No Mercy: A Journey Into the Heart of the Congo

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9780679737322: No Mercy: A Journey Into the Heart of the Congo

Lit with humor, full of African birdsong and told with great narrative force, No Mercy is the magnum opus of "probably the finest writer of travel books in the English language,"  as Bill Bryson wrote in Outside, "and certainly the most daring."  

Redmond O'Hanlon has journeyed among headhunters in deepest Borneo with the poet James Fenton, and amid the most reticent, imperilled and violent tribe in the Amazon Basin with a night-club manager. This, however, is his boldest journey yet. Accompanied by Lary Shaffer--an American friend and animal behaviorist, a man of imperfect health and brave decency--he enters the unmapped swamp-forests of the People's Republic of the Congo, in search of a dinosaur rumored to have survived in a remote prehistoric lake.

The flora and fauna of the Congo are unrivalled, and with matchless passion O'Hanlon describes scores of rare and fascinating animals: eagles and parrots, gorillas and chimpanzees, swamp antelope and forest elephants. But as he was repeatedly warned, the night belongs to Africa, and threats both natural (cobras, crocodiles, lethal insects) and supernatural (from all-powerful sorcerers to Samalé, a beast whose three-clawed hands rip you across the back) make this a saga of much fear and trembling. Omnipresent too are ecological depredations, political and tribal brutality, terrible illness and unnecessary suffering among the forest pygmies, and an appalling waste of human life throughout this little-explored region.

An elegant, disturbing and deeply compassionate evocation of a vanishing world, extraordinary in its depth, scope and range of characters, No Mercy is destined to become a landmark work of travel, adventure and natural history. A quest for the meaning of magic and the purpose of religion, and a celebration of the comforts and mysteries of science, it is also--and above all--a powerful guide to the humanity that prevails even in the very heart of darkness.
From the Hardcover edition.

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Review:

There are similarities between Redmond O'Hanlon's magnificent Into The Heart of Borneo and No Mercy. In both, O'Hanlon's keen naturalist eye notes the details (tiny scarlet flowers probed hummingbird-like by purple-red hawkmoths), his wit (usually at his own expense) remains funny, and his travel companions quite human and often endearing. He's off on another jungle trek, this time seeking Mokele-mbembe, the alleged Congo sauropod. But No Mercy goes deeper and darker; fear and anger intrude on the levity, rationalistic thought yields to palpable fetishistic fright the deeper in they go, and O'Hanlon emerges a changed, more compassionate man.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Beset by bedbugs, tsetse flies, venal sorcerers, and nettlesome Marxist functionaries, O'Hanlon (In Trouble Again, 1989, etc.) journeys far upriver in the Congo to discover the truth about a prehistoric beast rumored to live deep within the forest. An odd retinue--including a sex-starved Congolese government naturalist, a humorously foul-mouthed and caustic American specialist in animal behavior, and a number of good-natured pygmies--accompanies the intrepid O'Hanlon on this twisted but mirthful Conradian adventure. Subsisting principally on a diet of manioc with the odd dish of monkey meat thrown in, O'Hanlon and his friend, Lary Shaffer (the animal behaviorist), are repeatedly exposed to gastrointestinal discomfort and must endure such other jungle delights as ferocious ants (a malignant swarm of driver ants actually eats one of the travelers' chickens), pythons, and angry chimpanzees. In each village they pass through, they must placate sorcerers or pay off local chiefs. Too often O'Hanlon encounters disease and death; in one chilling episode, he witnesses a boy's drowning in the Congo River, to the consternation of none but the two Westerners. Marcellin, the guide who seems to know a woman in every port, shrewdly steers a protesting O'Hanlon through this strange human and botanical landscape, but even an educated African is not immune to the rules of this spirit-based world. Indeed, by the end of his narrative, O'Hanlon himself, forever stroking a fetish given him by a sorcerer, has gone somewhat native--though not irrevocably, one would guess. O'Hanlon's staggering knowledge of the region's flora and fauna, in addition to his considerable descriptive skills, adds a further dimension to this casually wacky (and occasionally very sobering) account. As travel yarn, social commentary, zoological handbook, and snappy satire, O'Hanlon's book resists easy categorization. While some readers might wish O'Hanlon had controlled his more outr‚ rumblings, this is definitely a trip worth taking. (drawings, 3 maps, and 24 pages of photos, not seen) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Descrizione libro Random House USA Inc, United States, 1998. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Vintage Departures ed. Language: English . Brand New Book. Redmond O Hanlon has journeyed among headhunters in deepest Borneo with the poet James Fenton, and amid the most reticent, imperilled and violent tribe in the Amazon Basin with a night-club manager. This, however, is his boldest journey yet. Accompanied by Lary Shaffer - an American friend and animal behaviorist, a man of imperfect health and brave decency - he enters the unmapped swamp-forests of the People s Republic of the Congo, in search of a dinosaur rumored to have survived in a remote prehistoric lake. The flora and fauna of the Congo are unrivalled, and with matchless passion O Hanlon describes scores of rare and fascinating animals: eagles and parrots, gorillas and chimpanzees, swamp antelope and forest elephants. But as he was repeatedly warned, the night belongs to Africa, and threats both natural (cobras, crocodiles, lethal insects) and supernatural (from all-powerful sorcerers to Samale, a beast whose three-clawed hands rip you across the back) make this a saga of much fear and trembling. Omni-present too are ecological depredations, political and tribal brutality, terrible illness and unnecessary suffering among the forest pygmies, and an appalling waste of human life throughout this little-explored region. Codice libro della libreria AAS9780679737322

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Descrizione libro Random House USA Inc, United States, 1998. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Vintage Departures ed. Language: English . Brand New Book. Redmond O Hanlon has journeyed among headhunters in deepest Borneo with the poet James Fenton, and amid the most reticent, imperilled and violent tribe in the Amazon Basin with a night-club manager. This, however, is his boldest journey yet. Accompanied by Lary Shaffer - an American friend and animal behaviorist, a man of imperfect health and brave decency - he enters the unmapped swamp-forests of the People s Republic of the Congo, in search of a dinosaur rumored to have survived in a remote prehistoric lake. The flora and fauna of the Congo are unrivalled, and with matchless passion O Hanlon describes scores of rare and fascinating animals: eagles and parrots, gorillas and chimpanzees, swamp antelope and forest elephants. But as he was repeatedly warned, the night belongs to Africa, and threats both natural (cobras, crocodiles, lethal insects) and supernatural (from all-powerful sorcerers to Samale, a beast whose three-clawed hands rip you across the back) make this a saga of much fear and trembling. Omni-present too are ecological depredations, political and tribal brutality, terrible illness and unnecessary suffering among the forest pygmies, and an appalling waste of human life throughout this little-explored region. Codice libro della libreria AAS9780679737322

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Descrizione libro Random House USA Inc, United States, 1998. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Vintage Departures ed. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Redmond O Hanlon has journeyed among headhunters in deepest Borneo with the poet James Fenton, and amid the most reticent, imperilled and violent tribe in the Amazon Basin with a night-club manager. This, however, is his boldest journey yet. Accompanied by Lary Shaffer - an American friend and animal behaviorist, a man of imperfect health and brave decency - he enters the unmapped swamp-forests of the People s Republic of the Congo, in search of a dinosaur rumored to have survived in a remote prehistoric lake. The flora and fauna of the Congo are unrivalled, and with matchless passion O Hanlon describes scores of rare and fascinating animals: eagles and parrots, gorillas and chimpanzees, swamp antelope and forest elephants. But as he was repeatedly warned, the night belongs to Africa, and threats both natural (cobras, crocodiles, lethal insects) and supernatural (from all-powerful sorcerers to Samale, a beast whose three-clawed hands rip you across the back) make this a saga of much fear and trembling. Omni-present too are ecological depredations, political and tribal brutality, terrible illness and unnecessary suffering among the forest pygmies, and an appalling waste of human life throughout this little-explored region. Codice libro della libreria BTE9780679737322

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Descrizione libro Vintage. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Paperback. 480 pages. Dimensions: 7.9in. x 5.0in. x 1.1in.Lit with humor, full of African birdsong and told with great narrative force, No Mercy is the magnum opus of probably the finest writer of travel books in the English language, as Bill Bryson wrote in Outside, and certainly the most daring. Redmond OHanlon has journeyed among headhunters in deepest Borneo with the poet James Fenton, and amid the most reticent, imperilled and violent tribe in the Amazon Basin with a night-club manager. This, however, is his boldest journey yet. Accompanied by Lary Shaffer--an American friend and animal behaviorist, a man of imperfect health and brave decency--he enters the unmapped swamp-forests of the Peoples Republic of the Congo, in search of a dinosaur rumored to have survived in a remote prehistoric lake. The flora and fauna of the Congo are unrivalled, and with matchless passion OHanlon describes scores of rare and fascinating animals: eagles and parrots, gorillas and chimpanzees, swamp antelope and forest elephants. But as he was repeatedly warned, the night belongs to Africa, and threats both natural (cobras, crocodiles, lethal insects) and supernatural (from all-powerful sorcerers to Samal, a beast whose three-clawed hands rip you across the back) make this a saga of much fear and trembling. Omnipresent too are ecological depredations, political and tribal brutality, terrible illness and unnecessary suffering among the forest pygmies, and an appalling waste of human life throughout this little-explored region. An elegant, disturbing and deeply compassionate evocation of a vanishing world, extraordinary in its depth, scope and range of characters, No Mercy is destined to become a landmark work of travel, adventure and natural history. A quest for the meaning of magic and the purpose of religion, and a celebration of the comforts and mysteries of science, it is also--and above all--a powerful guide to the humanity that prevails even in the very heart of darkness. From the Hardcover edition. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Codice libro della libreria 9780679737322

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