Top positive review
An entertaining reminder
11 May 2014
A book about the extinction of species could have been negative in many ways - it could have been sad or pessimistic about all creatures who no longer exist. It could have taken the subject too seriously.
Instead we are presented with an entertaining travelogue, as a science fiction comedy author and a scientist attempt to travel the world to see a number of species on the brink.
In many ways they are an ideal combination - Douglas presents their experiences in his own, entertaining writing style, dealing not just with the animals themselves, but the trials and tribulations of getting to see them, and the people they meet along the way. Mark Carwardine is obviously passionate about animals and fills in the blanks of some of the knowledge that Douglas does not possess.
Reading it gives you a bit of the feeling of when you go travelling yourself, but most of us probably wouldn't get to go and see the rare and exotic species this species manage to.
I saw the recent series in which Mark Carwardine and Stephen Fry went back to revisit the animals, so I know that some of them have sadly become extinct now. The only extra thing I would have liked to see would be an update on which ones have succeeded, but failing that I would recommend the reader to watch the Stephen Fry series next and find out for themselves.