When I was madly looking for books about the amazing Madagascar I didn't want straight forward tourist guides which just tell you where to go and what to see and leave you bored with the list of attractions.
I searched everywhere for books of history and legend, personal travel journals, and books full of information. To dive into the stories and pictures of other people who are passionate about this island and perhaps appreciate them better after I had finished my own journey: that was the challenge I set myself when I was collecting books about Mada the Red.
Unfortunately this book is only available in French but if you read any French, or love a beautiful coffee table book this is the one for you. It is written by a distinguished American professor who has spent years studying Madagascar and especially the lemur, and describes not only the life of the animals in the forest but the challenges faced by the Malagasy people.
The French photographer, a specialist in wildlife photography, has photographed many of the least well known animals in the Madagascan forest, and his shots take you into the heart of a universe that is always wet, humid and threatened with destruction. If you don't read French and prefer something more portable, Mammals of Madagascar: A Complete Guide by Nick Garbutt does just what is says on the tin! There are high quality photographs of all of Madagascar's animal species, native and introduced, allied with authoritative and up to date text describing them.
It's enough to make you want to visit the island!
This book talks about everything that makes Madagascar such a special place from the animals to the anthropology and culture. The writing is clear and funny. It's very hard to put down and when you have finished it you feel you have a better understanding of the Great Red Island.
- How did the people get there? What are their customs? Why are the animals so different? Although Peter Tyson is a science journalist by profession the endearing way he veers off his main subject to talk about the people, their customs and habits, before going back to his original narrative is both fascinating and endearing.
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