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BOOK OF THE MONTH
IMMUNE: A JOURNEY INTO THE MYSTERIOUS SYSTEM THAT KEEPS YOU ALIVE
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The Lost Camels of Tartary
John Hare
Jane Goodall
Classification : Travel & Adventure
Pub Date : Jul 01, 1999
Imprint : Abacus
Page Extent : 251
Binding : PB
ISBN : 9780349111469
Price : 575

About the book
John Hare has made three expeditions to the Mongolian and Chinese Gobi deserts, the first in 1993 with Russian scientists and the second and third with Chinese scientists in 1995 and 1996. The book records the amazing adventures he has experienced on those expeditions and will record details of the 30-day walk on foot in the formidable Kum Tagh sand dunes in the spring of 1997. He is the first recorded foreigner to have crossed the Gashun Gobi from north to south. The expeditions were primarily concerned with tracking down the mysterious wild Bactrian camel 'camelus bactrianus ferus' which lives in the heartland of the desert and is the ancestor of all domestic Bactrian stock. There are under a thousand left in the world and the wild Bactrian camel is more endangered than the giant Panda. This is John Hare's magnificent account of a formidable feat of modern exploration.
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'a terrific tale' LITERARY REVIEW 'an admirable book' INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY 'destined to become a modern adventure classic' FOCUS 'John Hare is a modern version of the adventurers of old... How wonderful that, in this materialistic world, people like John exist to champion that endangered, fast-vanishng wild Bactrian camel.' Jane Goodall 'THE LOST CAMELS OF TARTARY is one of those quests that sounds preposterous but which becomes increasingly compelling thanks to the strength of Hare's exuberant narrative.' TES 'This is more than a book about exploration. It's a great education.' SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST 'stirring stuff, as rich in human as in natural scenery.' DAILY TELEGRAPH In 1992 John Hare talked himself onto a Russian-Mongolian expedition into the Gobi desert as their hastily appointed "expert" on the wild Bactrian camel, one of the most endangered species on the planet. Hare was no camel expert, but four expeditions into the wastelands of the Gobi desert and seven years later, Hare has miraculously persuaded the Chinese authorities to establish a massive nature sanctuary to prevent what looked like the inevitable extinction of this particularly enigmatic ship of the desert. The Lost Camels of Tartary is Hare's remarkable story. As he says at the outset of this extraordinary book, "I am neither a qualified naturalist or a scientist, but have always had the instincts of an explorer". As a consequence the book often reads like a good old- fashioned tale of epic discovery and adventure, including being marooned in one of the world's most forbidding deserts, the Gashun Gobi in Central Asia, as well as the discovery of ancient cities stretching back to the days of Genghis Khan and Marco Polo. Yet The Lost Camels of Tartary is also a compelling account of Hare's growing commitment to the cause of the remarkably resilient wild Bactrian camel, living on a diet of salt water and radiation courtesy of the bombardment of its natural habitat by repeated Chinese nuclear tests. Hare's bloody- minded determination to find and save the camel permeates the entire book, to the extent that it becomes easy to forget the magnitude of his ill-equipped and increasingly dangerous forays into the desert, which on his final two trips find him riding on camels which at one hair-raising point desert him. A series of breathtaking colour photographs of the desert give some idea of the epic (some may say crazy) nature of Hare's journeys. The Lost Camels of Tartary is a remarkable story of one man's determination, and which promises a happy ending for the camel. - Jerry Brotton, AMAZON.CO.UK
     
John Hare
Jane Goodall
Jane Goodall is the world's foremost authority on chimpanzees. An internationally renowned conservationist, she is the founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and has received many distinguished awards...(+)