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Jaguars and Electric Eels by Alexander von…
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Jaguars and Electric Eels

by Alexander von Humboldt

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Alexander von Humboldt details his adventures and explorations in Venezuela in 1800 in a beautifully written little travelogue. His intellectual curiosity knows no bounds and his skills at recording his observations are wonderfully lyrical. The flora, fauna, land, rivers, mountains, weather -- nothing escapes his observation. Not even the people who he objectively studies and records with clarity. He is open minded enough to recognize European pretensions and set them aside while living along side those who would be considered from the most primitive of cultures. His observations foreshadow the disastrous man-made changes to the land and environment as natural resources were even then being ripped from the land without thought for the future. This is a delightful adventure in the dense green jungle of a primeval land. ( )
  varielle | Apr 15, 2015 |
Although the author wrote of his travels in the early 1800's,he nevertheless speaks to us in these pages with a very modern voice. In the short extracts we are given here,Alexander von Humboldt travels into the Venezuelan jungle and encounters in addition to the jaguars and electric eels of the title,crocodiles,snakes apes and worst of all,the dreaded The way he writes about the various plants that he collects and the way he tells of the natives and the missionaries that he meets are wonderfully described.In short,he is a man who anyone at all interested in exploration,travel or botany would be proud to meet.
The series of' Penguin Great Journeys' of which this is one,is a splendid set of 20 books.In the 100 pages of this particular book, we have the essence of a great explorer and by reading this short account,one is drawn to discover more about him and indeed to attempt to discover a fuller account of his travels. ( )
  devenish | Jun 24, 2009 |
A great, innovative and restless thinker, the young Humboldt (1769-1859) went on his epochal journey to the New World during a time of revolutionary ferment across Europe. This part of his matchless narrative of adventure and scientific research focuses on his time in Venezuela - in the Llanos and on the Orinoco River - riding and paddling, restlessly and happily noting the extraordinary things on every hand.
  antimuzak | Feb 20, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 014102545X, Paperback)

A great, innovative and restless thinker, the young Humboldt (1769-1859) went on his epochal journey to the New World during a time of revolutionary ferment across Europe. This part of his matchless narrative of adventure and scientific research focuses on his time in Venezuela - in the Llanos and on the Orinoco River - riding and paddling, restlessly and happily noting the extraordinary things on every hand. "Great Journeys" allows readers to travel both around the planet and back through the centuries -- but also back into ideas and worlds frightening, ruthless and cruel in different ways from our own. Few reading experiences can begin to match that of engaging with writers who saw astounding things: great civilisations, walls of ice, violent and implacable jungles, deserts and mountains, multitudes of birds and flowers new to science. Reading these books is to see the world afresh, to rediscover a time when many cultures were quite strange to each other, where legends and stories were treated as facts and in which so much was still to be discovered.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:04:32 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

CLASSIC TRAVEL WRITING. A great, innovative and restless thinker, the young Humboldt (1769-1859) went on his epochal journey to the New World during a time of revolutionary ferment across Europe. This part of his matchless narrative of adventure and scientific research focuses on his time in Venezuela - in the Llanos and on the Orinoco River - riding and paddling, restlessly and happily noting the extraordinary things on every hand. Great Journeys allows readers to travel both around the planet and back through the centuries - but also back into ideas and worlds frightening, ruthless and cruel in different ways from our own. Few reading experiences can begin to match that of engaging with writers who saw astounding things. Reading these books is to see the world afresh, to rediscover a time when many cultures were quite strange to each other, where legends and stories were treated as facts and in which so much was still to be discovered.… (more)

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