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Download The Last Unicorn: A Search for One of Earth’s Rarest Creatures Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Last Unicorn: A Search for One of Earth’s Rarest Creatures, by William deBuys Click for printable size audiobook cover
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: William deBuys Narrator: William deBuys Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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An award-winning author’s stirring quest to find and understand an elusive and exceptionally rare species in the heart of Southeast Asia’s jungles.

In 1992 in a remote mountain range, a team of scientists discovered the remains of an unusual animal with beautiful long horns. It turned out to be a living species new to western science—a saola, the first large land mammal discovered in fifty years.

Rare then and rarer now, no westerner had glimpsed a live saola in the wild before Pulitzer Prize finalist and nature writer William deBuys and conservation biologist William Robichaud set off to search for it in the wilds of central Laos. The team endured a punishing trek up and down whitewater rivers and through mountainous terrain ribboned with the snare lines of armed poachers.

In the tradition of Bruce Chatwin, Colin Thubron, and Peter Matthiessen, The Last Unicorn is deBuys’s look deep into one of the world’s most remote places. As in the pursuit of the unicorn, the journey ultimately becomes a quest for the essence of wildness in nature and an encounter with beauty.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “I haven’t read a journey so epic, lyrical, and meaningful since Peter Matthiessen’s The Snow Leopard.

    Alan Weisman, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Bill deBuys has a real gift for storytelling. And this story, the quest for an animal that was driven to the point of extinction almost as soon as it was ‘discovered,’ is a true adventure.”

    Jane Goodall, New York Times bestselling author

  • “An adventure tale and a meditation, an evocative read that makes clear why wild places matter and how difficult it will be to save them.”

    New York Times

  • “Gripping and stylish…DeBuys is an evocative writer.”

    Washington Post

  • “DeBuys paints the disappearing landscapes of his journey with beautiful and evocative prose.”

    Christian Science Monitor

  • “It’s fortunate that a first-hand account of such a unique voyage exists. That it’s written by a storyteller as commanding and reflective as William deBuys, well, that’s just plain lucky.”


  • “William deBuys…develops fascinating pictures in the minds of listeners as he recounts his journey through the saola’s habitat in Laos. His gentle voice brings alive descriptions of the landscape and experiences…A rare vehemence comes out as he describes the continuing toll of Vietnam War-era explosives on the people he meets. The imagistic writing lends itself well to the audiobook form.”


  • “This is a great excuse for an adventure—and having taken the excuse, Bill deBuys delivers. What a wonderful account of a nineteenth century drama in the twenty-first century, a story the likes of which we may never read again.”

    Bill McKibben, author of Wandering Home

  • “Imagine Joseph Conrad, Bruce Chatwin, and Paul Theroux writing the most poignant allegory of our time, a quest for the rarest mammal on earth…In a world that grasps for too much, deBuys’ austere and tender prose becomes the plaintive voice for the myriad forms of life being monetized and forever extinguished.”

    Paul Hawken, author of Blessed Unrest

  • "The Last Unicorn celebrates the marvels of the great forest and its wildlife, and William deBuys enlivens its pages with perceptive accounts of local people and cultures.”

    George Schaller, author of Tibet Wild; VP, Panthera; and senior conservationist, Wildlife Conservation Society

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About the Author

William deBuys is the author of several books, including River of Traps, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and a Pulitzer Prize nonfiction finalist; Enchantment and Exploitation; The Walk (an excerpt of which won a Pushcart Prize in 2008); and A Great Aridness. An active conservationist, deBuys lives in New Mexico.