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Among the Islands: Adventures in the Pacific [Hardcover]

Tim Flannery

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Book Description

15 Nov 2012
Tim Flannery is one of the world's most influential scientists, credited with discovering more species than Darwin. In Among the Islands Flannery recounts a series of expeditions he made at the dawn of his career to the strange tropical islands of the South Pacific, a great arc stretching nearly 4,000 miles from the postcard perfection of Polynesia to some of the largest, highest, ancient, and most rugged islands on earth. Flannery was traveling in search of rare and undiscovered mammal species, but he found much more: wild, weird places where local taboos, foul weather, dense jungle, and sheer remoteness made for difficult and dramatic exploration. Among the Islands is full of fascinating creatures--monkey faced bats, giant fats, gazelle-faced black wallabies, and more--and the adventure of discovery. This is an idea read for anyone who has ever imagined voyaging to the ends of the earth to uncover and study the rare and the wonderful.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 246 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Press / Atlantic Monthly Press (15 Nov 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802120407
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802120403
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 15.5 x 2.8 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 150,654 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


"In [Flannery's] chest beats the wayfaring heart of a discoverer, and in this book, which details his colorful adventures among the flora and fauna of the South Pacific Islands, he reminds us that even right here on Earth, incredible things are waiting to be known." -"Newsweek" "Flannery's account pieces together the jigsaw puzzle of South Pacific geological, natural, and cultural history with well-grounded knowledge as well as respect and wonder for the natural world. We are lucky to have such an exuberant explorer to illuminate the intricate network of life in the South Pacific--and the perils and possibilities that life embodies on this precious planet we share." -"National Geographic Traveler" (Book of the Month) "Part travel diary and part field notebook, Among the Islands is a rollicking good adventure-science read--something like what you'd get if Charles Darwin starred in an Indiana Jones flick." -"Audubon Magazine" "Flannery is not just an internationally acclaimed zoologist; he's also an adventurer and storyteller who has discovered creatures no other human has seen. His latest record of exploration traces the beginnings of his career during the 1980s and takes him through more than a decade of study in remote islands of the South Pacific. ... Flannery's writing is generous and exuberant. His enthusiasm is enough to infect even the least science-minded of readers ... A breathtaking, informative tour of faraway lands."--"Kirkus Reviews" "Tim Flannery is a crackerjack storyteller."--"Publishers Weekly" "Australian field zoologist and conservationist Flannery cements his reputation as a true descendant of the great nineteenth-century naturalists and explorers with this look back at his expeditions to southwest Pacific islands. ... Flannery's prose is electric, aptly combining history, politics, and wide-eyed excitement as he recalls these experiences. ... Among the Islands exemplifies the sort of writing that was once commo

About the Author

Tim Flannery is a scientist, explorer and conservationist. He has published more than 130 peer-reviewed scientific papers and many books including "The Future Eaters" and the international bestseller "The Weather Makers," which has been translated into more than 20 languages. He was named Australian of the Year in 2007.http: // --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Just Dots on a Map 21 Dec 2012
By Beverly Kai - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is the memoir of an Australian naturalist who, twenty years ago, made the effort to find and study mammals on remote Pacific islands before they became extinct. If he could discover them, then they could be protected.
The man has a sense of humor - - -and he needed it to deal with the native peoples who still live traditional lives among the coconut trees... . but he also had to deal with environmental disruption and exploitation of the forests, which made the finding of obscure species almost impossible.
He also had a brush with a cannibal culture of not too long ago - - in Fiji. Not for the squeamish to read the account of a missionary of 100 years ago.
This is a lively read.....Australians are almost always entertaining.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for the Armchair Traveler 11 Dec 2012
By Georgianna M. Bergeron - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The description and the two reviews I've read say it all very well. How neat to be able to visit these remote islands--without the inconvenience of travel, bugs, snakes, diseases and enervating tropical heat! The movie "PT-109" showed these beautiful places and the gorgeous pacific. And a long time ago I read a book by Charis Crockett, an anthropologist in New Guinea, called "The House in the Rain Forest". She typed much of her book with a tree kangaroo on her shoulder. Fascinating places with an amazing variety of flora and fauna. I highly recommend both books.

My only complaint is the shortage of photos! How I'd love to see the coral and colorful fish, the birds, more flowers, and views of the rain forests! The native people are interesting, the bats and rats are cute (I suspect that it would take a zoologist to call them beautiful as he does) and I'm glad he included the pictures. But five or ten times that many would have made a really superior book. I bought this thru Amazon.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Past and present on Pacific Islands 23 May 2013
By Hans U. Weber - Published on
Flannery, an Australian writer, scientist, and explorer, recounts his adventurous travels to some islands off New Guinea to take stock of their mammalian fauna (existing or extinct). It was not always easy to deal with the natives but Flannery and his team took all difficulties in stride and with great humor. They visited the Bismarck Islands, Solomon Islands, Fiji, and New Caledonia. They were especially interested in endemic species of bats, including flying foxes, and unique species of rats. Unfortunately civilization with the introduction of our rats, cats, pigs, and dogs together with deforestation and mining has brought to extinction the unique giant rat and other mammals endemic to these islands.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good story-telling, unprovocative 5 Jan 2013
By Bjerkana - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have a number of Flannery's books in my collection and generally consider him one of the best environmental writers. This book, mostly reminiscences of his early explorations, is a very enjoyable read but not as challenging as some of his others. Read this if you want to know more about his scientific background and share some good stories. It won't give you many insights into his current work.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tim Flannery is a lucky guy. 29 Dec 2012
By san franciscan - Published on
His luck is to do exploration, as tough as it may be, in one of the most beautiful regions on the planet. Our luck is that he has chronicled his journeys so well in this book. A superb journal for real explorers, armchair explorers and those who enjoy adventure. There are both triumphs and cautionary tales here, but his appreciation for this rapidly changing - sadly, not for the better - corner of the world shines through.
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