Top critical review
an interesting and thought-provoking read.
on 5 February 2017
Throwim Way Leg is the fifth book by Australian mammalogist, palaeontologist, environmentalist, global warming activist and author, Tim Flannery. It describes his many expeditions into Papua New Guinea and Irian Jaya in quest of various wildlife species. As well as detailing what is involved in tracking down, sighting and examining his quarry, Flannery comments on the huge challenge faced by those involved with environmental conservation in an undeveloped country such as this.
While the myriad of species which get a mention may fascinate (or may make the eyes glaze over), Flannery’s tales of his encounters with the locals are interesting, frequently curious and quite often hilarious. Nor is he averse to relating anecdotes that paint him in a less-than-favourable light: the laugh is often on Tim! Accounts of (mis)adventures with pythons and possums, rats and bats, giardia and entamoeba, malaria and altitude sickness, tree kangaroos and a tropical glacier, an angry villager and a tapeworm snacker, all provide diversion and entertainment.
Flannery includes a wealth of information about the fauna of New Guinea, about the people and about plundering of natural resources: the last chapter is a sober commentary on the unrest fomenting between the Kamoro (lowlanders) and Amungme (highlanders), PT Freeport Indonesia and the Indonesian military at the time. This is an interesting and thought-provoking read.