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Last Chance to See Paperback – Nov 2 2009

4.8 out of 5 stars 66 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow (Nov. 2 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 009953679X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099536796
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 222 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 66 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #15,498 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From School Library Journal

YA-- The BBC asked this team to film some of the most endangered animal species throughout the world. Adams has recorded their adventures seeking the komodo dragon, northern white rhinoceros, mountain gorilla, kakapo, baiji dolphin, and the rodrigues fruit bat. There is biological information here, but it is inaccessible for report writers due to the lack of an index and the wordy descriptions. However, these same accurate portrayals and Adams's entertaining style will expose students to the worlds of these animals. He moves rapidly from informal, laugh-out-loud descriptions of his travels to serious pleas for awareness and conservation of all animals. The full-color photographs are in two separate sections and help readers to visualize the unusual animals (including the authors).
- Claudia Moore, W. T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


“Descriptive writing of a high order . . . this is an extremely intelligent book.”
The Times

“This is life or death stuff, but Adams is a writer who chooses not to shake his finger at the reader.”
Los Angeles Times

“Who would have thought that a book in the field of “ecology/nature”…could be as lively, sharply satirical, brilliantly written and even funny as this one is?…ranks with the best set pieces in Mark Twain.”
Atlantic Monthly

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This was the book that meant the most to Douglas Adams himself, because unlike the Hitchiker or the Dirk Gently series, "Last Chance to See" is a true story. It is the story of Douglas Adams and Marc Carwardine, a zoologist, travelling around the world to experience species of animals that are close to extinction. One of the animals, the kakapo, a parrot in New Zealand, is reduced to only 40. His journey opens your eyes what it means when something is gone forever, when there is no more chance to see it in real life. You experience different cultures and customs through the eyes of a writer who has written about them all along, but by using alien worlds as metaphors, this time it is real. I have read this book many many times, but sadly have to say that the event that really opened my eyes about what it means that you missed your last chance to see is Douglas Adams's death, with it, I missed my last chance to see. Because of this book, I developed an interest in evolution and a thirst for knowledge about the way this world works. I think it is essential reading for everyone who is remotely interested in anthropology, zoology, wildlife preservation or simply a good book.
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Format: Paperback
Douglas Adams' sense of humour is so strong, it could inject a bucketful of laughs into an obituary. Needless to say I wasn't surprised when this book, his elegy for endangered species, turned out to have a welcome balance between laughter and melancholy.
Adams is joined by zoologist Mark Carwardine, as they use their last chance to see a variety of animals on the brink of extinction, such as the Komodo Dragon, the White Rhinos of Zaire, New Zealand kakapos, and Yangtze river dolphins. Adams, amateur wildlife lover, is wise enough to know the purpose of his journey: to shine some of the glare from his celebrity as a "science-fiction comedy novelist" on the issue of global extinction. He does wisely not to downplay the plight of these animals in the favour of commerciality, but manages to produce an entertaining work nonetheless. Carwardine, and the other people we encounter, sometimes come off as little more than characters in a Douglas Adams novel. I am hesitant to believe that everyone he encounters has the same dry, deadpanned British sense of humour. Nonetheless, the characters' eccentricities further shed light on the kinds of people who are willing to undertake the monumental task of saving these beautiful beasts. It is not work for the dispassionate.
"The great thing about being the only species that makes a distinction between right and wrong," he notes at one point, "is that we can make up the rules for ourselves as we go along." Which brings up the second theme he hopes to illustrate here. Humans are dumb. No, that's too simple. Humans are egotistical, selfish, wasteful, materialistic, impudent, and dumb.
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Format: Paperback
With Mr. Adams' recent death, I decided to buy several copies of his books to give to people as gifts. Strange? Maybe. I can't explain why, but I did the same thing when Richard Gorey died. This book, "Last Chance to See," will be the one I purchase most. Much as I loved all of Adams' books, this is my hands-down favorite. It is hilarious at several points, in Adams' trademark style, but beyond that, it has heart and soul. The last chapter is, in its way, crushing. One more reason it's my favorite Adams book: He told me, in an email exchange a couple of years ago, that it was HIS favorite. I felt fortunate to be able to swap a few words with a man that brought me so much laughter, and with this book, a real sense of wonder and responsibility along with it.
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Format: Hardcover
Do you like humorous books? How about one's with travel, nature, and exotic, endangered animals? This book covers all of those subjects and more. The author and narrator of this book is Douglas Adams who travels along to many countries with Mark Carwardine. They go to places such as Komodo island (to search for the Komodo Dragon of course), Zaire Africa, Madagascar, and those are just naming a few. They go there to track down endangered animals, and they keep it interesting with their intelligence and humor.
Adams is a brilliant writer never leaving out anything. For example, when he can't think of anything else to say he writes that he can't think of anything else to say, even printed in his book. When they were flying to China to look for the baiji dolphin Adams bought several different aftershave's just for the heck of it. That's where a lot of the humor comes in.
I can think of laughing at so many points in this book. Adams sarcastic and witty comments toward everything make you smile and puts you in a good mood. Such as when he talks back to a man in a blue polyester suit, in Tanzania at the "airport." Another person that I found to be quite humorous was Dr. Struan Sutherland a man who had devoted his whole entire life to the study of venom. Adam's and his crew went to go ask him what to do if they got bit by a Komodo dragon or a snake. His response was simply, "Don't get bitten." There was more, but I don't want to give it away.
This book is very adventurous, and a bit suspenseful at times with all the dangerous animals. They risked being hurt several times, which is definitely more interesting to read. So if you are interested in anything I've said Last Chance to See is a must read for you.
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