I've Been Gone Far Too Long; Scientists' Worst Trips

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The ultimate in armchair travel, this sequel to I Should Have Stayed Home is rife with flamboyant animals, culturally rich tribes and bungling Western anthropologists, biologists and doctors. Twenty-one of the last group contributed their hilarious misadventures here: an anthropologist working in Kenya without her husband turns down the native women's kind offers to share theirs. A sick doctor in Peru endures a local remedy involving a cactus, a fork and notebook paper. A biologist in the African savanna watches a playful elephant toss her Land Rover around. A plant ecologist on Mount Kenya realizes that hyraxes (relatives of the elephant, but the size of woodchucks) have taught themselves how to maneuver the zippers on his tent to get to his stash of cookies. And everyone has a story about the snakes that constantly sink their fangs into hapless humans. ("Unfortunately," writes one jaded doctor on an African game reserve who saw his share of hysterical humans bitten by harmless amphibians, "on the rare occasions that victims of dangerous snakes were brought to the hospital, our antiserum had always expired.") Gone Too Long is the perfect way to explore without getting bitten. (Jan.) FYI: Author royalties will be donated to the Wildlife Conservation Society and Cultural Survival.
Library Journal
In this follow-up to I Should Have Stayed Home: The Worst Trips of Great Writers (RDR Bks., 1994), 21 biologists and anthropologists provide true stories of their worst days and nights in the tropics. The subtitle sums up the contents quite skillfully. The sometimes lighthearted treatment of the reaction of research subjects to the field worker-"her utter inability to carry all manner of objects on her head, as all Giriama women do effortlessly...provided robust, live entertainment for large circles of family"-is balanced by the often harsh realities of fieldwork, such as a description of a human rabies victim. Because these anecdotes are written by specialists, interesting tidbits of factual information can be found interspersed throughout the book. Recommended for all general collections.-Mary J. Nickum, Bozeman, Mont.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781571430540
  • Publisher: RDR Books
  • Publication date: 10/1/1996
  • Pages: 296
  • Product dimensions: 5.11 (w) x 8.11 (h) x 0.78 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface 1
Section I Terrible Mistakes
The Gun 5
The Great Parrot Hunt 19
The Stubborn Snake 31
Section II Physical Dangers
Bushmaster in the Bidet 43
The Ghost in the Machine 55
An East African Survival Course 65
Wildlife in Kilgoris Hospital 77
Section III Coping with Adversity
Paper Trail to the Rain Forest 87
My Family, Food, and Fieldwork 103
Little Criminals 117
The Hottest Data in Town 127
Section IV Clash of Cultures
A Trip to the Che-Wong 141
Social Anthropology at the Emali Hotel 151
Gitangda Is Great 165
Bush-League Medicine 181
Section V Research Communities
In the Forest Without a Dog 197
Siete de Enero 211
Jungle Love 227
The Birth and Death of a Very Fine Pit 235
Innocents Abroad 251
Back Seat Observers 263
Afterword 283
About the Authors 287
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2004


    This book is so good! It had me, at turns, laughing out loud, wide-eyed & riveted, terrified with that oh-my-god-what-happens-next? feeling, and just completely absorbed. Don't let the word 'Scientist' in the title fool you - these 'scientists' are just people like us caught up in weird, funny, frightening, & totally interesting travel situations.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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