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About the book
  • Published: 31 July 2013
  • ISBN: 9781409069751
  • Imprint: Cornerstone Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 224

Last Chance To See




Douglas Adams and Mark Carwardine lead us on an unforgettable journey in search of the world's most endangered species.

'Douglas Adams' genius was in using comedy to make serious points about the world' Independent

After years of reflecting on the absurdities of life on other planets, Douglas Adams teamed up with zoologist Mark Carwardine to find out what was happening to life on this one. Together they lead us on an unforgettable journey across the world in search of exotic, endangered creatures - animals that they may never get another chance to see. They encounter the animal kingdom in its stunning beauty, astonishing variety, and imminent peril: the giant Komodo dragon of Indonesia, the helpless but lovable Kakapo of New Zealand, the blind river dolphins of China, the white rhinos of Zaire, the rare birds of Mauritius island in the Indian Ocean. Both funny and poignant, Last Chance to See is the tale of an unforgettable wildlife odyssey - and a timely reminder of all that we must protect.

  • Pub date: 31 July 2013
  • ISBN: 9781409069751
  • Imprint: Cornerstone Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 224

About the Authors

Douglas Adams

Douglas Noel Adams was born on 11 March 1952 in Cambridge. His parents divorced when he was five, and Douglas and his younger sister Susan were brought up by their mother in Essex. From 1959 to 1970 Douglas attended Brentwood School, and he first thought seriously about writing when a teacher named Frank Halford gave him ten out of ten for a composition. He was the only boy ever to have been awarded full marks.
Leaving school in December 1970, Douglas won a scholarship to study English at Cambridge. His main reason for going there was to join Footlights, although his first attempt to do so was a failure. He succeeded in joining in his second term, but found the group which ran the society a bit stand-offish. He also felt constrained by the limits of pantomimes and mid-term revues, so instead he set up his own revue group, Adams-Smith-Adams, with two friends. It was very successful.

Douglas left Cambridge in the summer of 1974 and took occasional office jobs before joining forces with Monty Python team member Graham Chapman. They collaborated on a number of projects; unfortunately, very few of them were ever broadcast. A while later he was invited to Cambridge to direct the 1976 Footlights revue, but even this turned out to be a disappointment. At the end of the year, broke and feeling like a failure, Douglas moved back home with his mother.
In 1977 his luck changed. Through his former flatmate John Lloyd, Douglas met BBC Radio 4 producer Simon Brett. He felt that Douglas' style of humour should have its own show, rather than being crammed into existing formats. Having been inspired by a copy of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Europe, Douglas came up with a draft for The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. After several delays the first six-episode series was broadcast, with a second rapidly following. The worldwide phenomenon they spawned includes five novels, a book of scripts, two LPs, a television series, a computer game and two stage plays.
In addition to Hitchhiker, Douglas' work included two Dirk Gently detective novels and two humorous place-name 'dictionaries', The Meaning of Liff and The Deeper Meaning of Liff (both co-written with John Lloyd) as well as Last Chance to See, an account of a global search for rare and endangered species which he co-wrote with Mark Carwardine.

In 1999 Douglas moved to Santa Barbara with his wife and daughter to work on a proposed Hitchhiker film. Always a keen advocate of new technology, his last series for Radio 4 was The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Future, a look at the advances mankind was likely to make in future years.He died suddenly of a heart attack, aged 49, in May 2001. A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy feature film was produced in 2005, whilst both Stephen Mangan and Samuel Barnett have portrayed Dirk Gently on television in recent years.

Mark Carwardine

DOUGLAS ADAMS was born in Cambridge in March 1952. He is best known as the creator of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which started life as a BBC Radio 4 series. The book went on to be a No. 1 bestseller. He followed this success with The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (1980); Life, The Universe and Everything (1982); So Long and Thanks for all the Fish (1984); Mostly Harmless (1992) and many more. He sold over 15 million books in the UK, the US and Australia. Douglas died unexpectedly in May 2001 at the age of 49.

Zoologist MARK CARWARDINE is an active and outspoken conservationist, award-winning writer, TV- and radio - presenter, widely published photographer, magazine columnist and consultant. He presented the weekly programme Nature on BBC Radio 4 for many years and is co-presenter, with Stephen Fry, of the BBC-TV series Last Chance to See. The author of more than 50 books, including several bestsellers, he has been Chairman of prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition since 2005.


Praise for Last Chance To See

“Descriptive writing of a high order ... this is an extremely intelligent book”

The Times

“In every case, the presence and personality of the endangered animals rise off the page - even when the authors don't manage to find them. The writing may be witty, but this book is a sobering reminder of what a very great deal we have to lose”

Independent on Sunday

“This is life or death stuff, but Adams is a writer who chooses not to shake his finger at the reader. He fails completely in the self-righteous-piety department. Instead he invites us to enter a conspiracy of laughter and caring”

Los Angeles Times

“It is a book one reads in a rush, always looking forward to the next perverse paragraph, wise insight or felicitous phrase”

The Canberra Times

“Last Chance to See brings out the best in Adams' writing ... constantly springing on the reader the kind of dizzying shift in perspective that was the stock in trade of Hitchhiker'”

The Listener

“The funniest serious book on the market.”

Amazon.co.uk reader review

“Who would have thought that a book in the field of "ecology/nature" ... could be as lively, sharply satirical, brilliantly written and even funny as this one? ... ranks with the best set pieces in Mark Twain”

Atlantic Monthly

“If the measure of a book's worth is the strength of the urge to 'get out and do something' that it gives you, then LAST CHANCE... is way up there with the best of them.”

Amazon.co.uk reader review


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