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Woman in the Mists
Farley Mowat
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Woman in the Mists

4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  2,414 ratings  ·  48 reviews
Deep in the volcano country of central Africa live some of the rarest, most intriguing animals on earth -- the mountain gorillas. Here, in the mist-shrouded forests, Dian Fossey courageously dedicated her life to studying them. Here she patiently waited until the luminous-eyed gorillas accepted her presence, hugged her, and loved her...while she fought for their survival a ...more
Published (first published 1987)
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A biography of Diane Fossey, the scientist famous for her conservation work protecting the mountain gorillas of Africa. This was a very good biography. It really made me think about the issues of women in science. Diane was a forthright woman and consequently had trouble with men she had to relate too in a professional manner. She also had trouble with men on a personal front as she refused to give up her work to go live with them and do housework and they all eventually left her. A troubling re ...more
This was a library book I checked out on one of my visits where I randomly walk through the nonfiction section and and wait for a book to jump out at me. It was hard to resist the combination of its author, Farley Mowat, a biography about an independent woman, animals and my unwavering curiosity about all things Africa.

Dian Fossey was, if nothing else, an interesting woman to read about for her strength and ability to go after what she wanted. Whether it was career, men, financial backing or po
Enduring passion of woman for a group of beautiful animals...she fought armies, poachers, boundaries and the desire to have her own life to protect them....remarkable.
East Bay J
A recent National Geographic article states there were 680 mountain gorillas in the Virunga Mountains and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. That there are any gorillas in this area of the world is due in no small part to the work of Diane Fossey.

Fossey started a research center in Virunga to study mountain gorillas. She spent almost two decades battling government, politicians, tourists, cattle herders, egomaniacal research students and poachers and still managed to learn more about mountain go
Written very mostly chronological order and weaving in her own words taken from her diaries, letters and book Gorillas in the Mist. It's a thriller, start to finish. Dian Fossey lived by and advocated active conservation - doing as opposed to beginning & ending at study (theoritical theory) and her methods were effective and resented. For every friend/supporter she had she had ten enemies. Ironic that her enemies were mostly former students who took great advantage of the opportuni ...more
Jan Sandford
Woman in the Mists is an amazing account of how one woman's determination to be accepted by the mountain gorillas of Africa overrides everything else in her life. We see how she builds for herself an international reputation, is accepted by the animals she loves and in the end becomes their champion.

Dianne Fossey was one hell of a woman who was charming, intelligent, witty, changeable and extremely passionate about her mountain gorillas and the environment they lived in. She gave up everything t
I read this a long time ago when I was studying the history of primatology in grad school. Once I went to a conference with a bunch of primatologists and had lunch with a couple of their colleagues. On the ride home they told me that one of they guys we ate lunch with was the one who was originally imprised for Dian Fossey's murder.
Andy Mitchell
Wow, what a blast from the past!

I read this book back in high school in the early 1990s. I hadn't thought about it in many years, but when I saw the cover in my Goodreads feed, the memories came flooding back.

What a fantastic account of Diane Fossey's work in the jungle with great apes. Fast-paced and fascinating.
I thought this would be an interesting story, about how a woman was able to get close enough to the mountain gorillas to form personal bonds and document interesting facts about these creatures. The first part of the book introduced Dian Fossey, her childhood, and how she ended up in Africa, but the majority of the book delved into her dysfunctional relationships with men, her family, and colleagues. I felt this story was an unauthorized biography of sorts, and I wondered several times while rea ...more
This book from Canadian author (from my home town) is the story of Dian Fossey who lived in the jungles of Africa who studied the Mountain Gorillas. It really was a great story of her life and studies. I think she seemed a little eccentric but living on the mountain made her more so. She really did advance our thinking and knowledge of these gorillas. Sadly she was assassinated and no one has ever been caught or charged for her death. She did make "enemies" because of some of her tactics in deal ...more
Sally Seymore
The story of Dian Fossey... truly remarkable how she lived fearlessly studying the gorillas and living her passion.
I was totally consumed by this book. Farley Mowat's passion and affection Dian Fossey is clear (and stated in the introduction) but using her own words from her diaries he shows us a damaged, flawed, almost hard to like person. I couldn't help liking her and being impressed by her, through her closed minded hypocrisy, her heavy drinking, her obsessions with older married men and so on. The passion that burned her up was what drove her to do amazing work. And I'm super excited to be seeing the la ...more
Fascinating personality and set of circumstances that led Dian Fossey to be The Gorilla Martyr. I enjoyed the balanced look into her personal life but at times the diary entries felt too private and unnecessary to the story the auhor was trying to tell. She was an amazing person but also flawed, just doing the best she could versus overwhelming factors. This biography seemed to lean heavy on her diary and I felt not enough interviews were done, especiallly with any of her Africa staff or friends ...more
Strange tale of one woman’s obsession, an interesting profile.
A fascinating, intimate look at a driven soul. I've never seen the movie about Dian Fossey so I don't know how she may have been romanticized there, but Mowat's book dispells a lot of the prevailing misconceptions about her such as the alleged alcoholism. Mowat does an outstanding job of carrying the narrative forward while letting Fossey speak for herself, with many passages reprinted directly from her diaries and book. There is not a lot of information about the gorillas themselves; for that g ...more
There were some parts of this book that were fascinating, but many parts that were dragged down by constant lists and names of people. There's a tendency to want to include EVERYTHING in a biography, which means that it can be tedious reading. I liked reading the excerpts from Dian's diary and descriptions of her research, although I did find many details of her personal life to be fascinating. I would have liked this book if it was shorter and took less tangents, but it's hard to do that with a ...more
Dian Fossey's own writings are woven together with a quickly paced narrative in this excellent account of her life. You get a good sense of what type of person she was - warts and all. The complicated machinations of trying to save gorillas while in the midst of fierce politics are explained well, but not tediously. I enjoyed this book and now need to cruise the internet for an update on how the gorillas are doing although I am scared of what I will find.
Woman in the mist tells a story of a woman named Dian Fossey,she then went to the mountains to help gorillas from poachers,callous researchers,zoo collectors,and local bureaucrats. As much as she did she was mysteriously and brutally murdered,you feel as if you are with her, and seeing the pictures you will know how bad these men were. If you are looking for a book with adventure but very intelligent and sad i say give this one a go you wont be disappointed.
Ken Lavine
One of Canada's top shelf writers weaves a compelling and tragic tale of Dian Fossey and her life spent observing and advocating for these threated creatures. Mowat's incredible storytelling style and research weaves a compelling tapistry of this exceptional woman's life.
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An amazing storey of the passionate of Dian Fossey. Fossey gave up a relativily comfortably life style and ventured into the jungle of Rwanda to become the champion and savior (throught laws which were passed through her cause) of Gorillas. Fossey became international reknown for her work and study of Gorillas in the African jungle and her story is amazing and sad but very intriguing.
Shelly-shawn Womack-gritton
This was a very good book, I especially enjoyed the authors take on the events and his thoughts about what may or could have happened :)
Cindy Cunningham
Women who break the molds of gender role expectation always intrigue me. Dian Fossey and Jane Goodall are two of my most admired women of all time. Fossey's life was more rough and violent than Goodall's, but I admire her tenacity in the face of danger. This book will show you a non-rose-colored view of her life in the mountains of Africa.
 Barb Bailey
This book was an interesting biography about Dian Fossey. She was very committed to her work in Africa involving research with gorillas in the mist and committed most of her adult life to her research. Fossey was extremely patient, bright , and independent. This is a book that will stay with you for a very long time.
Sep 08, 2013 Marvin rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any person with interest in conservation
I read this book sometime in the nineteen nineties and do not have a strong memory of the book but it was well written and the movie based on the book was done closely following it. I think Fossey's life extraordinary and her dedication remarkable. Farley Mowat is a gifted writer.
Having read Gorillas in the Mists years ago I always wanted to learn more about Dian Fossey. I also love Mowat's Never Cry Wolf, so I very uch wanted to read this one. It is long and a bit hard to get through, but a fascinating read nonetheless.
Fossey, though she did a lot of good work, was definitely an anti-hero. A large part of the book is passages from Fossey's own diary, which makes the reader feel like they are getting an inside look at her story. Really good read.
I don't know how to rate this book. The writing is good and interesting, but the history was too difficult for me, too depressing. Dian Fossey's anger with the hunters of gorillas just brought up my own my personal anger...
This was a really interesting book and gave me a very different perspective of Dian Fossey (from my starry eyed days as a graduate student). She was quite a woman, a bit of a mystery, not completely likable, but then, who is?
I read this more than 10 years ago and really enjoyed it. I recently found a copy of it, and started to read it again, but got side-tracked. Hopefully I will get back to it at some point.
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  • Jane Goodall: 40 Years at Gombe
  • Walking with the Great Apes: Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, Birute Galdikas
  • Reflections of Eden: My Years with the Orangutans of Borneo
  • Gorillas in the Mist
  • Africa in My Blood: An Autobiography in Letters
  • Jane Goodall: The Woman Who Redefined Man
  • Bonobo Handshake: A Memoir of Love and Adventure in the Congo
  • Cry of the Kalahari
  • Listening to Whales: What the Orcas Have Taught Us
  • The Tree Where Man Was Born
  • Bonobo: The Forgotten Ape
  • Lucy: The Beginnings of Humankind
  • Next of Kin: My Conversations with Chimpanzees
  • The Mottled Lizard
  • Kanzi: The Ape at the Brink of the Human Mind
  • A Primate's Memoir: A Neuroscientist's Unconventional Life Among the Baboons
  • Letters from Africa, 1914-1931
Farley McGill Mowat was a conservationist and one of Canada's most widely-read authors.
Many of his most popular works have been memoirs of his childhood, his war service, and his work as a naturalist. His works have been translated into 52 languages and he has sold more than 14 million books.
Mowat studied biology at the University of Toronto. During a field trip to the Arctic, Mowat became outrag
More about Farley Mowat...
Never Cry Wolf Owls in the Family The Dog Who Wouldn't Be The Boat Who Wouldn't Float Lost in the Barrens

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