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Customer reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
74
3.7 out of 5 stars
The Malay Archipelago
Format: Paperback|Change
Price:£7.01+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 20 October 2013
I received this a few days ago and I had to return it and hopefully, it will be picked up tomorrow. There are typesetting errors where sentences just run into each other or just ends in mid-sentence. There are spelling mistakes and one of the pages has a whole missing bit. So I am disappointed as judging by the few paragraphs I read through and before deciding that it was best to return it, it would have been a great book to read.
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on 13 October 2009
After reading this book, this is definitely my favorite book about insular South-East Asia. A.R. Wallace traveled the Malay archipelago and the Malay peninsula in his naturalist quest of finding, hunting, catching and describing all species of mammals, birds, insects, seashells etc. Along the way he describes as well the ecology, geology, ethnology, sociology, (colonial) administration and the persons he meets. All these subjects are accounted for in minute detail. The best thing is that it's all written down clearly and it is very accessible. However, this book is celebrated most for the impulse it gave to the theory of evolution by means of natural selection, which is made famous by Wallace's time companion and fellow scientist Charles Darwin. There is debate about who had the main idea of the theory of evolution first, nonetheless, we can say that Wallace clearly contributed a great deal in synthesizing this paradigm. Above all, he already noted the distinction between the biogeographic realms of SE Asia and Australia. Let's not forget that this man was already thinking about something like plate tectonics, something only scientifically accepted in the 1960's. Next to his contributions to the evolutionary theory and biogeography, and put aside the little amount of Victorian 'zeitgeist', Wallace's views on ethnology and colonial administration gives a clear idea how it must have been to live and travel in this corner of the world from 1854 to 1862. Some (many) of his ideas still stand, others are strengthened by current science. One should really think about his words on the last pages. I think this book is a milestone in science but a very exciting and amusing travel book at the same time. It is great for understanding evolutionary theory and it's perfect to carry it along when traveling through Indonesia, especially when you get to the places where Wallace has been as well.

Roiko
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on 14 July 2013
A most disappointig book, all round
A) Only Vol 1,not stated on information page.
B)No Contents included,therefore no references.
C)Very poor OCR,No efffort at Editting,removal of junk characters or split words
D)Only plus is you can also download original scanning as a PDF file.(Note graphic images only)
Recommend going for Alfred Russel Wallace /Stuick edition Vol I or Vol II
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on 30 December 2010
A chronicle of the travels of an under-rated Scientist/Explorer, Alfred Russel Wallace who did much to make the origin of species from his viewpoint and with discussions with Darwin, the great 'discovery' of the our time. A must read for all who have an interest in great travel exploits and all those who have an interest in natural history and evolution.
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on 26 June 2013
I'm 11% through the Kindle edition of this book and enjoying the narrative enormously, Wallace's prose is still highly enjoyable today (even with the odd wince at the descriptions of "natives" and other "races" ) but the enjoyment is marred but the sheer number of typos. If this was a print edition it would have been rejected. The other annoyance is some of the formatting, which puts footnotes in the middle of pages and in others pages are half blank for no discernable reason. The illustrations come out well and the ability to download PDFs of the oversize maps from the website is welcome. Overall I cannot give this book more than an "it's okay", which is mainly credit to Wallace.
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on 7 May 2013
There are paragraph separations mid-sentence and random numbers and symbols dispersed throughout the text. If I knew now what I knew when I ordered, then I wouldn't waste my money on it.

Spend the extra few quid. It's got to be worth it to be able to actually read it.
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on 8 May 2013
This book has been produced using computer software that is meant to recognise and recreate the contents of the original book. It did a pretty rubbish job at it. Spelling errors are constant and parts just make no sense at all. I could forgive a few slight spelling mistakes, but basically this recreation should never have been printed at all. I'd be embarrassed to publish something this bad, it's pretty much an insult to the original. One small positive is that you can download a free copy of the original book through the producers website... but i'm pretty sure you could find it elsewhere without having to buy the recreation first. Wasted money.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 6 May 2015
The Malay Archipelago - A R Wallace (Periplus edition)

Alfred Russell Wallace's Malay Archipelago is a wonderful Victorian-era adventure, combining travel to far-flung exotic locations with a myriad fascinating themes, from the roots of science in collecting specimens in the field, to C19th commerce, imperialism, and even anthropology and philosophy. This is not the author's equivalent of On The Origin Of The Species (he wrote no such work), but rather his counterpart, of sorts, to Darwin's Voyage of the Beagle.

Because of this I certainly wouldn't go as far as the writer of the back cover blurb on this Periplus edition - who asserts that Alfred Russell Wallace "deserves equal billing with Charles Darwin for his independently drawn but parallel conclusions on the theory of evolution" - because, like Wallace himself, I feel Darwin's stupendous amount of research work quite justifies his precedence. Nevertheless this is certainly as exciting a read as Darwin's Voyage of the Beagle, and certainly Wallace deserves to be - and is clearly gradually becoming - much better known.

It was via David Attenborough's enthusiasm for Wallace and this book - which begot his passion for Birds of Paradise, a lifelong obsession resulting in numerous trips, films and books - along with my continued avid reading of Darwin related material, which lead me to eventually request it as a birthday present. Thanks mum! I have the very handsome - and often hard to find (it seems to go out of print regularly!) - Periplus edition.

Essentially this is a write up of Wallace's travels in the Malay Archipelago, where he was collecting wildlife specimens for collectors back home in Great Britain. As well as being a tireless collector and ardent observer of both the wildlife specimens - mainly bugs and birds - and the natural history observations that go with them, Wallace was a very eloquent thoughtful man, so you get a mixture of natural history, adventure, anthropology, and so on. The indefatigable energy and industry, and the omnivorous enthusiasm and inquisitiveness of men like Wallace and Darwin, so alike and yet also so different, continues to fascinate and inspire.

This is by turns exciting, amusing and enlightening, illuminating wonderfully how the worlds of commerce, adventure, and science met in the exotic islands of the Malay archipelgo and the person of a self-made polymath adventurer.
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on 16 May 2013
Awful print quality which has clearly been copied so cheaply that even the margins have comments and ticks from the original copy.
Don't buy this if you want readable print and quality copies of the engravings.
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on 7 May 2015
This book is not as you are lead to believe by the "Look inside" advertising feature.The text in the book you will receive is a tightly cramped dark block centered in a page in which it could easily be almost twice the size. The result is a horrible experience to try to read. On complaining about this and returning the book for refund you will probably be told as I was that the "Look inside" feature is not intended to show you a representation of the Text size or Format !, but to show you an example of the words used on the pages.! !
This experience has cost me a loss in postage of £17.33. And as I was foolish enough to try again and order a second but different edition copy that states on the cover of the book"Large print Edition" I am now in receipt of another book with a horrible text and type face, that I just cannot afford to return !
My total losses are now a very large sum of money for a book that I will not ever find readable.
Why Amazon and the sellers continue to show a piece of "Look inside text" of a book you not about to receive and that does not in any way bear a resemblance to the ugly item you will receive is beyond me , I can only assume they are aware that very few people would buy these books if they presented them truthfully , and they are in the business of moving produce not satisfying customers. Please be warned and save your hard earned money.
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