Reviews for Adventures of a Young Naturalist: The Zoo Quest Expeditions, by David Attenborough

patif0367's review

Go to review page

adventurous informative lighthearted medium-paced

4.0

anartfulreader's review

Go to review page

Very interesting but found it quite slow to read, and never quite found myself reaching for it at all. 

botanique_hart's review against another edition

Go to review page

5.0

David Attenborough's admiration and empathy for the animals and communities who share their home radiates from this book. His passion and eagerness to learn are contagious. A must read!

lorrainelowereads's review against another edition

Go to review page

4.0

Adventures of a Young Naturalist by David Attenborough was first published in the 80s but has a new intro for this 2017 edition. There are three parts to the memoir where Attenborough recounts his travels in the 1950s to Guyana, Indonesia and Paraguay for a BBC program called Zoo Quest. The program aimed to film exotic animals in their native environment before cutting to a studio where the (live) animal would magically be and a more detailed examination would be done. The quests were part funded by the London Zoo as they would then get the animal to keep. The book is as fascinating in it’s details of various forms of wildlife as any of DA’s TV programs and it is written with the same charm and wit which comes across so well on the screen. And the stories of his escapades in these foreign countries in search of animals was really interesting and very readable, and actually quite funny sometimes. But the most fascinating thing of all about the book was the quantity and type of animals they just took from their home with zero qualms whatsoever. There is no doubt they looked after them really well and knew their stuff in terms of what to feed each particular species etc, but I mean they took them with a greediness and a casualness that was so shocking. Monkeys, birds, large and small reptiles, foxes, armadillos, insects, snakes, a wolf, an orangutan and a bear to name but a few. And they took babies from mothers, no joke. All the way through after a new animal had been captured we were told how ‘perfectly happy/comfortable/content’ they were in their new prison. But I’m sure the animals would have preferred to be back in the wild with their families!! Anyway I had to keep reminding myself it was the 50s, and all the animals were looked after and went on to thrive in the zoo. Really good book if you’re into travel, animals, nature etc.

uberbutter's review against another edition

Go to review page

5.0

What an absolutely wonderful, adventurous book! David Attenborough is a treasure to us all!

elenap's review

Go to review page

4.0

What a ride! I was given the opportunity to travel to Guyana, Indonesia, and Paraguay with Sir David Attenborough, or to be more exact, with David. Because in this book you see his adventures in wilderness and less known territories as a 20-something-year-old. It's a window into a world that has changed so much through a lens that doesn't bring any moral colonial superiority.

The book was lovely, but Attenborough is a fantastic storyteller and way more charismatic on screen, and for that we will forever be grateful.

What impressed me was his resourcefulness, tenacity, utter fearlessness, and curiosity about the world and nature (like we didn't know that already). Back in the 50s, the infrastructure, transportation, and communication systems were infinitely less established than they are now, and still, together with colleagues and friends picked up along the way, he managed to travel to wild corners of the world filming for BBC and bringing back animals considered to be mythical for the London Zoo. It's honestly more of an inspirational book if nothing else. If he could do this back then in those rough conditions, you can do way more now. Well, probably not in the literal sense if you're a woman, but I'm not going to go that route.

I can't give this book a hard 5, but it is definitely a 4+ star one. Highly recommend it to animal, adventure, and nature lovers. I might listen to it as an audiobook as well in the future, seems such a shame to miss out of that legendary voice.

rk0's review

Go to review page

2.0

This book is actually three books in one. They take place post WW2 with a young David Attenborough who is just starting is career in film making. Each book chronologies the trips to various countries in the search for animals to document and bring back to the London Zoo. Reading this in our world today, it's clear that catching animals to send back to zoos is not exactly ethical, but it wasn't an issue back then.

Review Continued Here

bethwynbadger's review

Go to review page

4.0

review to come on my blog ^_^

ciara288's review

Go to review page

adventurous emotional funny informative inspiring lighthearted relaxing medium-paced

5.0

dannireadsallthetime's review

Go to review page

3.0

I was very excited to start reading this book as I am in love with Sir David Attenborough :D
It is basically 3 sets of journals of his adventures for Zoo Quest.
Now I wasn't exactly thrilled as they went into the wild and took animals they wanted/needed for London Zoo, some of the animals were rescued by them as well, but I wasn't happy when reading they took.... I cant remember what animals they were now, maybe some type of armadillo?.... 4 babies, not sure where the mother was, but she may have been around?

Overall though it was an interesting insight of how David Attenborough started his career, what him and his team endured whilst aboard and learning about different animals and native people from different countries.
There were parts of the story which were most humorous, he has a good sense of humour.
I still love him and always will. Very interesting story.
Although I was mainly focused on the animals parts rather than the native people and there were parts where I would have liked more information. For instance they are seeing to bring back a Komodo Dragon, they catch one and have built a quick put up cage out of wood they have found, but I would have liked to have known, how they moved the dragon off the island, little details like that.
I have many more of his books and will be most interested to read them.
Defiantly worth a read.
More...