I am an English teacher in China and can now read and write some Chinese.I have been to 13 countries on 4 continents.I am an avid audiophile
I also listened to this in Sri Lanka,where I was able to get up close with these magnificent beasts.The author takes on a small head of destructive elephants marked for slaughter.He builds a safari camp with his sophisticated French girlfriend and they battle poachers,an escape and even have to kill one elephant that goes on a rampage.What is very touching is to hear how he gradually gains the trust of these renegade behemoths.The narrator speaks with a very clear British accent and the book was written in an entertaining manner.This was not the case with Ivory's Ghosts,anther Elephant book,that demands close attention to the details.That book was more of a history,and science book.Man has a big dilemma to deal with these creatures.They need space,copious amounts of water and abundant food,but then man is increasing his numbers all the time.Encroaching on the wild and shrinking the animals rightful home.
This is a global trip that takes us first to England, then to India and finally America. All the while sowing the seeds of why coal came to be used so frequently and why we would not be enjoying the use of our computers, wearing our colorful clothes or simply being fat and satisfied. This is the history of Industrialization itself. It made me realize that bigger countries or countries with the right resources have an unfair advantage. Coal is not the cleanest of fuels, but it is cheap and abundant in some places and after the English cut down trees to build house and simply keep warm they needed an alternate source of heat. Perhaps America became such a revered place after the discovery of what coal could do for it. A combination of things occurred to position the country for greatness. Coal was certainly the fuel for that abundance.
This is an excellent author ,and prior to this I read the book the Wave, about the ocean and the giant waves that sometimes swell in the murky depths.The ocean is a very powerful and sometimes deadly place.The author has a great style and although she is a great swimmer in her own right,she delivers a fresh perspective from a layman's point of view in both volumes.The thing that impressed me most was that even as much as we have studied many things extensively in this world the ocean and its creatures,the sharks in this case,are still not fully understood.Sharks live a long time and don't suffer from cancer.There isn't much money going into the research of these magnificent lions of the ocean.This particular area off the coast of San Fransisco is chock full of these wonders of nature.The study while on board a small yacht was very austere.The author often had trouble getting her land legs back after being tossed about in the rough seas.The island where the researchers studied the sharks was very remote despite its proximity to civilization.Very few people have been granted the privilege that Susan was granted and she describes the whole experience very clearly for those of us not as lucky as she was.