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Download The Snake Charmer: A Life and Death in Pursuit of Knowledge Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Snake Charmer: A Life and Death in Pursuit of Knowledge Audiobook, by Jamie James Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (170 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jamie James Narrator: William Hughes Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2010 ISBN: 9781455189786
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One of the most brilliant biologists of our time and a charismatic daredevil, Dr. Joe Slowinski had been obsessed with venomous snakes since his youth. In 2001, Slowinski led a team of young scientists deep into the wilds of Burma on a final tragic expedition. Immediately after being bitten by the many-banded krait, the deadliest serpent in Asia, Joe knew his life was in grave and imminent peril. Thus began one of the most remarkable wilderness rescue attempts of modern times, as Joe’s teammates kept him alive for thirty hours by mouth-to-mouth respiration.

The Snake Charmer is at once a brilliant biography, a pulse-pounding adventure story, an exotic travel book, and a fascinating introduction to the bizarre world of snake science.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Gritty and sad…chilling…both a tribute to Slowinski’s spirit and scientific accomplishments, and a cautionary tale about the dangers of an overly passionate ambition.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “It’s wonder, not suspense, that’s at the heart of this book. The Snake Charmer is more than a tale of derring-do, discovery, and death in the jungle; it’s also a story of the grandeur of the biosphere and the lengths some people will go to understand and protect it.”

    Barnes & Noble Review

  • “Absorbing, stylishly written account…Without impeding his narrative, James frequently veers into wonderful stories of snake lore, academic rivalries, rattlesnake roundups and other pertinent herpetological matters. An exquisitely crafted book that will grab even those who have no interest in snakes.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Both a biography of a flawed but dedicated scientist seeking to understand the natural world and a dramatic adventure/travel tale, this account gives the reader a fascinating look at the incredible hardships and dangers of field expeditions to impossibly remote places.”

    Library Journal

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Steve | 2/19/2014

    " tells more than you want to know about field biology as a profession, including miserable expeditions and personality clashes. Also, the event at the center of the story is disturbing in so many ways... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 J.R. | 2/16/2014

    " Jamie James, who lives and writes in Asia, has crafted an intriguing and educational book on the life, achievements and death of Joe Slowinski, a leading American herpetologist, who was bitten by a many-banded krait, one of the world's most dangerous snakes, while on expedition in northern Burma. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marissa | 2/13/2014

    " Had a lot to offer the reader. Loved the way the chapters told a story based around a species of snake. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Book Concierge | 2/3/2014

    " Biography of herpetologist Joe Slowinski, who met his match with ah venomous snake bite in the jungles of Burma. Fascinating. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Orea | 1/25/2014

    " This is a great story about a fascinating man who searchers the world for deeadly snakes. I am not a snake lover at all but I have learned a lot about snakes. The only problem I have with the book is when James is attempting to write about his younger years the writing is bery stilted. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lance | 1/14/2014

    " The account of the expedition is worth the price of the book alone. It is amazing what they did in the jungle waiting for help to arrive. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Eden Tran | 1/1/2014

    " This book was amazing & tragic all at the same time. And my brother's major professor in college was in the book! :) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kate | 12/17/2013

    " Dad really liked this one - the life and times of a dedicated snake scientist who died from a snake bite. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kimball | 12/9/2013

    " Very good book based on actual events. I listened to this as a police officer. The second book that made me want to become well educated . "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Linda | 12/1/2013

    " After reading about his life, his manner of death seems inevitable. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Teri | 11/29/2013

    " OK book. Didn't finish because there were just more interesting books waiting that caught my attention, but I did enjoy what I read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Malia | 11/23/2013

    " A good read in a rare-ly known field, not only celebrates a person (Slowinsky) who is a unique and born and bred dedicated Herpetologist, it shows if you get a chance to pursue your interests in life... Go for it!!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah | 9/16/2013

    " Loved it. Never thought I could be so interested in snakes! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michele | 2/14/2013

    " Well written, and suspenseful except you know the end already but are riveted to find out what happened exactly. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Steve Faust | 1/26/2013

    " A biography and educational book about snakes. Like Into The Wild, but too long and not quite as good. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bob Peru | 4/5/2012

    " dude knew a lot about snakes. he got bitten by a hot snake. a real hot snake. he died. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anna George | 1/26/2012

    " A very well-researched account of the life and death of a herpetologist. This guy really captures the personality of field biologists well... it's like he lived with my husband for a year. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Diane | 6/27/2011

    " terrific!!!!!!!!!!! everything you ever wanted to know about snakes and herpetologists. Find out the deadliest snakes in the world and where they are "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tobi | 2/12/2011

    " This was a very interesting life story. It has a lot of information about snakes that I didn't really care about but I did learn some things and that is one of the reasons I read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 E. | 12/14/2010

    " This book was amazing & tragic all at the same time. And my brother's major professor in college was in the book! :) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michele | 12/2/2010

    " Well written, and suspenseful except you know the end already but are riveted to find out what happened exactly. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Belinda | 5/7/2010

    " Handling hot snakes is hazardous to your health (duh). One careless, unlucky moment is all it takes... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 F Tessa | 3/30/2010

    " Biography of herpetologist Joe Slowinski, who met his match with ah venomous snake bite in the jungles of Burma. Fascinating. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anna | 3/29/2010

    " A very well-researched account of the life and death of a herpetologist. This guy really captures the personality of field biologists well... it's like he lived with my husband for a year. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Diane | 2/11/2009

    " terrific!!!!!!!!!!! everything you ever wanted to know about snakes and herpetologists. Find out the deadliest snakes in the world and where they are "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Steve | 1/14/2009

    " A biography and educational book about snakes. Like Into The Wild, but too long and not quite as good. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Teri | 12/31/2008

    " OK book. Didn't finish because there were just more interesting books waiting that caught my attention, but I did enjoy what I read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leigh-ann | 12/30/2008

    " A fascinating book about a fascinating man. His death was a real tragedy and so preventable, but hey, I'll never forget what a banded krait looks like. "

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About the Narrator

William Hughes is an AudioFile Earphones Award–winning narrator. A professor of political science at Southern Oregon University in Ashland, Oregon, he received his doctorate in American politics from the University of California at Davis. He has done voice-over work for radio and film and is also an accomplished jazz guitarist.