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Here is the riveting tale of Gerald Durrell's adventures and misadventures in the enchanted forests of Madagascar in search of the elusive Aye aye Once thought to be extinct the Aye aye the beast with the magic finger still lurks though in fast dwindling numbers in the forests of Madagascar Durrell's mission to help save this stra. 35 Originally published in 1992 this was Durrell s last book a record of his final animal collecting expedition and ongoing conservation efforts in Madagascar It has his usual warm funny writing about both people and animals I ve seen aye ayes in his zoo at Jersey and can attest to how strange but endearing these highly rare creatures are I love his account of his first meeting with one it bit his walking stick combed his beard and finally stuck its long ET finger in his ear To allow such an astonishing and complex creature to become extinct was as unthinkable as burning a Rembrandt turning the Sistine Chapel into a disco or pulling down the Acropolis to make way for a Hilton Durrell seems a touch patronizing about the Malagasy but his frustration with the futility of on paper wildlife regulations is understandable Though the aye aye and other species were protected the locals either didn t know or didn t care and continued to kill them for food or because they were eating their coconuts He was struggling significantly with his health by the time of this trip and mentions how tough the potholed roads were on his hips but mostly turns his physical travails to humorous effect like his intestinal issues on first arrivalFavorite passages Over the years I have found that certain hotels object to your keeping a baby warthog in your room or fuss because you put snakes in the bath It is a short sighted policy which will not bring them custom in my considered opinion One is reduced to the vulgar level of a smuggler having by subterfuge to insert a creature into one s room without making the management privy to one s designs It is a hazardous business For example a charming South American maid once narrowly missed having a cardiac arrest when she discovered that I was sharing my bed not with my wife or mistress which would have been acceptable but with a baby Giant anteater Malagasy is a fine rackity clackity ringing language which sounds not unlike someone carelessly emptying a barrel of glass marbles down a stone staircase uinze dias know or didn t care and continued to Cheating for the Chicken Man kill them for food or because they were eating their coconuts He was struggling significantly with his health by the time of this trip and mentions how tough the potholed roads were on his hips but mostly turns his physical travails to humorous effect like his intestinal issues on first arrivalFavorite passages Over the years I have found that certain hotels object to your The Last Runaway keeping a baby warthog in your room or fuss because you put snakes in the bath It is a short sighted policy which will not bring them custom in my considered opinion One is reduced to the vulgar level of a smuggler having by subterfuge to insert a creature into one s room without making the management privy to one s designs It is a hazardous business For example a charming South American maid once narrowly missed having a cardiac arrest when she discovered that I was sharing my bed not with my wife or mistress which would have been acceptable but with a baby Giant anteater Malagasy is a fine rackity clackity ringing language which sounds not unlike someone carelessly emptying a barrel of glass marbles down a stone staircase

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The Aye Aye and I A Rescue Mission in Madagascar

Nge creature turns into a madcap journey in which you will meet not only the enigmatic Aye aye but the catlike Fosa the Flat tailed tortoise the Gentle lemurs of Lac Alaotra and the Malagasy chameleons among others Truly nothing escapes Durrell's sharp eye whether he is describing the great zoma market the village dances the treac. This book is like if James Herriot was in Madagascar rather than the British countryside It is very interesting from a conservation point of view lots of adventures with animals It is also a real curiosity because despite being written in the 90 s it feels like it could have been written 100 years ago It is rollicking in that way that travel writing rarely is any and Durrell clearly cares deeply about his mission You can let this book sweep you away with its charms it is uite charming and funny but at some point it will inevitably sour Durrell writes about the Malagasy people without even a hint of concern about the fact that he is from a white country that colonized and enslaved people just like the Malagasy for hundreds of years and that has portrayed the people of the African continent as godless savages for even longer It would have taken just a little bit of thought to avoid these pitfalls Durrell is mostly respectful and delighted by the people he encounters but when he goes wrong it can go awfully wrong Much of his frustration as a conservationist is directed towards the governments that know better but don t care rather than the people themselves he is close but he is not uite there The audio reader it has just been recorded as an audiobook for the first time is perfectly suited to the material

CHARACTERS The Aye Aye and I A Rescue Mission in Madagascar

Herous bridges and river crossings the strange foods and stranger music or the vagaries of local officialdom As the San Francisco Chronicle noted It is impossible for Gerald Durrell to write anything that is less than exuberant eccentric and amusing And in his account of this rescue mission Durrell is uite simply at his superb bes. The Aye Aye and I When I first picked this book up in the library I thought that it was a fiction book It wasn t until I got home that I realised it was a sort of travel book come conservation story The book follows Gerald Durrell his wife and team from the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust The book combines facts about Madagascar a country which is under threat from slash and burn agriculture destroying animals habitat The book follows the team as they search for a number of different animals This was a really good book well written with good anecdotes from the expeditions


10 thoughts on “The Aye Aye and I A Rescue Mission in Madagascar

  1. says:

    35 Originally published in 1992 this was Durrell’s last book a record of his final animal collecting expedition and ongoing conservation efforts in Madagascar It has his usual warm funny writing about both people and animals I’ve seen aye a

  2. says:

    that is all

  3. says:

    35 stars I cannot cope with tummy trouble and a recalcitrant lemur at the same time I know just what you mean Gerry I have that problem regularly It shouldn't surprise any of us that the little Gerry Durrell we met in My Family and Other Animals grew up to be the Gerry Durrell who went to Madagascar in his six

  4. says:

    I still can’t really get my head around the fact that I am going to Madagascar in about 5 weeks a trip arranged by my in laws I’m trying to make it feel real the best way I know how—reading This book recounts Gerald Durrell’s 1990 expedition to the island nation collecting specimens of rare and endange

  5. says:

    The Aye Aye and I first published in 1992 is Gerald Durrell's account of his last major animal collecting expedition a trip to Madagascar in 1990 This is a Durrell different in some ways from the Durrell of earlier books If you've read his adventures in The Bafut Beagles The Drunken Forest The Whispering Land and so on you're probably familiar with a Gerry who shins up trees goes on long treks searching for elusive ani

  6. says:

    This book is like if James Herriot was in Madagascar rather than the British countryside It is very interesting f

  7. says:

    The Aye Aye and I When I first picked this book up in the library I thought that it was a fiction book It wasn't until I got home that I realised it was a sort of travel book come conservation story The book follows Gerald Durrell his wife and team from the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust The book combines facts about Madagascar a country which is under threat from slash and burn agriculture destroying animals hab

  8. says:

    A book with an unfortunate looking cover design that I chose at random from my housemate's bookshelf not expecting much Turns out that this book about a conservationist's adventures in Madagascar procuring some endangered species to sustain their population is an absolutely delightful insightful and hilarious read As I read along I

  9. says:

    An excellent read from a forward thinking conservationist who did a huge amount to help the animals andtherefore also the people of Madagascar amongst other placesDurrell is certainly a great storyteller and the book doesn't disappoint for laughs anecdotes and insights into what pioneering conservation zoology wa

  10. says:

    The last book Durrell published during his life about his trips to collect strange animals and save them from extinction Animalists who complain about zoos should read books like these before they show their ignorance In this book I did not like Durrell's insistence on informing us in detail about his medical problems during the trip specially those which had to do with relieving his vowels

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