Last Chance to See the Best Parts
January 13, 2008 12:38 AM   Subscribe

Recommend me the best passage in Last Chance to See (Douglas Adams).

about one paragraph to one page. Looking for some/all of funniness, man vs. nature, man gets comeuppance from nature, and emotive bits (room for drama when read aloud). I loved the book but can't reread the whole thing at the moment.
posted by whatzit to Writing & Language (6 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: The Melbourne man who knows everything about snakes ("don't get bitten, that's all I can say") but doesn't much like them. Pages 11-14, many funny paragraphs.

The bit where Douglas meets Mark ("he was tall, dark and laconic and had a slight nervous tic"). Pages 4 to 5 or so. Includes some absurd African bureaucracy.

Monkey meets lemur, somewhere near the absurd African bureaucracy.

The Komodo dragon who stole a chicken. (The passage about the goat is more heart-wrenching than funny.)

Pages 119-121 where Mark gets a little weird and Douglas realises he likes the kakapo because it can't fly. ("There is something gripping about the idea that this creature has actually given up doing something that virtually every human being has yearned to do since the very first of us looked upwards." and "This is a bird you can warm to. I wanted very much to find one.")

Pages 152-154 where Mark and Douglas buy condoms in China.

The pink pigeons who ended up in casseroles, p. 187, and the the rare plant that was found growing in a back garden, p. 194.

These passages are longer than you wanted, sorry. There are so many funny and touhing paragraphs.
posted by kaarne at 1:57 AM on January 13, 2008

kaarne beat me to it. But I second Kakapo-section - when I read the book many moons ago, I couldn't stop laughing.
posted by Rabarberofficer at 2:24 AM on January 13, 2008

The bit about how the Kakapo's mating rituals are nearly perfect at ensuring it is completely unable to successfully reproduce.
posted by -harlequin- at 2:54 AM on January 13, 2008

The photo of the gorilla holding a twig and the caption reading something like, "This is where all the trouble started."
posted by cog_nate at 7:16 AM on January 13, 2008

The bit about the "Latvian" students is hilarious. Though that may only work with a European audience familiar with the nuances of national stereotypes which he plays with in very interesting ways. The part where he can't sleep because the pack of roosters in Indonesia (if memory serves) is a blast. If you can get a copy of the Last Chance to See CD-ROM there's a hilarious audiofile of the ungodly noise made by the flock throughout the night. It's not sold new anymore but you may be able to track down a used copy or maybe your local library has it.

My favorite bit was when he went to Mauritius to look at a species of fruit bat and the guy was showing him all the other extremely endangered species. Also the description of driving with the guy on Mauritius is hilarious. But that particular passage was the catalyst that made me into an ardent environmentalist.
posted by Kattullus at 2:13 PM on January 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks for the super-helpful recommendations and sharing your personal memories of a really awesome book. I've just been trying to get an infrequent reader to read this book, and there are so many bits that are more entertaining than the summary on the back. kaarne, big thanks for going to the trouble to find the page numbers!
posted by whatzit at 2:57 PM on January 13, 2008

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