Sue's Reviews > Predators I Have Known

Predators I Have Known by Alan Dean Foster
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Dec 27, 11

bookshelves: travel, nonfiction, netgalley, nature, kindle
Read from November 26 to December 27, 2011

Alan Dean Foster, a science fiction writer, documents his world adventures to see exotic animals. From sharks to tarantulas, leeches to lions, and from Arizona to Botswana, he tells stories of close encounters and makes observations about animal and human interactions. His prose is a bit clumsy, as if he were practicing writing for his novels-- which, for a science fiction writer, travel and strange animals make great practice. I found his attitude a bit pompous, as when he rescues a fellow scuba diver from a venomous cone snail and when he assumes that the safari guides are enjoying their time with him. Foster writes strictly from the point of view of a wildlife tourist, an aesthetic and symbolic perspective. He is interested in experiencing wildlife encounters, usually getting as close as possible to the animals (swimming with giant otters, scuba diving with sharks, letting a spider crawl over him). The benefit is that there is no guilt trip for the reader, i.e. no discussion of the impacts of global warming or habitat loss. On the other hand, reading about one person's experiences in a shark cage or riding an elephant or watching lions eat is not that interesting if the observer does not have so many observations. In this case, we do not have the dominionistic point of view of a hunter (Roosevelt, Hemingway) or the humanistic or even the utilitarian. It is a description of tourist experiences. Personally I would prefer to read Last Chance to See by Douglas Adams, which describes wildlife encounters with animal species at risk of extinction. It has the interest of the encounters and some fun stories and a conservation angle that is really interesting. Overall, this book is okay to page through but there are better options out there. National Geographic is way more fun to read.

I received this ebook from Netgalley for review purposes; my thoughts are my own.
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