Ivory, Apes & Peacocks
Alan Root is one of the great wildlife pioneers. His unmatched experience of East African wildlife and his appetite for risk have made him a world-class naturalist and film-maker.
Ivory, Apes & Peacocks tells the story of his life’s work, from his arrival in Kenya as a young boy to the making of his game-changing films. From a hot-air balloon Alan was the first to track the wildebeest migration; then he flew it over Kilimanjaro. He filmed inside a termite mound and dived with hippos and crocodiles.
In this extraordinary memoir we look at Africa’s wonders through the eyes of a visionary, live through hair-raising adventure and personal sorrow, and also bear witness to a natural world now largely lost from view.
If Dame Daphne Sheldrick's touching and romantic Love, Life, and Elephants has been climbing the bestseller lists in Britain and America, Alan Root's Ivory, Apes and Peacocks is by far the deeper and more interesting read. The problems that beset Africa's wildlife - population pressures, poaching, drought and disease - are all part of this story, though balanced here by Mr Root's sense of fun and adventure * The Economist * Root is aware that his magical life has 'run parallel with a heartbreaking holocaust, as wildlife conservation has proved to be a disastrous failure'. This wonderful book can't put it more honestly than that. Not only are the current generation of wildlife film-makers mere pygmies compared to Root, but soon they will not even be able to attempt matching his documentaries because the world he captured has ceased to exist. -- Aidan Hartley * Spectator * In a riveting memoir, Root offers far more than a few well-work anecdotes of cute, hand-reared animals who like to sit down to breakfast with you and curl up on the sofa after dinner...a truly compelling book, savage and sparkling by turns -- Kathryn Hughes * Mail on Sunday * This is an entrancing book. Root is a natural story-teller, roaming East Africa before poachers began to decimate the wildlife. Against the staggering backdrop of East Africa's landscape and wildlife, the darkness of its problems casts a growing shadow over this book... Luckily, Alan Root's wonderful films remain, a testimony to the man of whom David Attenborough once said: 'He made wild-life films grow up' * Daily Mail * Written by a consummate wordsmith, Alan Root's enthralling memoir is the best true-life adventure story to come out of Africa for years. The final chapter, which describes Root's last moments with Joan, I found almost too painful to read (5 star review) -- Brian Jackman * Daily Telegraph *
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