The Whispering Land, Volume 1

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Viking Press, 1962 - Wild animal collecting - 235 pages
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For most readers their gateway book to an unbreakable Gerald Durrell habit is “My Family and Other Animals,” his memoir of growing up in Corfu with his eccentric family and native wildlife between the wars. He also wrote accounts of animal collecting in South America, "A Zoo in My Luggage" and its sequel “The Whispering Land.” Durrell’s prose is pristine and flowing and humorous. He relates his rough journey through austerely beautiful Patagonia (Argentina) but we also get a sense of his respect at the diversity of wildlife: observing colonies of penguins and elephant seals, hanging out with guanaco in the wild, saving an abused ocelot, using himself as bait for vampire bats (before recalling the risk of rabies), and saving a baby peccary named Juanita. It’s not totally about animals though because unforgettable is the stout Rosa Lillipampila, his seatmate on a small plane heading for Jujuy. I highly recommend this delightful book.  

Review: The Whispering Land

User Review  - Lia Marcoux - Goodreads

Obviously some of the language wouldn't wash today, and probably naturalists and ecologists would be unhappy with the methods, but I LOVED this account. The only flaw is that it made me sad about leading a conventional life. Read full review


A Word in Advance
The Whispering Land
A Sea of Headwaiters

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