352 pages, 9.56 × 6.59 × 1.4 in
November 4, 2014
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 0385534221
ISBN - 13: 9780385534222
About the Book
The unbelievably riveting adventure of an unlikely young explorer who emerged from the jungles of Africa with evidence of a mysterious, still mythical beast--the gorilla--only to stumble straight into the center of the biggest debate of the day: Darwin's theory of evolution.
Read from the Book
Prologue He’d been hunting in the forest’s depths for months, but he’d never known such silence. No monkeys shook the leaves over-head, no birds cried, no insects droned. The only sounds seemed to come from within: the pulse throbbing in his temples and his own labored breathing.The previous day the young man had hiked what he guessed was about eighteen miles before collapsing into sleep. But those trails hadn’t been nearly as challenging as this one—a muddy ribbon twisting up the forested mountainside, inset with loose boulders of granite and quartz. He was in good shape and just twenty-five years old, but each step took its toll. He fell behind his companions, whose bare feet gripped the slippery rocks better than did his leather boot soles. His blue cotton shirt and brown pants were streaked with mud.Somewhere along the way—it was hard to tell exactly where it began—the gentlest of whispers broke through the enveloping hush. The higher he climbed, the louder it got: a breathy hiss that grew into a roar. Twisting through the overgrown vegetation, he found the other men standing on a broad, flat shelf of land. A scene like none he’d ever witnessed burst open in front of him: a vast pool of swirling water, fed by a majestic torrent that spilled down the angled slope for what looked like a mile. A mist rose from the tumult, obscuring everything in a gauzy veil: the swaying ferns, the logs slanting across the water, the trees ringing the banks. According to his calculations, th
From the Publisher
The unbelievably riveting adventure of an unlikely young explorer who emerged from the jungles of Africa with evidence of a mysterious, still mythical beast—the gorilla—only to stumble straight into the center of the biggest debate of the day: Darwin's theory of evolution
In 1856 Paul Du Chaillu marched into the equatorial wilderness of West Africa determined to bag an animal that, according to legend, was nothing short of a monster. When he emerged three years later, the summation of his efforts only hinted at what he'd experienced in one of the most dangerous regions on earth. Armed with an astonishing collection of zoological specimens, Du Chaillu leapt from the physical challenges of the jungle straight into the center of the biggest issues of the time—the evolution debate, racial discourse, the growth of Christian fundamentalism—and helped push each to unprecedented intensities. He experienced instant celebrity, but with that fame came whispers—about his past, his credibility, and his very identity—which would haunt the young man. Grand in scope, immediate in detail, and propulsively readable, Between Man and Beast brilliantly combines Du Chaillu's personal journey with the epic tale of a world hovering on the sharp edge of transformation.
About the Author
A former reporter for The Washington Post, Reel is the author of the critically acclaimed The Last of the Tribe.
“The gorilla’s very existence suggested—at just the time Charles Darwin was also suggesting—heretical ideas about the origin and nature of mankind. And the man chiefly responsible for bringing this animal to worldwide attention was Paul Du Chaillu, the central character and driving riddle of Monte Reel’s…tale of scientific buccaneering…Intriguing…Rattles along with fine, wacky momentum”--The New York Times Book Review"Engrossing....would go great with popcorn.....addresses big topics—evolution, abolition—but they remain in service of the narrative, providing context for colorful conflict."--Wall Street Journal"Using extensive historical research, Reel brings alive this expedition and a later one and describes what happened between the two journeys....sense of urgency compels the reader onward to find out what happened....Arresting"--The Washington Post"Gripping....Intellectually satisfying....Exciting"--Salon "A lively and intriguing biography of the restless adventurer who first sees, studies and takes specimens of gorillas....thoroughly engrossing."--Minneapolis Star Tribune"Entertaining and provocative story of the life and adventures of explorer Paul Du Chaillu....[Reel] does a superb job of telling the engrossing story of Du Chaillu and tying it into the events and thoughts of the time, from the intense debate over racial differences in light of the theory of evolution to the habit of Abraham Lincoln’s political enemies of referring to him as a 'gorilla'....scrupulous in