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How to Walk a Puma: & other things I learned while stumbing around South America Paperback – 5 Apr 2012

4.6 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Nicholas Brealey Publishing; 1st Edition edition (5 April 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 185788566X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857885668
  • Product Dimensions: 13.6 x 1.9 x 21.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 191,268 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Praise for Peter Allison: Allison's writing is high on colour and is packed with engaging accounts of the sort of things that are just another day at the office for the average safari guide...full of hair-raising stories of escape and adventure. (Sunday Telegraph)

Peter is the perfect storyteller with the ability to poke fun at himself. Witty, exciting, and ultimately unmissable. (Real Travel)

He writes beautifully and viscerally about the rhythm of bush life. (TNT Magazine)

Book Description

From learning to walk a puma (or rather be bitten and dragged along by it) in Bolivia, to finding love in Patagonia and hunting naked with the remote Huaorani people in Ecuador, How to Walk a Puma is Peter's fascinating and often hilarious account of misadventures in South America.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I do like Peter Allison's books and felt the wait for this one was too long - write the next one quicker please! This is funny book by a genuine animal enthuasist, this time exploring South America (previous books which you must read were set in Botswana where he was a safari guide). Genuine self deprecating humour, very interesting tales, his enthuasim for the people, the places and the animals coms through page after page. He genuinely does walk a puma, in between getting jumped on, bitten and dragged through the undergrowth only using trees as a brake, as well as spending time deep in the Amazon and exploring round South America.

If you imagine Peter Allison as Steve Irwin meets Gerard Durrell after shaking hands with Bruce Parry then you'll get the idea. I can't recommend this book highly enough and urge a) people to read this one and his other two books and b) Peter to write another one ASAP!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I like Peter Allison's writing and he always makes an amusing entertaining read. He has been fortunate to travel a lot and to collect his experiences together to write about afterwards in a light hearted and light way. what he lacks in depth he oozes in self deprecation and funny anecdotes. Definitly cheers me up.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book has lost a lot of the hilarious look at life the author had in his previous books on africa as a safari guide. Perhaps his foray into south america did not have the same enthusiasm he had whilst in Africa? Feels like its not the same author in every way.
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Format: Paperback
Peter Allison is an animal enthusiast who spent eight years working at an African safari lodge (documented in his two previous books, DON'T RUN, Whatever You Do: My Adventures as a Safari Guide and Don't Look Behind You: True Tales of a Safari Guide. In 2009-2010, he spent 18 months traveling around South America and this book is about his adventures on that continent. They include living naked with an Ecuadorian native tribe, exploring glaciers in Patagonia, near death on an Bolivian river and volunteering at a wildlife shelter where his job required taking a puma for its daily exercise (and frequently being bitten in return). The variety of locations makes it more disjointed than his previous books, but it's just as pleasurable to read.

Allison is a very entertaining and self-deprecating writer, who makes the most of his adventures. The kind of guy you'd love to sit next to on a plane or strike up a conversation with in a pub. I particularly enjoyed the very amusing chapters about his experiences "walking" Roy the puma. He has a very good way of communicating what his travel experience was like, both the highs (invariably involving encounters with local people and wildlife) and lows (brutal illnesses, bull ants, lurking caiman crocodiles, tiresome tourists). While ultimately many of the stories amount to "something bad almost happened, but didn't", they are still great fun and well told.

Don't read this book to find out more about individual countries in South America or to gain any particular insight into the continent: instead, read it to be genuinely entertained with occasional laugh out loud moments. If exotic and adventurous travel is not on your 2012 calendar, this is the next best thing.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For some, to me entirely obscure, reason, I haven't got around to reading 'How to Walk a Puma' until last evening. I read it, as is my wont with the Allison oeuvre, in one go to the point where my girlfriend began wondering if I was alright, what with my staying prostrate in bed for hours with no other signs of brain activity than frequent paroxysms of insane laughter.

It may not have been quite as hilarious as the previous two books, though, but that was entirely made up for by this one being all the more gripping. The conservation message, I think, is more powerful and thought-provoking, and I'm still at a loss for words when it comes to the author and the Minke. Come on! Surely that must've been more than 'scientific whaling'!

If you're at all into zoology, on and off dreaming of wildlife adventures, or just up for a good laugh in an animal and conservation context - this, as well as Allison's previous books, are must haves!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the second book by this author that I have read.
Whilst I gave it 4 stars, I did,nt enjoy it as much as there didn,t appear to be so much content in the book, a lot of the content included the travelling aspect - and the "Joys" of being on the road more so than when he finally reached his destinations. I think that was because he had to travel long distances to even get to the smallest, remote places but saying that, the humour was there which made it a readable, enjoyable book.
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Format: Paperback
Being British I'm used to my wildlife presenting either traditional and aloof (The BBC style of the 70's-90's) or cute and anthropomorphic, as in more recent years "Will the poor little runt survive?" etc.

Peter Allison's book is a more personal style of wildlife presenting. Although it purports to also be a travelogue, it's really about the author's interaction with life in general (both people and plants/animals) There's an episode where he gamely struggles to audition for some TV wildlife presenting but finds it not to his liking. This isn't surprising, because Allison's style is far removed from the swagger of false enthusiasm demonstrated on current wildlife programming. Instead, our author creates a more personal interaction with his reader in which we learn some important things about how to look at life in general, and all without being lectured to.

Beautifully narrated and very human, Allison's confident writing reinforces with every single paragraph why he made the right decision to avoid the small screen and stick to his books.
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