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Last Chance to See

4.32 of 5 stars 4.32  ·  rating details  ·  12,033 ratings  ·  669 reviews
"Very funny and moving...The glimpses of rare fauna seem to have enlarged [Adams'] thinking, enlivened his world; and so might the animals do for us all, if we were to help them live."
Join bestselling author Douglas Adams and zooligist Mark Carwardine as they take off around the world in search of exotic, endangered creatures. Hilarious and po
Kindle Edition, 256 pages
Published September 21st 2011 by Ballantine Books (first published 1990)
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I love Douglas Adams's science fiction. Just look at my bookshelves. So it's as a firm fan that I say: Douglas Adams was wasted--wasted--on science fiction.

The man is obviously a science writer.

His science fiction was always good. Clearly. But none of it sings like Last Chance to See. This book is a passionate, loving, critical look at the human species and the influence we've had on our planet-mates. It chronicles the decline, and impending loss, of some wonderful, charismatic vertebrates. It t
Riku Sayuj

Brilliant book. So funny, yet so deeply saddening... this is among the most evocative and life-changing books that I have read. This title still haunts me and informs a lot of my concerns about the environment and human inaction.

Douglas Adams went around the globe along with zoologist Mark Carwardine in search of various species of animals and birds which were on the verge of extinction in 1985 (when this book was written). My interest was piqued on the thought that if these species were considered endangered in 1985, what would be their current status as of 2012? Well I did some research (I mean I Googled it. But not in an amateurish way, I tried hard enough until I got bored, i.e. after 15 minutes!)

And one thing that
Kwesi 章英狮
I'm not a zoology student but I have a 3 unit subject and we were required to visit either Manila Zoo or the National Museum of the Philippines animal research section, it was a part of our annual field trip without the teacher in charge. Because I'm new here in Manila last year my classmates decided to go both the zoo and the museum. In spite of the fact that the weather was hot, we were forced to go outside and take pictures for our journal because it was the last day of submission.

Our first s
One of those special books that, when you finish, you immediately want to find someone who hasn't read it, and press it into there hands, murmuring insistently, "you have to read this!"

I'm a big Douglas Adams fan. The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy is one of my all-time favourite series, and the Dirk Gently mysteries aren't far behind. When I set-up my Pantheon list of literary gods, Douglas Adams came straight in at Number 2 (behind Terry Pratchett) - and Last Chance to See was the one, key
J.G. Keely
Adams was an amazingly humorous fellow, but it can be easy to forget that the source of his humor is always surreal profundity. It's as if he sees a completely different world than the rest of us, but one which looks precisely the same. In this book (out-of-print when I found an editor's proof copy) Adams takes that hilariously disparate view and directs it like a spastic and noodly laser at the mis-management of our natural world. There is a reason that Richard Dawkins recalls Adams so fondly a ...more
We have not inherited the Earth from our ancestors, but have borrowed it from our children.
~ Anonymous

Evolution is an ongoing process, and each species simply evolves in different ways to meet the requirements of its ecological niche, extremely specialized to that ecology and lifestyle. There is generally enough time, in the case of a natural change to its ecology, for the species to try to adapt and evolve further. To try to survive. Extinction is nothing new to Earth and 99.99% of all species
Mark Carwardine was a zoologist working for the World Wildlife Fund when he was hired by a magazine to take Douglas Adams to see the world’s rarest nocturnal lemur, the Madagascar aye-aye. The trip was enough of a success that they decided having Adams write funny things about his attempt to visit endangered species was a good way to raise awareness about animal conservation, so they reunited a few years later to track down some other animals whose numbers have fallen into the double digits. The ...more
Dimitris Hall
Douglas Adams proved with this book that he wasn't just a brilliant science fiction writer with a virtually unrivalled wit and sense of humour; it went to show that he had an admirable, enviable even, sense of social and ecological responsibility, taking him, as far as I am concerned, from the "brilliant writer" tier, to the "paradigm of humanity" club, reserved only for those people (and there's not a lot of them around) that can work as true inspiration for me. Last Chance To See is a manifest ...more
Have you ever read a book laughing so hard that tears are streaming down your face and then in the next five minutes, crying copiously and having very different tears stream down the same old face? Well, I just did. I always knew that the dodo was extinct but today I sat in a corner and wept for a full fifteen minutes because there are no dodos left in the world anymore. That is what the Last Chance to See does to you. It makes you see things about the world and what we've done with it, things y ...more
Nicholas Armstrong
If a book is well-written, and I don't simply mean it is an enjoyable romp, I mean really well written -- it is consistent, there is no break in the flow, voice, or tone -- and it accomplishes the elusive task of making you think, then what might we call that book? I would call it remarkable.

Douglas Adams is one of the most amusing writers of all time, perhaps even the most amusing writer of all time; couple this with an incredible intellect and the ability to write quite well and you get a pre
My husband urged me to read this book when it was first written but I feared it would be too depressing. Then when Stephen Fry and Mark Carwardine retraced the steps of Carwardine and Adams on TV I realised what a great story this was. Still it languished unopened on our shelves. One day after Christmas it finally caught my eye and me now before it's too late. A little parable for animals and plants in obscure places....appreciate and notice and cherish me now...... Before it's too l ...more
Last Chance to See chronicles Douglas Adams and Mark Carwardine's trips to far flung places to see, and call attention to, endangered and borderline extinct animal species.

I listened to the audio, read by Douglas himself (except for the very end which is read by Mark Carwardine), and it was brilliant. Not only does Douglas really bring each destination and trip to life, but he does so in a way that allows the reader to understand his feelings regarding these things, but without sounding judgmen

Douglas Adams' famous book about his travels to animals that are about to be extinct. As entertaining, hilarious and smart as everything else Adams has written, but because of its subject definitely my favourite of his books. I can't believe I waited so long to read this. Maybe, if more people had read this book sooner, the statistics would look a bit better today. Let's take a look at how the animals that Adams visited in 1990 are doing 16 years later.

Komodo Dragon
1990: appr. 5000
Christiana Hadji
Μην σας ξεγελά το πρόχειρο εξώφυλλο και το "φτηνιάρικο" τύπωμα της συγκεκριμένης ελληνικής έκδοσης - πρόκειται για ένα άκρως διασκεδαστικό αλλά και διδακτικό οδοιπορικό, χρωματισμένο με οικολογικές και χιουμοριστικές πινελιές, γραμμένο από έναν από τους σπουδαιότερους σύγχρονους κωμικούς συγγραφείς. Διαβάστε το εάν σας ενδιαφέρει να μάθετε για διάφορα είδη ζώων από όλο τον κόσμο που κινδυνεύουν με εξαφάνιση, αν σας αρέσουν τα ντοκυμαντέρ για την φύση ή αν προτιμάτε το γράψιμο με μία γερή δόση κα ...more
Lance Greenfield
Last Chance to See is a wonderful book by the late Douglas Adams. It is not Science Fiction. It is his account of his travels around the globe to observe some of the planet's most endangered species. It also contains liberal smatterings of his customary humour. He also shows us his great insight and compassion. Such a shame that he moved on before any of the creatures that he tells us about in this book.
I love this book; possibly more than I love the Hitchhiker Series. Last Chance to See is a secret treasure and more people should know about it. Adams uses his gentle wit to shine a light on what the world is in danger of losing – birds and bats and dolphins. If you want to see a clever writer use his powers for good, pick up Last Chance to See. You won’t regret it.
Oh Douglas! Such a wonderful man, such a superb writer. Desperately did I wish that I was with him as he worked his way through foreign wildernesses. Yet, I can't help but feel that his descriptions are even more real then reality would have been. Adams has (had :( ) such an uncanny knack of seeing what is not there, and of identifying what is. Of being able to distinguish the complexities of the human psyche and completely make a mockery of them......but in an inspiring way? His ability to see ...more
3.5-4 (I keep going back and forth)

I liked this book, a lot, and part of the reason I can't fully enjoy it is because my shitty Amazon copy came without any of the photos it should have had.

But the other part for me was that there was limited character interaction and a long time between animals, so it felt like a lot of feeder material while we waited for the good stuff.

His tales of airport woe and corrupt officials while at times humorous also left me wanting more than just a peek inside th
What happens when you go on a virtual trip with Douglas Adams to distant islands and dense rainforests, looking for the rare wildlife that are on the brink of extinction and we only have the Last Chance to See them?

You are entertained, you are informed, you learn and at the end you are blown away with the message this book drops on you. You become a sadder and a wiser person by the time you finish this, and it'll make you want to convey a message to fellow human beings: read this book, please.

Of the two travel journals of comedic writers I've read recently (the other being The Innocents Abroad: or, The New Pilgrims' Progress), this one was more fun and more substantive. Douglas Adams wrote with sadness and hope about the plight of animals who are charmingly ill-suited to the world that has changed around them.

In a more serious work than the books I know him for, he expresses his awe and empathy and discomfort along the way with a lot of clarity -- enough for me to empathize with him
Niki K.
Last Chance to See is a book documenting the journeys of Douglas Adams and Mark Carwardine as they explore the corners of the Earth in search of endangered species. Adams, a comedic author, and Carwardine, an expert zoologist, travel everywhere from the jungles of Madagascar to the Yangtze River in hopes of encountering species on the verge of extinction. Adams and Carwardine shed some light on these rare species in hopes of promoting awareness and influencing recovery efforts. This book greatl ...more
"I didn't notice that I was being set upon by a pickpocket, which I am glad of, because I like to work only with professionals. Everybody else in the shop did notice, however, and the man was hurriedly manhandled away and ejected into the street while I was still busy choosing buns. The baker tried to tell me what had happened, but my Zaïrois French wasn't up to it, and I thought he was merely recommending the curranty ones, of which I therefore bought six."

Douglas Adams wrote this series of ess
Lora Grigorova
Last Chance to See:

The name of Douglas Adams is of course very well-known to me, mainly because of his eternal comic science fiction series The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which I must shamefully admit I still haven’t read. Anyway, I had already heard of Adams’s sarcastic sense of humour, but I didn’t at all expect to see it in a book about animals. Because that is exactly what Last Chance to See is. The science fiction author collaborated with the
Nicholas Frye
Douglas Adams is best known for his science fiction and humor in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. What most people don’t know about the man is that while he was always writing about adventures on other worlds he always had big place in his heart for our world.

In 1985 Douglas Adams was sent to Madagascar to write about the aye-aye lemur for the Observer Colour Magazine. He was accompanied by a zoologist named Mark Carwardine. Once they actually saw the rare aye-aye it encouraged Adams to go
Douglas Adams and Mark Carwardine did a great job with this book. They took their mission of going all over the world to find all sorts of exotic and endangered species and really accomplished their goal. Going to places like Madagascar, Zaïre, and China; just to name a few, the two and their companions did a fine job. Doing a publication for BBC and to write a book all seem very ambitious and they did it well.
I thought Last Chance to See was entertaining because the reader gets the point-of-vi
Last Chance to See
Douglas Adams and Mark Carwardine‘s book on capturing photos of nearly extinct species from around the world:

The book certainly had a very serious topic that is usually covered by explanation of the facts in a rather dry manner. I read those kinds of things anyway and take them to heart. The thing that was different for this book is that the presentation was lighter, with Douglas taking us into his head to deal with the insanity of travel, normal aberrant thoughts that we all h
One of the best books on conservation and endangered species that I've read! Many books tend to get so bogged down in the details that the non-scientists out there can become overwhelmed and lost. Douglas Adams draws on his fantastic sense of humor in telling his stories of searching for some of the world's most endangered species. The book highlights a few of his travels, and tells the stories of those trips in depth. There is a big emotional take-away from this book - you don't just learn that ...more
I was already of fan of Douglas Adams through "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," but I had no idea he was also a fabulous nonfiction science writer. In this thought-provoking book, Adams and multiple scientists seek out several species of animals that at the time, in the late 1980s, were endangered or nearly extinct in the wild.

Sadly, several of those species are now extinct, which goes to show how important Adams's messages from this book remain today. Using a mix of his well-known sense of h
Alan Wightman
Douglas and Mark travel around to world, looking for highly endangered animals. They travel to Madagaskar, Komodo, New Zealand, China, Zaire and Mauritius, in search of the kakapo, the Yangtze river dolphin, the northern white rhino and others. This book has thus brought together three of my favourite things - travel in exotic locations, conservation of rare species, and Douglas Adams. The absurdity of third world beauracracy, the abundant dangers of poisonous animals and undurable transport, an ...more
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Douglas Noël Adams was an English author, comic radio dramatist, and musician. He is best known as the author of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series. Hitchhiker's began on radio, and developed into a "trilogy" of five books (which sold more than fifteen million copies during his lifetime) as well as a television series, a comic book series, a computer game, and a feature film that was comp ...more
More about Douglas Adams...
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1) The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy #1-5 + short story) The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (Hitchhiker's Guide, #2) Life, the Universe and Everything (Hitchhiker's Guide, #3) So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish (Hitchhiker's Guide, #4)

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“Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.” 387 likes
“We are not an endangered species ourselves yet, but this is not for lack of trying.” 29 likes
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