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Rescuing the Spectacled Bear

3.58  ·  Rating Details  ·  233 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
Both wildly funny and moving -- a journal of Stephen Fry’s bid to rescue Peru’s endangered spectacled bears.

Spectacled Bear: The spectacled bear is small and dark, ranging in colour from black to brown, and a few have a reddish tinge. It has distinctive circular or semicircular creamy white markings on the face around the eyes, reminiscent of spectacles.

Stephen Fry: Large,
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published December 3rd 2002 by HUTCHINSON (RAND) (first published October 3rd 2002)
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Community Reviews

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Sep 23, 2008 Trevor rated it liked it
Shelves: science, biography
This was a nice wee book. The thing I like most about Fry’s writing is that it is disarmingly honest. He does not hold back any details about what happens to him and is remarkably up-front about things many of us would, in a like situation, probably prefer not to talk about.

He is, of course, often very funny, although less in this book than I had expected.

This story – the story behind his making of a documentary about Peruvian Spectacled Bears – was a fascinating little slice of life. I learned
Mar 20, 2013 Sans marked it as dnf  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I couldn't finish listening. Hearing how horrible the conditions were for the animals in general and the bears in particular was breaking my heart. I started crying at work (was listening on my iPod while doing database work) and had to turn it off. As amazing and wonderful I'm sure they story eventually gets, I can't handle the misery of their first meet with the bears they were rescuing.
I could probably read anything written by Stephen Fry; he’ s a very self-aware writer, in the sense that you know he knows he’s writing for an audience, rather than writing for the sake of the story or chronicling, but as he’s a witty, engaging entertainer, that’s not necessarily a flaw.

Rescuing the Spectacled Bear is one of his shallower offerings; it touches on the history and ecology of Peru, and the filmed events of the BBC’s series, but as travelogues/celebrity diaries go, there is more fl
Mar 11, 2014 Daphne rated it it was amazing
Finally read my first Stephen Fry book. Very impressed by it, and it was a fun quick read.

He has that British wit that is so easy to become enamored with.

This was a fun little book without a lot of substance, but what was there was good (you'll notice I even shelved it as "art," since much of the book is photography). The book is a published version of Fry's travel/production diary from a trip to Peru filming a documentary on spectacled bears. I learned a bit about Peru, a bit about spectacled bears, and a bit about documentary film making. All of these were interesting, but none went into depth. Still, it was a good introduction to the subject,

Dec 21, 2015 Gry rated it liked it
Shelves: travel-adventure
This book, as a travelogue of a trip through Peru, is quite good. Stephen Fry is witty, funny, and often insightful about the country he is visiting. The text, done in journal form, is easy to read, and it is accompanied by a generous number of absolutely breathtaking photographs. Fry takes readers through Lima and Cuzco, to the Nazca Lines and into the Amazon Rainforest, and what a journey it is! While I found all of this fascinating--Peru is on my bucket list; I would love to travel there some ...more
Debbie Hoad
Jan 01, 2015 Debbie Hoad rated it really liked it
Entertaining. Made me want to visit Peru...with someone that knows their way around. And a lot of bug spray. :)
Nov 13, 2014 Richard rated it it was amazing
Truly hilarious, the audiobook makes a great addition. It is well written and laugh out loud deliciously Fry.
M Pereira
Nov 24, 2011 M Pereira rated it really liked it
This is a cute little book, Fry addresses the lifetyle of the bears, as well as the environment of Peru. I was deceived by the cuteness of parts in the book such as when Fry is encouraged to do this interview by a toy Paddington in a mail package with the note 'will you take me home?', or the comedy at the beginning. This narrative involves bowel movements, government corruption, and a charitable appeal at the end of the book. All in all, this is an interesting piece. I really quite like Mr. Fry ...more
Jonathan Ray
Jan 05, 2014 Jonathan Ray rated it it was amazing
Fry's writing always makes glaringly obvious his love for the English language, which is what makes it such a pleasure to read. This book was a quick read about a topic I likely wouldn't have pursued if written by anyone else, but I thoroughly enjoyed it nonetheless.
Jun 06, 2012 Jan rated it really liked it
Shelves: listened-to
This was excellent. Stephen Fry made a documentary for the BBC about the spectacled bears in Peru (now highly endangered). As he made the documentary, he kept a journal, and this book is the content of the journals.

The book was read by the author, which really added to experience. Part travelogue, part behind-the-scenes-making-of-a-documentary, this is humorous and informative. Stephen Fry is working behalf of a bear rescue group.
Aug 04, 2011 Kahn added it
Entertaining and informative in equal measure, Peru and the plight of this most secretive of bears are brought to life in a way only possible by sticking Stephen Fry halfway up a mountain.

And if My Fry's colourful prose isn't enough for you, then there are some breathtaking pictures of one of the most varied and vivid landscapes in South America.

As Mr Fry says, buy this book and save a bear.
Todd Martin
Nov 01, 2010 Todd Martin rated it liked it
“Rescuing the Spectacled Bear” barely (ooh, a bear pun) qualifies as a blog entry let alone a book, but Fry is occasionally funny (assuming you are amused by gastric distress) and includes a few light facts about Peru and spectacled bears. Approach the book with low expectations and you won’t be disappointed.
Mar 18, 2015 Lena rated it liked it
Interesting tale. Very informative and I can honestly say I enjoyed the 'listen'. Stephen Fry is my favorite reader of audio books :)
To anyone who is interested in animals, have a go!
Aug 03, 2014 Margaret rated it really liked it
A charming little book written by Stephen Fry to tie in with the documentary he did on the Spectacled Bears of Peru.

Lively, interesting and engaging, the book was, alas, far too short.

A delightful way, however, to spend a quiet evening.
Jan 22, 2016 Sophie rated it did not like it
Shelves: animals
Listened to this years ago and it struck me as poor, slow moving and not very interesting especially since it's by Stephen Fry. There is a description near the end of the rainforest which is really good but apart from that I found it a bit boring.
Apr 26, 2008 Mo rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Lovely book with beautiful pictures. Fry always writes beautifully and this non-fiction book is no excetion. I would've liked some more details about the expedition and the bears they set out to save, but all in all a very nice book.
Missie Kay The Book Fix
The description of the noisy jungle at night is one of the funniest single passages I've ever written. Otherwise, it doesn't flow quite as well as Fry's other nature book that I read (Last Chance to See).
Aug 03, 2009 Amit rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
A nice blend of ecology/travel/history. Narrated with usual Fry candid style. Leaves you feeling it was too short ...

I listened to the audiobook edition, narrated by Fry himself.
Oct 16, 2012 Joseph rated it it was ok
Although Steven Fry is as humorous and witty as always, this little travel narrative lacked a strong story, making it more like reading a diary than a book.
May 07, 2009 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
I could listen to him read forever. And his descriptions of Peru and Chile are both breathtaking and alarming. Definitely worth the listen/read.
Jan 20, 2013 Nikki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i really enjoyed the journey of finding and saving these beautiful bears all with the usual comedy of Stephen Fry. Beautiful book.
Venkatraman Raguraman
Venkatraman Raguraman is currently reading it
Feb 12, 2016
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Feb 03, 2016
Julie Dabnor
Julie Dabnor is currently reading it
Feb 09, 2016
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John Sullivan marked it as to-read
Jan 26, 2016
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Greet Derudder marked it as to-read
Jan 24, 2016
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Stephen John Fry is an English comedian, writer, actor, humourist, novelist, poet, columnist, filmmaker, television personality and technophile. As one half of the Fry and Laurie double act with his comedy partner, Hugh Laurie, he has appeared in A Bit of Fry and Laurie and Jeeves and Wooster. He is also famous for his roles in Blackadder and Wilde, and as the host of QI. In addition to writing fo ...more
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