Have you ever gone to a friend’s house to see photos and hear stories about their recent vacation? You reel with laughter at their exploits and gasp at their near-death experiences and at the end of the telling someone says, “You should write that down. It would make a great book!” This is that book.
But what we often don’t realize when we tell someone to “write it down, it would make a great book” is that part of what was fun about it was knowing the story-telling and hearing them tell it, complete with nuances to keep the listener interested. But for the average reader, not knowing the author, these stories typically don’t have an impact. This definitely did not.
Abridged from the lengthy description of the book on Goodreads we get:
“In Running with Rhinos: Stories from a Radical Conservationist, Warner takes readers along as he weasels his way into becoming volunteer ground support for the International Rhino Foundation’s Rhino Conservancy Project, or “Rhino Ops,” in Zimbabwe. It is gritty, sweaty, sometimes scary, and exhilarating work. Warner succeeds in telling a remarkable story of the extraordinary bonds between humans—and their dedication to protecting endangered animals—all while weaving eye-opening stories about the flora, fauna, geology, geography, and politics of sub-Saharan Africa.”
I agree that we see Warner “weasel his way into becoming volunteer ground support” but very much disagree about the weaving of eye-opening stories about flora, fauna, and the rest.
I was looking forward to reading a book about rhino conservation and the efforts to protect these magnificent beasts. Any other information about Africa – from politics to the environment – would be a welcome bonus.
What we get, however, is Ed Warner.
This is more memoir, with Warner a shining star in each story, than it is a look at conservation efforts. It is self-indulgent and was a struggle to read. I kept hoping for something more, but it never came.
Looking for a good book? Ed Warner’s Running with Rhinos is a disappointing book.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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Running with Rhinos: Stories from a Radical Conservationist
author: Ed Warner
publisher: Greenleaf Book Group Press
hardcover, 232 pages