Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Teaser Tuesday: The Overloaded Ark

This week I've started Gerald Durrell's first autobiographical novel, The Overloaded Ark. As a kid, I used to gobble up Durrell's books, my favourite being A Zoo in my Luggage. So I decided to read them from the beginning. This first book of his was published in 1953, and the expedition to Africa he is detailing took place in 1947. So though Durrell was a much more ethical collector than many of that time, and though I suspect he had far more respect for the Africans he dealt with than many of that time, there are still some things that are written that make me cringe because of the societal views and culture he grew up in. But I'm going to stick with it because I admire the man tremendously, and I think that reading this entire book is going to be educational for me, and provide a shape to his life and philosophies that I currently don't have. And also, there are many wise bits, tender bits, exciting bits and funny bits to be read among the parts that make me uncomfortable.

From The Overloaded Ark by Gerald M. Durrell, p116:

By this time I was also covered with ants, and there was nothing for it but to remove every stitch of clothing. Stark naked I organized my equally nude staff for battle.

Teaser Tuesdays are hosted by Should Be Reading. It works as follows:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Open to a random page.
  • Share two teaser sentences from somewhere on that page.
  • Be careful not to include spoilers!
  • Include the title and author.


Susan said...

Your pick looks good - what a great teaser!

Here is my answer.

Book Bird Dog said...

Sounds like a good book. I'm familiar with his book about animals on Corfu, Greece. Haven't read this one.

My tease: Tuesday Teaser: Hell Hath No Curry by Tamar Myers

Anonymous said...

What a unique teaser. I can't say that I know anything about the author's books but I like his tone. :)

Here's my teaser:


lissa said...

what a fun teaser, the last word, battle, certainly piques my interest

Unknown said...

Susan - thank you! I think it was a good choice. Since posting this I have laughed out loud not once but twice, and I've just finished the first chapter.

Book Bird Dog -- This one's about his Cameroon trip (while it was still British Cameroon) and it's his first trip to Africa. I recall his book about Madagascar being very good, too.

Mandy -- give him a try! You don't have to read them in order; in fact I might recommend against it. He's quite prolific, though.

Lissa -- it's an epic one, too!

Cecelia said...

Oh, what fun! I laughed aloud at that word picture. Great teaser!

Check out mine here.

rajm said...

I remember loving his books when I was young too. I read the Corfu book to children in early teens but I must return to some of the others!

Marg said...

It's certainly an arresting teaser. I don't think I have heard of this author before.

Unknown said...

celi.a - thank you! it's kind of fun and horrifying at the same time -- can't imagine being overrun with biting ants.

rajm - do! I'm actually finding that I appreciate his writing a lot more as an adult.

marg - he's from the UK; his wikipedia page is here:

avisannschild said...

Great teaser! I've never read any of his books.

Unknown said...

aviannschild - As above, I'm not sure I'd recommend this one to read first, but he is a really wonderful author.