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Three Singles to Adventure by Gerald Durrell
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Three Singles to Adventure (original 1954; edition 2017)

by Gerald Durrell (Author)

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448855,536 (3.89)29
Journey to South America on a search for endangered species with the author of My Family and Other Animals. In 1950, Gerald Durrell set off for British Guiana (now Guyana) to collect native wildlife and bring it back to his Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust on the island of Jersey in the English Channel.   On his journey, Durrell experienced all kinds of adventures: some amusing, some thrilling, and some extremely irritating. He traveled up the Essequibo River into the lush tropical forests and trekked across a landscape teeming with life and color. He encountered the sakiwinki monkey and the sloth with curiously green fur, heard the horrifying sounds of rampaging piranhas, and learned how to lasso a galloping anteater. He even met an ill-tempered anaconda and an overly affectionate bird.   This remarkable memoir will take you into a wild place in another time, accompanied by the highly entertaining naturalist whose writings inspired popular Masterpiece series The Durrells in Corfu.   This ebook features an illustrated biography of Gerald Durrell including rare photos from the author's estate.    … (more)
Member:ChristinaPace
Title:Three Singles to Adventure
Authors:Gerald Durrell (Author)
Info:Open Road Media (2017), 177 pages
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Three Singles to Adventure by Gerald Durrell (1954)

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Being in need of an exotic locale and unfamiliar wildlife, I turned to one of the best sources for both: Gerald Durrell. When starting out on their adventures in Guyana, Durrell and his partners discovered that there was a place named Adventure, and none of them could resist: they went to the train station and asked for Three Singles to Adventure.

When reading Durrell's memoirs about his travels collecting wildlife, readers get a good idea of how to collect, care for, and transport animals to zoos. Once an animal is captured, the work has only just begun for these people. But this is probably the weakest of the reasons to read this and others of Durrell's memoirs. What sticks with me most are his anecdotes. How charming and lovable tree porcupines are. How an overly affectionate bird named Cuthbert loved to lay across everyone's feet.

Durrell can also have readers laughing when he tells us "...how difficult it is to explain to a policeman why you are carrying a capybara through the streets at one o'clock in the morning." I wouldn't want to explain that either. But where this man can have me absolutely enthralled is when I read his descriptions of the landscape. In Guyana, I was with him in the canoe as it swept beneath orchid-decorated trees and eased through carpets of water lilies while the air vibrated with gold, blue, green, scarlet, and bronze dragonflies. I also found myself with a teary eye and a smile on my face as he described a group of dirty, tattooed, tough-as-old-boots merchant seamen who would make daily trips to the hold to watch the birth and development of tadpoles.

I greatly enjoyed my time with Durrell in Guyana, and I'm already wondering where he and I will be going next. ( )
  cathyskye | Jan 9, 2023 |
Durrell set out to British Guina in 1950 to obtain animals for zoos in Great Britain. He, and his fellow travelers, had what seemed like countless adventures in doing so. Durrell excels in describing the animals he was after, and in setting the scenes where they were found. Also the safekeeping and care of the animals he obtained. His exploits, no matter how dangerous, were written with a great humor. When you read the saga of poor Cuthbert, you cannot help but laugh.
This is an easy read, and moves along quickly. The only reservation that I have, and you really do have to discount it when you consider the era it was written in, is the somewhat assumed racial superiority of the author. Even with that being taken into account, it would be a great book for younger readers. ( )
  1Randal | Jan 23, 2017 |
It was the early 1950's, when Durrell and a few companions set off for Guiana, on a trip to collect wild animals for zoos. Through strikingly beautiful scenery they travel into South America and visit a number of small villages and settlements, seeking a variety of specimens to take home. Sometimes he made short forays into the forest with his companions, but more often than not they simply asked the locals to show them animals- purchasing those the natives kept as pets or animals that hunters caught for them. He mentions quite a few curious creatures. Snakes, monkeys, lizards and caiman were common. More interesting to me was reading about the capybara, agouti, tree porcupine and an anteater they tried to catch by chasing it down on horseback and lassoing it! I was surprised at the final count: he had more than five hundred animals (of a variety of species) collected when it was time to board ship and home. Then describes the difficulties in keeping the animals clean and fed, and the inevitable losses (but doesn't say how many- I wonder how high the toll really was). The author's admiration for wildlife really shines through the pages, in spite of the fact that he was pulling them out of their native habitat to cart home for display and scientific study. It really seems he did the best he could by them. As well as delight in reading about the animals, there are lots of different characters here in the people met on their travels. One in particular that kept me laughing was a man eager to guide them, who continually had to impress and "one-up" with a better story, every time something happened. There are also lots of amusingly awkward incidents when animals nearly get away, and misunderstandings when communication was difficult.

more at the Dogear Diary ( )
  jeane | Mar 31, 2015 |
Three Singles to Adventure details the animal collecting trip Gerald Durrell took to British Guiana (as it was then called) in the early 1950’s. Set on the northern coast of South America, the British originally developed the colony for sugar cane plantations. In his typical light, conversational style, Durrell uses his wit and humor to enhance his stories of this trip. Some of his tales in this book include a people-loving bird called Cuthbert, a bad tempered anaconda and a lesson on how to lasso a anteater. He infuses his memoirs with laugh out-loud moments and imparts to his readers his love of animals and nature. A fun, light read. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Aug 24, 2014 |
This memoir by Gerald Durrrell is a fun and easy book but I wish that I had read it instead of listening to the audiobook. No reflection on the narrator, who did an excellent job, but I wanted to see illustrations of the animals and the localities. Unfortunately, audiobooks are all that my local library had available. ( )
  leslie.98 | Feb 21, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gerald Durrellprimary authorall editionscalculated
Jordan, K. C.Mapsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This is for Robert Lowes In memory of Snakes, Sloths, and South American Saddles
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In a tiny bar in the back streets of Georgetown four of us sat round a table, sipping rum and ginger beer and pondering a problem.
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Journey to South America on a search for endangered species with the author of My Family and Other Animals. In 1950, Gerald Durrell set off for British Guiana (now Guyana) to collect native wildlife and bring it back to his Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust on the island of Jersey in the English Channel.   On his journey, Durrell experienced all kinds of adventures: some amusing, some thrilling, and some extremely irritating. He traveled up the Essequibo River into the lush tropical forests and trekked across a landscape teeming with life and color. He encountered the sakiwinki monkey and the sloth with curiously green fur, heard the horrifying sounds of rampaging piranhas, and learned how to lasso a galloping anteater. He even met an ill-tempered anaconda and an overly affectionate bird.   This remarkable memoir will take you into a wild place in another time, accompanied by the highly entertaining naturalist whose writings inspired popular Masterpiece series The Durrells in Corfu.   This ebook features an illustrated biography of Gerald Durrell including rare photos from the author's estate.    

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