on 15 April 2014
Having visited Vietnam a number of times, I was looking forward to reading "Goldrush in the Jungle".
I did like Dan Drollette's easy writing style, however the overall impression of the "Goldrush" is less favourable. Judging from the 5 pages of acknowledgements, and 36 pages of notes on sources and selected bibliography I had expected a well researched story about the interesting wildlife and conservation stories in Vietnam, however, instead "Goldrush" focuses on Tio Nadler's Endangered Primate Rescue Center (EPRC), which no doubt has done an admirable job over many years. However, this is only a (small?) part of the conservation story in Vietnam. Other recent successes with the Cao Vit Gibbon and the Cat Ba Langur is hardly mentioned, and I am sure there are many more.
I find the "Goldrush" unfocused and superficial with too many side stories from other location like for instance Hawaii, Lapland and Haiti, that adds little value to the Vietnam story, and it is difficult to follow the story line which seem to be a bit all over the place.
on 22 July 2013
I read a review on this book in The New Scientist.
As someone with an interest in conservation the concept of the book was what sold it to me.
What made it suprising was how easy it was to read. The author walked the line of autobiography, history and current information without lecturing, meandering or descending into overly complicated terminology. Furthermore the author continued this attitude into the more disturbing aspects of his experiences. You have an understanding of the illegal practices used in Vietnam and its neighbours but not once does he judge the country or culture. He recognises that this is a select few that partake in these activities and that western countries are involved just as much.