10 teosta 119 jäsentä 5 arvostelua

Tietoja tekijästä

Paul Raffaele has scored many world scoops for such magazines as Reader's Digest, Parade, and Smithsonian, including stories on North Korea, Saharan slave traders, and East Timor's fight for independence. He lives in Sydney, Australia.

Sisältää nimen: Paul Raffaele

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This book was really interesting in terms of information I hadn't encountered before about the great ape species. However, there were tangents that didn't really seem to further the story.

Beyond that, the style of writing drove me nuts. Just not a great writer. And stupid details he included for god knows what reason. Did we need to know the child prostitute serving you tea in that cafe had "spectacular" breasts? No. Does it make you sound like a nasty person to mention it? Yes.
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amaraduende | 1 muu arvostelu | Mar 30, 2013 |
I had mixed feelings about this book. I've always been fascinated by the Great Apes, so it was nice to find a book that discusses all of them. I guess I just wished that the book had focused a bit more ON the apes. The author provided background into the area the apes lived in, how difficult those areas are to reach, and the dangers the apes faced. That is understandable. But there was an awful lot of the author in this book that was not a memoir, and much of the information about the author seemed designed to show how macho he was - carrying on despite injuries, arguing aggressively with a zoo conservation specialist, or turning around armed rebels with his charming smile and small talk. He also seemed to reserve his biggest slams to female professionals - he has negative impressions of feminists who were excited about the bonobos more egalitarian culture, as well as various female researches. These features took away from my enjoyment - the great apes should have stayed the star of this book.… (lisätietoja)
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dcoward | 1 muu arvostelu | Mar 15, 2010 |
Paul Raffaele, a travel writer and feature writer for Smithsonian magazine, set out to travel around the world, seeking evidence of cannibalism, past and present. His quest took him to Papua New Guinea, Tonga, India, Africa, and Mexico, each location making up one section of this book. His goal? To determine whether or not the claims of cannibalism are true or not, and to learn more about the cultures involved in the practice.

Raffaele is a middle-aged Australian travel writer who, it seems, has been just about everywhere and seen just about everything. Stylistically, his writing is reminiscent of the old adventure writers, and it was easy to imagine him as a fellow drinker at an out-of-the-way bar, regaling his fellow patrons with tall tales from exotic locales. The plus side of this is that it made the book very easy to read and quite entertaining. The downside of this is that many of those old travelers had rather Eurocentric or colonialist mindsets and sometimes that seemed to be the case here. Still, I found the book highly enjoyable nonetheless. Not having been to most of the places he visited, I cannot speak for his accuracy, but I can speak to his descriptions of India and they were excellent. He does a great job of capturing the tone of a place, conveying both the good (the friendliness of the Indian people, for example) as well as the bad (the serious danger at night). I appreciate that candor, which is part of why I accepted his judgments, even when I didn't agree with them.

Upon completing this book, I felt like I had learned something, which is always a good measure of non-fiction for me. I also feel compelled to learn more about Uganda, also a good indicator of a book's power. Among the Cannibals won't be for everyone- I think the topic alone makes that pretty clear. But I would definitely recommend it to anyone interested in the topic and I look forward to discussing it with friends, once I've loaned it out.

See a longer review at
… (lisätietoja)
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Kplatypus | 2 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Aug 1, 2008 |
One of the strongest taboos in many cultures is the consumption of human flesh. Cannibalism both revolts and fascinates us. Not everywhere in the world, however, is the practice a taboo. Cultures on likely every continent have had people eating other people at some point in their history, however cannibalism is not entirely a thing of the past.

In “Among the Cannibals,” Austrialian Paul Raffaele, travel writer and feature writer for Smithsonian magazine, goes on search for some of the last remaining pockets of cannibalism. There are superstitious/religious incidences of cannibalism in Papua New Guinea, religious holy men who consume the remnants of bodies burned in funeral pyres in India, and a rebel leader forcing children into cannibalism as a method of psychological warfare (seriously, this is happening right now, why is this not the lead story on the news every night?). Raffaele also goes in search of the not-too-distant cannibal past in Tonga and the ritualized warfare and cannibalism of the Aztecs in pre-columbian Mexico.

This was a pretty fascinating journey, and I was happy to take it from the safety of my own home. Raffaele was generally exposing himself to danger from mild/moderate to severe in his attempt to get the story of cannibalism in the modern world. In Uganda, in particular, it would not have been terribly surprising if he had been caught in a rebel ambush. The only portion that seemed to drag for me was Paul’s research in Mexico. His story tended to flow better when told through his interaction with other people, instead of primarily through more scholarly research. That being said, this was overall a very good, very interesting book. Don’t let the subject matter scare you away, Paul Raffaele is ready to introduce you to cultural oddities you would never otherwise experience.
… (lisätietoja)
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DevourerOfBooks | 2 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jul 21, 2008 |



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