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When Ruth Padel saw an advert for a cheap break to India, she decided to visit what she had always wanted to see: tropical jungle and a wildlife sanctuary. Her impromptu trip was the start of a remarkable two-year journey in search of that most elusive and beautiful animal: the tiger. Armed with her granny's opera glasses and a pair of Tunisian trainers, she sets off across Asia to ask the question: can the tiger be saved from extinction in the wild? Plunging into leech-infested jungles, she tracks tigers by jeep, by elephant and on foot, from Bangladesh to Bhutan, from China to far-east Russia. The result is a unique blend of natural history, travel literature and memoir, and an intimate portrait of an animal we have loved and feared almost to destruction.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780349116983
ISBN-10: 0349116989
Format: Paperback
(152mm x 201mm x 29mm)
Pages: 448
Imprint: Abacus
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Publish Date: 5-Oct-2006
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Reviews

US Kirkus Review » Hochhuth's controversial play The Deputy dealt with WW II Vatican diplomacy, but here he finds a smaller, everyday-people focus for his grieving, outraged search into the Nazi infection - the tragic love affair between German housewife and mother Paula and Stasiek Zasada, a handsome young Polish prisoner consigned to farm work in her village. Although the Nazi code penalizes intercourse between a German woman and a foreigner (concentration-camp for her, death for him), these two lonely young people are too vulnerable, too fragile, to become other than victims. At first, Pauline and Stasi themselves are seen only in a few small vignettes - aberrant gleams of sunlight before the dark - while Hochhuth wrestles with that nagging question: why did ordinary people seem to absorb and perpetuate the mental illness at the top? Through excerpts from documents and interviews, he convincingly recreates "the terrible density of the police net which enshrouded Nazi Germany. . . . There was not a citizen whom the system failed to debase into a dog, not a dog without a watchdog trotting beside him." He mulls over the national - or is it universal? - pull of "obedience," the infatuation with a "legal, collective" conformity, the "hatred of the intellect. . . ." And only after reviewing the blinkered impotency of seasoned military men, the paranoiac bases of Nazi racial and ethnic policies, and the atrocities practiced by Germans against Germans (soldiers executed for "treasonous" clowning), does Hochhuth bear clown on the personal case at hand: the execution of Stasi - a bungled, horrible death by hanging carried out by the tentatively decent, the truculent, the bored, the titillated, the disgusted. . . who all watch a strong young man slowly strangle for the sake of legality and order. An old but demandingly angry argument - and an often searing, incontestably moving, painfully simple story. (Kirkus Reviews)


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Author Biography - Ruth Padel

Ruth Padel is an award-winning poet, journalist and broadcaster -- and the great-great-granddaughter of Charles Darwin. She lives in North London with her daughter.

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