Twenty-five years ago, as a young curator of mammals from the Australian Museum in Sydney, he set out to research the fauna of the Pacific Islands.Â Starting with a survey of one of the most inaccessible islands in MelanesiaâWoodlark, in the Trobriands Groupâthat young scientist found himself ghost-whispering, snake wrestling, Quadoi hunting and plunged waist-deep into a sludge of maggot-infested faeces in search of a small bat that turned out not to be earth-shatteringly interesting. He includes accounts of discovering, naming and sometimes eating new mammal species; being thwarted or aided by local customs; and historic scientific expeditions.
Among the Islands is the third book in a loose trilogy of Flanneryâs adventures, following on from the bestselling Throwim Way Leg (1998) and Country (2004).
Tim Flannery has written over a dozen books, including Here on Earth; the award-winning bestsellers The Future Eaters, The Eternal Frontier and The Weather Makers; and his accounts of adventures in Papua New Guinea and Australia, Throwim Way Leg and Country. Tim was the 2007 Australian of the Year.
'Flannery's recollection is part adventure romp and part political history but above all a love letter to nature and science...' AgeâA rollicking adventure story that will entertain amateur zoologists young and old. By populating the narrative with interesting characters as well as fascinating creatures and spectacular environments, Flannery also keeps the story interesting for those without a deep interest in science.' **** (Four-star review) Australian Bookseller and Publisher
'Flanneryâs own labours in exploring these exotic islands are recalled with the zest and enjoyment that attach to difficult and arduous circumstances overcome.' Canberra Times
'Writing in a witty, anecdotal, confessional style, Tim Flannery takes us with him on his search for elusive critters in exotic places, and along the way we learn a lot about nature, humankindâs devastating arrogance, the politics of the Pacific and, most surprisingly, ourselves. Flannery is about as close as you can get to a living national treasure â¦' Courier Mail
'There is an 18th or 19th century explorer inside Tim Flannery, trying to get out...in this rather ripping yarn, which combines a passion for science with a zeal for adventure...Like any decent colonial explorer Flannery (whom David Attenborough has compared to David Livingstone, no less) and his colleagues suffered privations and hardships along the way, although the arduous conditions were always rewarded with the wonders of the natural world, and few are better qualified to write about that.' Weekend Australian
'Among the Islands is not a polemic about environmental destruction nor a dissertation on the discovery of hitherto unknown species. It is above all an easily read and often surprisingly funny recounting of Flanneryâs early adventures. However it also provides the reader with insights into how Flannery developed the logic behind the theories he espoused in The Future Eaters and particularly The Weather Makers.' Gippsland Times
'Flannery is a gifted writer, able to bring the musty backrooms of museums to life. It will be a hardened reader who can finish the book and escape without a romantic appreciation for island life and the mysterious beauty of evolution.' Dominion Post Weekend Press (NZ)
'A ripping yarn.' Sunday TasmaniaÂ
'Flannery is a crackerjack storyteller as well as a scientist.' Publishers Weekly