgomery and her various companions in the book struggle to get good observations of the dolphins, to try and track them, to identify individuals, to observe their behavior. The author finds that even experts who have studied the bufeo for years are often perplexed by them. She has many successes, providing much interesting information on them and a fine series of color photographs of the often startingly pink dolphins.
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By A Customer on March 9, 2003
Format: Paperback
As someone who's interested in the Amazon, its people, culture, geography, fauna, flora and other subjects, I read this book for its fascinating topic. However, this is a very mixed bag. There are moving sections, as when she describes the genocide perpetrated against the native peoples by Europeans (you would not believe the atrocities and torture they visited the Indians, whom they considered lower than animals - much worse in its ferocity than the Holocaust of WWII). The writing can be quite bad at times (at one point, her powers of description comes up with a fruit she tried, "bitter as semen"). But the worse is, she seems to be a very bad science writer and researcher. Who edited this book? Certainly not people versed in science or Portuguese. She gets everything in Portuguese wrong. The scientific names and terms are often misspelled. Proceed with caution.
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