- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Ballantine Books; Reprint edition (October 13, 1992)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0345371984
- ISBN-13: 978-0345371980
- Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.4 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 275 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #43,096 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Last Chance to See Paperback – October 13, 1992
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“Lively, sharply satirical, brilliantly written . . . shows how human care can undo what human carelessness has wrought.”—The Atlantic
“These authors don’t hesitate to present the alarming facts: More than 1,000 species of animals (and plants) become extinct every year. . . . Perhaps Adams and Carwardine, with their witty science, will help prevent such misadventures in the future.”—Boston Sunday Herald
“Very funny and moving . . . The glimpses of rare fauna seem to have enlarged [Adams’s] thinking, enlivened his world; and so might the animals do for us all, if we were to help them live.”—The Washington Post Book World
“[Adams] invites us to enter into a conspiracy of laughter and caring.”—Los Angeles Times
“Amusing . . . thought-provoking . . . Its details on the heroic efforts being made to save these animals are inspirational.”—The New York Times Book Review
From the Inside Flap
"Very funny and moving...The glimpses of rare fauna seem to have enlarged [Adams'] thinking, enlivened his world; and so might the animals do for us all, if we were to help them live."
THE WASHINGTON POST BOOK WORLD
Join bestselling author Douglas Adams and zooligist Mark Carwardine as they take off around the world in search of exotic, endangered creatures. Hilarious and poignant--as only Douglas Adams can be--LAST CHANCE TO SEE is an entertaining and arresting odyssey through the Earth's magnificent wildlife galaxy.
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Although Douglas Adams is most famous for humorous fiction writing, for some reason his novels, like "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," never grabbed me. Perhaps I just wasn't in the mood at the time--I will certainly try again. But when it comes to travel-oriented nonfiction, Adams is absolutely the best. I especially recommend "Last Chance to See" for people who enjoy reading Bill Bryson, but wish that Bryson had bigger adventures that were more wildlife-oriented.
What a shame that Douglas Adams died at such a young age. Fortunately books live forever. "Last Chance to See" is an ongoing wake-up call about the serious, irreparable damage humans are doing to Planet Earth, told in a way that will bring you to tears--both tears of sadness and tears of laughter.
I don't know how this book escaped my reading list all these years, but I'm glad I found it now!
Marty Essen, author of Cool Creatures, Hot Planet: Exploring the Seven Continents
and "Endangered Edens: Exploring the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Costa Rica, the Everglades, and Puerto Rico" (to be published in January 2016).
However, for the most part I do believe, along with Douglas' famous private detective, in the interconnectedness of all things. I'm just not fanatical about it.
So we have a serious non-fiction book about a serious subject. But we also have Douglas Adams. Between his wit and charm, the weird names of the animals, the bureaucratic roadblocks the team faced and some slightly off-center characters, you'd almost think you're reading another Hitchhiker book. His style is much the same.
For example, he continues to use what I call the "pseudo reverse negative", i.e. hanging in the air in exactly the way bricks don't. And he begins a chapter on New Zealand by describing the topography of Norway (sadly, without mentioning its designer).
All in all, a great read.
What a marvelous, hilarious, evolutionarily witty and brilliant piece of non-fiction this is. Allow me to briefly surmise some of the spectacular facets of this delightful book.
Well, screw that, here's what the book is...
Take the creator of Vorgons, Zaphod Beeblebrox, The HitchHiker's Guide to the Galaxy, (and that 5 book series) and put him in the real-life context of:
* tourists wearing vulgar tourists in exotic places
* sniveling and unhelpful airplane customer service people
* endangered animals
* commuting on a rickety boat with a three-day-old dead goat
* some of the most venomous snakes and creatures to exist
* and more
I love how Douglas (in studying evolution in this book a bit) dissects everything. There was one passage where he deconstructs the composition of the paper pages and leather binding of a notebook (I would've used computer personally lol) (bollocks I will find it and quote it exactly but can't open kindle at moment):
He does things and has descriptions like that throughout the book. He made a witty, true, and interesting parallel between vulgar tee-wearing tourists (who happened to be from a non-uk country) convergently evolving in a way that was similar to brits that he knew.
I never knew Adams personally, but love the man and his work (possibly as much as Dawkins seemed to, whom wrote a lament for Douglas). He's easily one of, or The, fave sci-fi authors, but that said, this non-fiction of his is even better. Hilarious and wise simul.
Put one of the world's most amusing fiction sci-fi authors in with the ants and dirt and forests embarking to see some of the rarest animals on the planet. It's marvelous, insightful atheism, didactic evolutionary biology, promisingly british, freakishly funny, and just awesome.