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Where the Wild Things Were Paperback – 18 Jul 2012

4.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Stacey International; 1st Edition edition (18 July 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906768870
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906768874
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.3 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 493,723 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Take this book to bed, or on a journey, but do read it. A series of short travel pieces, written over the past decade and spinning from Bhutan to Antarctica, Kamchatka to Exmoor, they can be read at a sitting or last thing at night, or at any time there is a spare moment. Each one is a Johnson gem, giving enough insight, humour and passion to lighten any day. Stanley Johnson is a rare bird who has led the life of his choice and made the world a better place in the process. His joie de vivre and enthusiasm shine through, and reading this book is the closest thing to spending time in Stanley's company. Relatively few books make me laugh out loud, but I defy anyone to get through this one without at least one involuntary guffaw. However, as in life, the humour is often close to tears. He begins with a telling vignette of a visit to an extremely remote Indian tribe in Brazil whose future is threatened by a new road being carved through pristine forest and heading for the Pacific. He ends with a hopeful wildlife story from Namibia about lions (he does love his big cats). In between, he meets an astonishing variety of people who, in diverse ways, are striving to save the world. I expected to suffer from 'disaster Fatigue' as I read story after story of Stanley's firsthand experiences of endangered wildlife, people and places, but I didn't. He manages to make each incident in this series of encounters he's had in all the best remaining wild places on Earth fascinating, frightening and funny at the same time. When I finally put down this unputdownable book, I found myself much better informed about all the disasters facing life on earth, and at the same time hopeful that, with people such as Stanley around, there's still some hope. --Country Life, July 18 2012

About the Author

Stanley Johnson is one of the unsung champions of the environment, having been travelling and campaigning for wildlife since he made his first expedition in his gap year, following the route of Marco Polo. He has worked for the European Commission as Head of their Prevention of Pollution division, was awarded the Greenpeace Prize for Outstanding Services to the Environment in 1984 and in the same year won the RSPCA Richard Martin Award for services to animal welfare. He is currently a trustee of the Gorilla Organization and an Ambassador for the United Nations Convention on Migratory Species.


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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Where the Wild Things Were stands up as a solid collection of pieces from diverse sources -- most originally published in the Guardian, Telegraph, Times and Independent, but there are some odd sources such as Open Democracy Russia website and Harper's Bazaar. Stanley Johnson is a good writer, a sharp observer, a witty raconteur, and always authoritative. He gives the reader the feeling of being right there. As such, this is an entertaining read, blending adventure missives, travel memoirs and environmental dispatches from the frontline. The locations include eco-pilgrimages to the Galápagos, Antarctica, Kenya and Mt Kilimanjaro, as well as the jungles of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Kamchatka in Russia. In typical Stanley style, rather than moaning about the long trek up Kilimanjaro, Johnson declares it a fairly easy hike, brings a tent, and celebrates the final nocturnal push to the ascent with a well-earned nap.

Besides adventure travel journalism, Stanley Johnson wears additional hats as Ambassador for the UN Environment Programme's Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) and as Chairman of the Gorilla Organization. As such he seeks to improve the lot for animals and ecosystems. It would be valuable to have a follow-up volume in a few years, to see how we're doing in these various places. Hopefully the original title might seem inappropriate and partly through Johnson's efforts it could then be called: Where the Wild Things Yet Thrive.

-- Erich Hoyt, Research Fellow, Whale and Dolphin Conservation; author of Orca The Whale Called Killer; The Earth Dwellers; Insect Lives, Weird Sea Creatures and other books
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A collection of short stories. Interesting and thoughfully written. A little uncomfortable at times because the statistics regarding environmental issues are alarming but also gives information on what is being done to help which is very encouraging. A must if you like animals and the environment. I do wonder how he could have a son who is so keen to destroy the environment of the Kent Marshes with his awful 'floating airport' idea!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great book in terms of reading about the different conservationist causes in different parts of the world. It was slightly irritating to read it from the perspective of an over-privileged man who was obviously born with a silver spoon in his mouth and for whom money was no object being able to go wherever he wanted in the world to see things the rest of us could only dream about. I was also a little disappointed to discover (when he mentioned eating prawns) that despite the damage that the meat industry is doing to the planet this great conservationist still wasn't a vegan or even a vegetarian - that would be the most helpful thing he could've done for the planet!
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