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0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Monte Reel Narrator: Bob Walter Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[A] groundbreaking biography.”

    Barnes&Noble.com, editorial review

  • “[A] tale of scientific buccaneering…Intriguing…Rattles along with fine, wacky momentum.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “A supremely entertaining, enlightening, and memorable read.”

    Nature

  • “Engrossing....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.”

    Washington Post

  • “You’d half expect a Bela Lugosi mad scientist or a Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan to pop up in this Victorian-era drama, which travels from the London of Darwin to unexplored Africa to Civil War-ravaged America.”

    New York Post

  • “A lively and intriguing biography of the restless adventurer who first sees, studies, and takes specimens of gorillas....thoroughly engrossing.”

    Minneapolis Star Tribune

  • “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 adhering to the facts....At the same time, it has the narrative flow and evocative language of a fine historical novel.”

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch

  • “Gripping....Intellectually satisfying....Exciting.”

    Salon 

  • “Monte Reel’s Between Man and Beast contains all the elements of an enthralling adventure story. But it is more than just a riveting tale; it is also a brilliant exploration of ideas that illuminate the very nature of humankind.”

    David Grann, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Monte Reel is a wonderful writer, and he makes an expert guide to Paul du Chaillu’s groundbreaking travels in the wilds of Africa and his equally treacherous journey through the scientific salons of nineteenth century London.”

    Mitchell Zuckoff, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Reel tells du Chaillu’s story—a fascinating, wide-ranging tale that involves everyone from Charles Darwin to Thomas Huxley to even Abraham Lincoln—with a vividness that brings long forgotten events to startling life.”

    Candice Millard, New York Times bestselling author

  • “A page-turner filled with surprising details, connections, and insights.”

    John Vaillant, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Part swashbuckling jungle story, part gas-lit Victorian time capsule, Monte Reel’s visceral, captivating book restores a forgotten hero to his rightful place in history.”

    Benjamin Wallace, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Monte Reel’s Between Man and Beast is a provocative, entertaining, and original adventure narrative.”

    Laurence Bergreen, New York Times bestselling author

  • “A robust intellectual history…In Reel’s hands, du Chaillu’s adventures in Africa, including his discovery of Pygmies and his part in a smallpox epidemic, were no less harrowing than his interactions with many of the world’s leading scientists and explorers.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Adventure, history, nature, big ideas—what more could you want?”

    Library Journal

  • “Fascinating…A lively footnote to the debate between science and religion and the exploration of the African jungle in the Victorian era.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month for March 2013
  • A Barnes & Noble Best Book for March 2013
  • An Amazon Top 100 Book of 2013
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