Monday, May 13, 2013

Bookish Review: Between Man and Beast

Between Man and Beast is a really interesting true story about the discovery of the gorilla. I had no idea that for many years the gorilla was considered a mythical creature. Paul Du Chaillu was the intrepid explorer who ventured into parts of Africa that had never been explored by non-natives before. The information and specimens he brought back shed light on the true nature of the gorilla, but even as he gained slight celebrity, he also faced intense scrutiny, and many questioned his tales and his findings. His discoveries came at the height of the evolutionary debate spurred by Darwin, and the discovery of the gorilla was feared by many for what it might mean for the debate. Since he was not really a trained explorer, he didn't have the precise measurements and pinpoint accuracy the scientific community demanded, and more and more people questioned whether he made it all up. Determined to clear his name, he ventures back to Africa once again. Monte Reel brings to life an extraordinary and under-appreciated explorer. It's a really interesting read.

Note: An e-ARC of this title was provided by the publisher via NetGalley, which was much appreciated, but did not affect the content of my review.

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