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The Bafut Beagles

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4.15  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,148 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
In The Bafut Beagles Gerald Durrell describes a collecting expedition to the Cameroons, where with the assistance of a pack of African enthusiasts and mongrel dogs he captured almost everything from flying mice to booming squirrels. The unconscious humour of a supercilious toad or a hypocritical chimpanzee is only surpassed by the electric charm of the convivial Fon of Baf ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published 1973 by Penguin (first published October 1954)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,710)
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Matt
Jan 23, 2016 Matt rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, science
This is a difficult book to review. On it's surface, and I'm sure at the time it was written it was received this way, it presents itself as a charming account of an expedition to Cameroon to pick up live animals to bring back to England to study, replete with amusing anecdotes about the difficulties of collecting and caring for the animals, and humorous depictions of the people Durrell meets along the way...

Can you spot the problem? It's in the "humorous depictions of the people". This book is
...more
Irene Lazlo
Otro libro de Durrell que me ha encantado. Los libros en los que captura animales, aunque fascinantes, son menos agradables de leer que sus otros libros porque algunos animales mueren inevitablemente en el viaje y no llegan a un refugio o zoo. Me ha sorprendido lo tolerante que es el libro para estar escrito en los años 40, Durrell no habla de los africanos como primitivos sino que vive con ellos y participa de sus costumbres. Sí que hay diferencia entre el hombre blanco y el negro: los africano ...more
Nandakishore Varma
May 26, 2016 Nandakishore Varma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wildlife
This is the first book by Gerald Durrell I read, and I immediately became a fan. He writes with humour and sympathy about animals, and his adventures are vintage reads. He also made me look at zoos and their role in conservation in a new light.
Ape
Jan 30, 2013 Ape rated it liked it
Shelves: africa, travel
2009 bookcrossing review:

This is the second of Durrell's books I have read. I am not sure if it the second in the series of his memoirs though. This one was written in 1954, so I presume it is about a trip to Cameroon that occured a few years before that? He never actually says exactly when. But it's the story of a several-months long trip in the Cameroons that he took to collect lots of animals. Most of his trip was spent in the higher lands, an area called the Bafut, where he was the guest of
...more
Colin
Feb 24, 2013 Colin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's quite interesting reading this at the same time as I'm listening to the audiobook of "Blood River". Both are tales of Englishmen in Africa. Whereas Tim Butcher spends most of the time in real danger, refuses to stereotype, and uses his wits to determine which of the many people he meets are worthy of trust and respect, Gerald Durrell is writing in another age, and he just cruises around, effortlessly assuming his right to be called "Masa" and "Sah" by the flock of undifferentiated, caricatu ...more
Satwant
Jul 08, 2014 Satwant rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Wow, wow, wow. I was at airport in between my flights and i need something to pass my time. So i just go to store and pick a random book up and guess what, It was The Bafut Beagles. I causally go through first few pages and start to feel that this is not the usual book we read. It has something extra and something new. The natural comedy that generate from individual from this book, commentary by My Durrell about certain incidence, Bafut people and most of all an exciting world of wild life. I a ...more
Trounin
«Гончие Бафута» лишены единой повествовательной линии. Это прежде всего набор занимательных случаев, о которых Даррелл решил вспомнить. В какой-то момент на читателя обязательно навалится ощущение скуки, ведь об особом разнообразии в приключениях Джеральда говорить не приходится. Да и чувство одиночества не позволяет понять радужность авторских похождений. Всё кажется прекрасным, но чего-то постоянно не хватает. Думается, Даррел испытывал нехватку в единомышленниках. Видно, что Джеральд любит пр ...more
Namitha Varma
Aug 22, 2016 Namitha Varma rated it it was amazing
Another thoroughly enjoyable book by Durrell. Each time I read him, I met such fascinating creatures. And Durrell can make even a toad adorable!
Guy Noyes
I read this book 50 years ago and it remains one of Durrell's classic animal collector's tales. It is full of characters, both human like the tall, elegant Fon of Bafut and animals like the elusive hairy toad. Our affable British guide drinks gin with the Fon and teaches his people the conga line. The high grasslands are well described and, as always, mischievous animals cause havoc. Durrell laughs with his hunters and at himself. Treat yourself to a jolly time with this book.
Hannah
May 04, 2016 Hannah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Durrell's books are a delightful collection of anecdotes regarding his adventures whilst collecting animals. This book is about a trip to the Cameroons and my major complaint is the cringe -worthy way in which he refers to "the Africans" he comes across. Not overt racism but some of the dialogue and his observations left me feeling a bit uncomfortable.
Margaret
Nov 29, 2014 Margaret rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the funniest books I've ever read. Durrell travels to the small country of Camaroon and interacts with a jungle community, complete with its own king. The pidgin English is hilarious without ever being demeaning, and the tribes people knock themselves out helping Durrell and his crew gather rare species. Not to be missed.
Robert
Jul 24, 2016 Robert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

The Bafut Beagles is Durrell's first journey to Africa in order to catch animals for zoos and it sets the template for all of Durrell's travelogues: descriptions of exotic animals and anecdotes about the characters that he encounters.

Keep in mind that I read these books when I was 14 years old (I'm now 37) and so details such as racism or class superiority went by me. But now looking back, the descriptions of the African's use of pdgin english and bumbling antics of the tribesmen do sound date
...more
Laura
May 26, 2014 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another fun book about a guy tramping around in the bush looking for obscure animals with the aid of some very interesting local characters. I just love these books and smile every time I think of Gerald leading a conga line all around a little village in the Cameroons.
Katy Defay
Jun 15, 2012 Katy Defay rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
This book details Durrell's first trip to the Cameroons. First published in the 1950's, it is an enjoyable story about the native peoples he meets and the strange and unusual animals he collects in hopes of bringing them back to British zoos. The story is full of humor (which, incidentally, is not captured by the audiobook narrator, who seems to not grasp the humor or is unable to portray it.)
The best place to start with Durrell is My Family and Other Animals, which tells of Durrell's introducti
...more
Ian Anderson
I read this while at school or university along with other Gerald Durrell books. Re-reading this book it seems a little dated in its attitude towards Africans but very good humoured, and the black & white illustrations by Ralph Thompson fit the text as if he were present during the events portrayed.

It is the story of one of Gerald Durrell's animal collection expeditions from early 1950s (or late 1940s) to Cameroon in West Africa. These expeditions collected animals primarily for British zoos
...more
Gordon
Oct 26, 2011 Gordon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: animal-stories
As always with Gerald Durrell, this book is easy to read and full of humour. Unfortunately this time there's a big qualifier: his portrayal of Africans. To be fair, it would have been a rare European in the 1940's who saw Africans as equals, there is no outright brutality - this is a book of humour, after all! - and from time to time his paternalistic affection blooms into genuine respect. Still, this grated, and in addition I for one get bored quickly by drinking scenes, but the book is saved f ...more
Helen
Sep 29, 2015 Helen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very funny account of a biologist collecting specimens in Cameroon, Africa, in 1949.
Saqib Khan
Apr 24, 2014 Saqib Khan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mesmerizing.
Clivemichael
I read this in the 60's, an inspiring romp through Cameroon chasing after "wild "animals to put into zoo's. Don't recall much about it 50 years later but it is interesting to note, being here in Cameroon now, there are not many, maybe any, of those animals left. Bush meat, compromised habitat and excessive human growth have done the damage. Visiting Bafut I wonder at the older men and women, how many of them were even alive when he was here in 1949. Time to revisit it, should I find a copy somew ...more
Jeffrey
Jun 24, 2012 Jeffrey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
While Durrell was reputed to exaggerate some of his experiences when on animal collecting trips for his private zoo in Jersey, no one could deny he had a way with words and delivered many humorous anecdotes about the animals and the people involved through a whole series of books. The Bafut Beagles (actually a group of men who assisted Durrell in his quests in that part of Africa) was one of the funniest and is a very entertaining read.
Pam Bloom
Jul 22, 2016 Pam Bloom rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A lovely and descriptive look at animal collecting in Africa in the 1950s. Gerald Durrell's affection for the people of Bafut is obvious. There are many funny moments, which will have you snorting coffee down your nose. Glorious.
Daphne
Nov 05, 2015 Daphne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-audio, quest
Sweet little nature book. Dry british humor and animals is always a pleasant combination.
Jenny Sparrow
Dec 17, 2015 Jenny Sparrow rated it really liked it
Книга про второе путешествие Даррелла в Камерун и его охоту на редких и интересных животных. Как всегда, с юмором, с добротой и очень интересно описаны животные и те любопытные курьёзы, которые подстерегают ловца зверей на каждом шагу.
Diane
Sep 04, 2010 Diane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
More of Durrell's rememberences of collecting animals in Africa. Hilarious, touching, fascinating, and yet disturbing as we stand on the brink of species extinction. A wonderful human interest book.
Areesha
Dec 28, 2014 Areesha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, humor
This book like every other Gerald Durrell book was a joy to read. Compared to My Family and Other Animals, it has a maturer tone and is one that everyone should read.
Clarissa
There are some great scenes, it isn't as good as the books in which the rest of the Durrell family appear, but still fun to read.
Hendro
Dec 12, 2010 Hendro rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
feel sorry for those animals that were captured. I actually feel sad when one of those animals are died
Jan
Aug 28, 2013 Jan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: listened-to
Great book to listen too. More stories of collecting animals for zoos in Cameroon in the 1940's.
David Smith
Jul 25, 2011 David Smith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very funny - Cameroun has never looked so good! Waiting to be adapted for the big screen.
Krista
Apr 09, 2013 Krista rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"My Family and Other Animals" still remains the best, but this is a great follow-up.
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Gerald "Gerry" Malcolm Durrell was born in India in 1925. His family settled on Corfu when Durrell was a boy and he spent his time studying its wildlife. He relates these experiences in the trilogy beginning with My Family and Other Animals, and continuing with Birds, Beasts and Relatives and The Garden of the Gods. In his books he writes with wry humour and great perception about both the humans ...more
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