Friday, September 21, 2012

Book Review: Predators I Have Known by Alan Dean Foster

I have to preface my review of this book by telling you guys that I am boring and unsophisticated and I know it.  The thing is, I hate travelling.  I don't want to go backpacking through Europe or walk through the rainforests or hike giant mountains.  I mean, Europe would be nice, but I'd like to see it via luxury hotels and maybe some spa treatments.  The thought of site-seeing makes me get a little twitchy.  Which is why I love travel books, especially travel books dealing with exotic locales and less than climate controlled conditions.  I can read about it without experiencing the unpleasantness of it, if that makes sense.  Again, I know it's unsophisticated and boring of me, but I'm a homebody, what can I say?

Anyway,  Alan Dean Foster is a science fiction author (I haven't read his fiction) who also spends a large amount of time travelling, particularly adventure-focused travelling (AKA: the kind I will never do).  This book is something of a travel memoir, but it revolves around the predators, large and small, that Foster has encountered on his travels.  We're talking sharks, big cats, and snakes, but also those that you may not typically consider when you think of predators, like leeches, otters, and ants.

Writing
The writing for me was just so-so.  I wasn't all that impressed.  I've read better travel memoirs in terms of writing - this isn't the next Bill Bryson by any means.  But it wasn't bad either.  The stories were interesting, but too many pages were devoted to conversations that weren't important or interesting to anyone other than friends of the author.

Entertainment Value
As I mentioned above, some of the stories included more extraneous information and dialogue than I really care for.  There were parts that dragged.  But overall, I really enjoyed reading about the places Foster has visited and the predators he has seen.  Even though I'm not really interested in travelling the world and collecting leech stories myself, I do like to read about others' experiences and I'm a huge fan of nature shows (yay Planet Earth) so this was an ideal read for me (in my own leech-free, rodent-free, climate controlled home).

Overall
If you like travel memoirs or nature shows, I think it's worth checking out.

I reviewed this one in e-galley format, thanks to NetGalley.

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