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Throwim Way Leg: An Adventure Paperback – 3 May 2007


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Throwim Way Leg: An Adventure + Four Corners: A Journey into the Heart of Papua New Guinea + Papua New Guinea: Tales from a Wild Island
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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (3 May 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141031417
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141031415
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 2.1 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 293,317 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

Mammologist Tim Flannery assumed the age of exploration had died with Darwin. Upon arrival in New Guinea, though, he realises just how wrong he's been. Hilarious and riveting, Thowim Way Leg chronicles Flannery's adventures among the mountain people of New Guinea while in hot pursuit of giant rats, tree-kangaroos, bats, possums and bandicoots. In the local pidgin, "throwim way leg" describes the first decisive step in a journey. Flannery takes that step--and soon he's clambering up steep peaks; braving jungle critters like sweat bees, hairy spiders, pythons and the occasional crocodile; and perilously close to ending up in hot water more than once. Cannibalism, he assures us, is a thing of the past, but when he comes into contact with the Miyanmin--a people who refer to a neighbouring tribe as "bokis es bilong mipela" (literally, "our refrigerator")--we're left wondering how he got out alive.

Flannery's exuberance over the wildlife he encounters is interesting enough, but it's his ability to capture the indigenous perspective that makes this book worth reading. When his new-found friends learn, for instance, of the widespread custom of circumcision, they fall about in paroxysms of laughter. Equally perplexing (to an elderly gentlemen who has never seen rice) is how Flannery and his cronies could chance upon so many delectable ant-eggs. With 14 pages of colourful, enticing, "wish-I-could-go-there-right-now" photos. --Martha Silano --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

`An enthralling introduction to the mountain people of New Guinea-
unimaginably remote,. Charming, cunning, cruel - and to their magnificent
land' -- The New York Times

`This book combines an irresistible author with an irresistible subject...
it is so hard to put down' -- Jared Diamond

`Tim Flannery is in the league of the all-time great explorers
like Dr David Livingstone' -- Sir David Attenborough

`an extraordinary book... you can hear the thunderstorms, smell
the hunting dogs...a journey through and beyond fear'
-- Sunday Age

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Stephen A. Haines HALL OF FAME on 11 Aug. 2005
Format: Paperback
If Tim Flannery isn't the luckiest biologist in the world, then perhaps he's the hardest working. He possesses a spirit of adventure that may exceed both. His twenty years of exploring the mysteries of New Guinea are superbly outlined and related in this engaging account. Although a mammalogist by profession, his interests range far beyond any academic discipline. We follow his efforts to meet and gain acceptance by the remote peoples of the New Guinea highlands. They are a diverse lot, and every new contact is fraught with uncertainty. He introduces us to the teasing pleasures of New Guinea pidgin, a language adopted by indigineous peoples to cross the nearly 1 000 languages that exist on the island.
Throwim' Away Leg, New Guinean pidgin for a journey, is an appropriate title for this book. Flannery's 15 long-term expeditions took him over most of the island, meeting the people, tracking animals and assessing the changes in the ecology. It is difficult, in this jet travel age to comprehend the impact of "remote people," but Flannery has done it. He's adept at sharing the wonder he felt in his travels. We feel his fears, his joys of discovery, his sadness at the incursion of industrial civilization in an unprepared land. Flannery's account is given with an astonishing detachment. He recognizes the needs of both the indigenous people and the invaders. Cannibalism, so abhorrent to "civilized" readers, is placed in its true framework as viewed by the New Guinean mountain peoples. He's aware of the population pressures on local resources among the tribes, not excusing, but imparting rare understanding of the reality of life in wilderness.
The author's love of wildlife is made clear throughout the book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 10 Oct. 2000
Format: Paperback
It«s well written, and describes less visited areas of Papua (Irian Jaya) and P.N.G.. Specially the area around Tembagapura, Bewani and Torricelli Mountain Range. It«s a fascinating account of newly discovered tree-kangaroos and other mammals. I would prefer a more detailed look at the tribal life, but the mission of the author was to collect animals. It«s also a good description of the difference between the two New Guinea countrys.
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Format: Paperback
Very enjoyable book. Tim Flannery writes with great flair about the scientific expeditions and he has undertaken in New Guinea. This is much more than a science/zoology book however. Flannery's interests and observations on his expeditions extend well beyond the pure scientific. The author has a great intreat in the highland people, their trafitional way of life and the impacts and pressures upon it. An absolute must read for anyone interested interested in New Guinea,
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By A. J. Hammond on 27 Nov. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Why does Papua New Guinea intrigue me so much? Island cultures are always interesting. This book is easy to read, relatively speaking contemporary, and says enough to get you wanting to know more. I'm an amateur naturalist so I enjoyed it on that front, but it is interesting on other fronts too. Flannery has ecological and political points to make while not having a particular axe to grind. Well worth the money spent.
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By W D on 25 Jun. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This biologist's account is one of the most absorbing books I have recently read. I'm very fickle when it comes to reading and often don't finish books; this is not one of those. A very well written account of the author's expeditions to Papua New Guinea which brought the place to life in my mind. I thoroughly recommend it.
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