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Jaguars Ripped My Flesh

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  2,070 ratings  ·  74 reviews
Tim Cahill has clambered up Mount Roraima in the Guyana highlands, searching for the site of Arthur Conan Doyle's Lost World. He's dined on baked turtle lung in the desolate northeast of Australia and harvested poisonous sea snakes in the Philippines. He's watched a wrestling match between a shark and an "underwater zombie" during a horror movie shoot off the coast of ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published May 30th 2012 by Black Swan (first published 1987)
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Average rating 3.94  · 
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 ·  2,070 ratings  ·  74 reviews


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Jeanette
An absolutely outstanding book. This is a collection of pieces the author wrote for Outside and some other magazines during the late 70s and early 80s. The book far exceeds the quality of Pecked to Death by Ducks, which is the only other of his collections I have read.

The first half of the book covers experiences he had in south America, Australia, the Philippines, and Mexico. I especially liked this section because these were truly adventurous excursions to remote places most of us have never
...more
Rex Fuller
Oct 10, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was slow to this, a collection of Tim Cahill’s first articles, believing his early effort not as polished as the later. Needn’t have quibbled. If you like Cahill, you will enjoy this one as much as any. With his familiar understated irony he describes catching venomous sea snakes in the Philippines, “swimming” with sharks near Catalina, and playing chicken in a kayak with calving ice in Glacier Bay. The best is at the end. In two pieces, the first written from an observation point near Mt. St. ...more
Jennifer Barbee
Aug 24, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading the dreadful crumudgeon Bill Bryson and his unfunny, uninteresting musings on the state of modern travel, Tim Cahill couldn't have been a bigger breath of fresh air. Cahill is the real deal. His sense of humor in the face of danger, his true willingness to engage in potentially lethal activities, and his tremendous sensitivity and insight into other cultures make this collection (and all of his collections) a must read for anyone feeling the old wanderlust. If you can't travel to ...more
Nathan Eaton
Nov 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: outdoors, animals, 2015
This was a great collection of articles. Tim Cahill did a great job of blending laughs and making you really stop to think. I really enjoyed his sections about Latin America, which for some reason I haven't read a lot of travel pieces about. Goodreads nailed it on the suggestions again. I will be looking for more Cahill in the future.

Cahill reads like a less grumpy and slightly less humorous Bill Bryson. One of his biggest strengths though, lies in his ability to convey deeper emotion. I'm
...more
Rebecca
Jun 03, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel
I didn't even finish this book. I have been seeing it on the shelf for years and while I liked another book by the same author, for some reason, this one just didn't appeal to me. But I'll always try something from the library, nothing lost there but time. I spent a week trying to get into it and finally yesterday morning, I gave up.

Just random travel adventures, which normally I like, but I think they have to take place in a part of the world that I have an interest in going and these where
...more
Wendy Jackson
The title of this book is a p!ss-take on those swashbuckling adventure story magazines from times past - magazines that Cahill jokingly suggests had names like "Man's Testicle" and featured stories like "My God, We're Being Attacked by Tiger Sharks!" Cahill's stated intent with this collection of essays was to provide readers with something less hyperbolic; however, his appetite for exploration and complete disregard for risk lands him in situations that perfectly suit publication in a magazine ...more
Jim
A nice collection of essays, somewhat dated but nonetheless interesting. A few I skipped over because of lack of interest in the story, but many were very good, from his parachuting to adventure expeditions. I like his sense of humor. I like living vicariously through the experiences of the good travel writers. I had to track this one down via inter-library loan, but it was well worth it.
Olya
Nov 08, 2018 marked it as abandoned  ·  review of another edition
It meandered from one random thought to another until it lost me.
Gaía Passarelli
delicious compilation of one of the best adventure writers there is.
Lynne
Dec 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I have not been fond of travel books previously, but I think I'm going to read all of Tim Cahill's. His prose can carry you from a sense of yearning for the land he is describing, to the hilarious effects drinking various kinds of booze can have on the individual unaccustomed to them. He almost gets shot, sort of, in South America somewhere; he hates Hooty the Owl comprehensively and entertainingly, he jumps out of airplanes and dives into caves - and he is very skilled at taking you with him on ...more
Keith Skinner
Sep 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to read some early Cahill after taking a workshop with Tim. This book didn't disappoint. I'm sure some will find the bombastic title off-putting but that's the point, to challenge adventure travel writing that is insincere, inaccurate, and disingenuous. Tim has an understated humor that is hilarious, and he delivers a wealth of information about places, cultures, and environmental populations while being entertaining. A must read for anyone who ventures beyond their front door and even ...more
Julian Walker
Feb 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A superb collection of writings covering exposing turtle poaching, hanging out with a wild gorilla xxx, rock climbing, shark diving, hang gliding, parachuting, erupting volcanoes - phew.

The list of this man’s activities goes on and on, and each one is entertaining and engrossing, veering from drama to outrage, gentle humor to the outrageous.

Travel and adventure truly rolled into one.

Cracking stuff and a great read.
...more
Chris
Jun 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
More of the same excellent magazine articles from Cahill. Pretty indistinguishable from Pass The Butterworms and others, but in a good way. Consistently good and similar in feel to a Bill Bryson article if he did adventure sports
Mylie
Sep 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great adventure/travel writing, the series of articles in the book really draw you to some incredible parts of the planet and make you want to renew your passport and buy a plane ticket. Really enjoyed it.
Ken Jurish
Aug 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Funny, mostly, stories of his time in the great outdoors.
Candice Waite
Dec 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Funny! The phrasing and word choices are a delight.
Jessica
Jul 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sweet story and quick read. Loved all the poetry woven throughout.
keith koenigsberg
Excellent travel and adventure writing. It finished a little weaker than it started, though. The first few chapter read like good travel writing, but the last few read like his assignments for Outside Magazine: shorter, more narrowly focused (a day of hang-gliding for example) and more PC. A bit preachy on environmental issues, too.
Heather
I'm slowly making my way through National Geographic's list of the top 100 travel adventure books of all time, and this was on the list. I never heard of Tim Cahill, who apparently wrote for Outside magazine and others. This book is a series of essays about his travel adventures, ranging from caving, clinging, parachuting, and jungle exploration.

Some sections of this book were just enormously sad. For example, he had a story (quite controversial at the time) about the Ridley sea turtles in
...more
Glen Engel-Cox
This is a well-written collection of essays by Cahill, subtitled “Adventure is a Risky Business,” that succeeds best when Cahill is trying to make due with human nature rather than mother nature. Or, possibly, that’s just where my interests lie. Even arm-chair tourists whose idea of “getting back to nature” is a stroll down the block can’t help but envy Cahill as he is pushed in assignment after assignment in which he looks danger in the face and blows it a raspberry, and then falling on his ...more
Jae
Aug 29, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Immediately after finishing A Wolverine is Eating My Leg, I picked up Jaguars, another collection of essays by Cahill—more timely, but with similar themes. Cahill’s often self-deprecating wry humor and crack-a-joke-in-the-face-of-death attitude make for fun reading. He’s like Allan Quatermain meets Anthony Bourdain, with a little David Attenborough tossed in. Quite a few of the stories feature thrill-seeking sports, such as spelunking, rock climbing, skydiving, swimming with sharks, and ...more
Juliet Wilson
Jul 26, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nature, travel
This is a collection of short travel essays. A lot of them are adventurous - we have caving in Kentucky, skydiving, watching the eruption of Mount St Helens at close quarters etc. There are also tales of epic travels in various south American countries. But Cahill is, for me, at his best, a true environmentalist. Life and Love in Gorilla Country is a wonderful close encounter with the gorillas in Volcano Country Park, Rwanda, it is clear that Cahill totally enjoys getting close to these ...more
Jeanne
Nov 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've always loved Tim Cahill's writing; it was the best part of "Outside" magazine for years. This guys has the coolest, most adventurous life imaginable though I admit I'm much happier reading about his adventures than I would be living them! Personally, I most enjoy his adventures in distant places: South America, Australia, the South Pacific, for his descriptions of people, places and of course deadly plants, animals and insects that I will never come across otherwise. He has also included ...more
Cheryl
Sep 13, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A collection of articles written by Cahill for Outdoor magazine (of which he was one of the founding editors) and covering the entire gamut: How to effectively use a survival guide when stranded in the wilderness (light it on fire for a smoke signal/warmth); the joys of diving with sharks; finding unknown ruins in the Andes; hang-gliding; skydiving; sitting on Mount St. Helen's waiting for the eruption and going back after the eruption scouting for the dead; the slaughter of sea turtles in ...more
David Ward
Jaguars Ripped My Flesh by Tim Cahill (Bantam Books 1987) (813.54) is a collection of "extreme adventure travel writing" which was first published in Outside Magazine. He always provides an eclectic mix. This volume features the wind in Livingston, Montana, porcupines and dogs, the slaughter of Kemp's Ridley sea turtles in Mexico, diving for sea snakes, ancient Peruvian civilizations, lazing about with gorillas in Rwanda, the eruption of Mount St. Helens, a death cave, and cave diving. If he ...more
Renata
Perfectly enjoyable adventure-travel writing. Made me feel slightly inadequate, as Cahill keeps presenting himself as a Bill Bryson-like incompetent, while he actually seems to be a totally badass swimmer/diver/rockclimber/adventurer. I was especially interested in his essays about Mount St. Helens right before/after the eruption (yeah this book is like 30 years old, I just found it in the PC library). Anyway, it was a pretty fun, quick read, but I wouldn't really recommend seeking it out unless ...more
Ron
Sep 27, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this book about 10 years ago and decided to give it another "read" after I found the audiobook. Still holds up very well considering most of the adventures Tim Cahill rights about happened in the 80's. Honestly no one man should be allowed to do as much cool stuff as Cahill. Sky diving, scuba diving with sharks, rock climbing in Yosemite, caving in Kentucky, visiting Mount St. Helen's as it's erupting, and more.

Thank goodness he's a great writer so I can live his adventures vicariously
...more
Cath Russell
Nov 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel-writing
Mostly this was an excellent collection of essays about the author's travels and adventures. A couple were a little tedious but I thought the two on the volcanic eruption of Mount St. Helens were absolutely superb. The best I've read on the subject. Also excellent was the account of his expedition to Peru, his caving exploits, and I also liked those about Montana and North Dakota. A good collection, I will read more.
Kristine Stevens
Jun 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a delightful collection of adventure-related stories - great for random short bits of time when you get a chance to read, but don't want to keep track of what's going in a book that tells one story. A few of the stories were less adventure related and more place related, but still enjoyable. I almost cried in horror and anger when I read about the slaughter of sea turtles at one of the places he visited ... but the whole world needs to know of such evils.
Mikal
Feb 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tim Cahill has been everywhere and has done everything. He is so fun to read, and he is an admirer of Bill Bryson...
This book is loaded with short essays/accounts of his adventures in many different countries. Some funny, some political/historical. He's mostly a funny guy, tho. With some beautifully written descriptions of some other-worldly moments. He's one of my all time favorite reads.
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Tim Cahill (born 1944 in Nashville, Tennessee) is a travel writer who lives in Livingston, Montana, United States. He is a founding editor of Outside magazine and currently serves as an "Editor at Large" for the magazine.
“Most of us abandoned the idea of a life full of adventure and travel sometime between puberty and our first job. Our dreams died under the dark weight of responsibility. Occasionally the old urge surfaces, and we label it with names that suggest psychological aberrations: the big chill, a midlife crisis.” 7 likes
“Finally, consider your predicament a privilege in a world so shrunken that certain people refer to it as the 'global village.' The term 'explorer' has little meaning. But exploration is nothing more than a faray into the unknown, and a four-year old child, wandering about along in the department store, fits the definition as well as the snow-blind man wandering across the Khyber Pass. The explorer is the person who is lost.” 7 likes
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