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The Extinction Club: A Tale of Deer, Lost Books, and a Rather Fine Canary Yellow Sweater

3.13  ·  Rating Details  ·  77 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
For one thousand years, the Milu -- an exotic species of deer with the neck of a camel, horns of a stag, feet of a cow, and tail of a donkey -- existed only in the Chinese emperor’s private park in Beijing. But in the nineteenth century, a Basque missionary risked his life to obtain a specimen, then embalmed it and sent it to Paris.

The preserved remains caused quite a stir
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Paperback, 240 pages
Published July 8th 2003 by Harper Perennial (first published 2001)
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Community Reviews

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Andy Lee
Feb 24, 2010 Andy Lee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was one of those impulse purchases in the bargain section at Borders I bought probably 5 or so years ago. I had it around my classroom for a student to read, but since no teenager, especially struggling with reading read it, I figured I shouldn't put a good book to waste.

So I began reading and found the narrative to be terribly confusing, perhaps because of the writing, but probably because I wasn't really focused on what I was reading. The book does blend the line between fiction and non-f
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Clare O'Beara
Pere David's Deer, otherwise known as the Milu, which went extinct in its native China and was restored by a captive herd in Britain, is the putative topic. It only occupies a few pages.

There's a lot of rambling, comments by the author about himself and side tracks. Some of the side tracks are well explored and worth a trip. Some are padding, as presented anyway.

This is a slim volume and I was disappointed and surprised that despite the descriptions of the comically assembled deer, there is no
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Amanda Davidson
Apr 13, 2016 Amanda Davidson rated it did not like it
If you want a book about Robert Twigger, then this is the book for you. If you want a book about Père David's deer, than don't bother. I'm glad I only spent a few dollars at a used book store, but had I known what it was really about, I wouldn't have even paid that. I was expecting a good read about the deer, I had seen them with a friend on a recent trip, and from the little description, they seemed to have a cool story. I had hoped to learn more about them, but what I got was some weird unrela ...more
Ape
Sep 09, 2012 Ape rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel
My 2010 bookcrossing journal:

Hmmm. I've had this one a while, and to be honest, now that I have eventually gotten around to reading it, it has been a bit of a disappointment and not exactly what I expected.

I understood this was going to be the story of Milu, a type of Chinese deer that has been extinct from the wild for 1000 years or so. Odd looking creatures, they were kept in the park of the Forbidden City in China. Some were smuggled out to Europe, and kept in parks, were most of them died. B
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Kim
This book is supposed to be about the Milu, a deer extinct in the wild, that lived in the imperial court of China for, supposedly, 1,000 years. The first Westerner to see one, a basque missionary, fell for the deer, absconded with one and good thing he did because the imperial herd were killed during the boxer rebellion.

Fifty pages in, it was mostly self-involved rambling. On page 15 he mentions how thrilled he is to write a story that is not about him. And then he keeps talking about himself. 2
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Jennyb
Jan 05, 2015 Jennyb rated it it was ok
As I have observed elsewhere, sometimes, there is a good reason books end up in the bargain bin.
The author took an interesting topic, which would have produced a fascinating article, dressed it up in a lot of superfluous personal musings, and turned it into an annoying book length effort. Ah yes, that is why it was so deeply discounted....
Hannah Cook
Jan 23, 2015 Hannah Cook rated it it was ok
I was expecting to really enjoy this but it turned out it was a bit of a dud - trying to be a bit clever clogs about big picture stuff like extinction and literature. But he ended up just coming across as an annoying tit.
Christine
Not life changing but it certainly makes you think about all that has been lost
Jstacy
Jan 16, 2009 Jstacy rated it really liked it
This is a book that I had to read through to really appreciate. At points I was questioning the point and direction, but in the end, I liked the links he made between humans and these deer. It was a bit of a history lesson too as I knew nothing about the Boxer Rebellion and what was happening in China. There's a moral lesson in the book too. The fact that is is not a book one needs to be heavily invested in tipped this to four stars....
Antoine  McGrath
Mar 02, 2009 Antoine McGrath rated it liked it
The legendary deer known as the Milu was thought to be extinct until Basque missionary Pere David stumbled upon them in the Chinese emperor's private park. Not a must read but a good review of an interesting species history.
Kathleen Dixon
Apr 03, 2008 Kathleen Dixon rated it liked it
Shelves: humour
This book must have different subtitles in its British and US editions, but it's clearly the same book.
I rather enjoyed it - it's quite unusual, but entertaining.
Audrey
Oct 13, 2007 Audrey rated it really liked it
Fun book, a little odd.
Karen Hood
Jul 17, 2012 Karen Hood rated it it was amazing
funny
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Robert Twigger is a British author who has been described as, 'a 19th Century adventurer trapped in the body of a 21st Century writer'. He attended Oxford University and later spent a year training at Martial Arts with the Tokyo Riot Police. He has won the Newdigate prize for poetry, the Somerset Maugham award for literature and the William Hill Sports Book of the Year award.

In 1997, whilst on an
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