The Black Rhinos of Namibia by Rick Bass
Searching for Survivors in the African Desert

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Synopsis

“An extraordinary exploration and meditation . . . [Bass] transports us along on this wonder-filled tour, full of hardness and hope, into an otherworldly place that mirrors our own.” —National Geographic Traveler

Black rhinos are not actually black. They are, however, giant animals with tiny eyes, feet the diameter of laundry baskets, and horns that are prized for both their aesthetic and medicinal qualities. Until recently, these creatures were perched on the edge of extinction, their numbers dwindling as they succumbed to poachers and the ravages of civil war. Now their numbers are rising, thanks to a groundbreaking new conservation method from the Save the Rhino Trust: make sure that rhinos are worth more alive than dead.

Rick Bass, who has long worn the uneasy mantle of both activist and hunter, traveled to Namibia to find black rhinos. The tale of his journey provides a deeper understanding of these amazing animals and of just what needs to be done to protect them.

“Bass provides a singularly thoughtful portrait of a unique animal, and a meditation on mankind’s relationship to both it and the natural world as a whole.” —Minneapolis Star Tribune
 

About Rick Bass

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RICK BASS's fiction has received O. Henry Awards, numerous Pushcart Prizes, awards from the Texas Institute of Letters, fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation, among others. Most recently, his memoir Why I Came West was a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award.
 
Published August 7, 2012 by Mariner Books. 288 pages
Genres: Nature & Wildlife, Travel, Science & Math. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Black Rhinos of Namibia

Publishers Weekly

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To describe the desert, another protagonist, Bass must examine the nature of perception: “The barren land unscrolls before us as if being created by the very act of our seeing.” On occasion, Bass struggles to infuse the ruminations with poetry;

Jun 11 2012 | Read Full Review of The Black Rhinos of Namibia: ...

Star Tribune

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Bass writes with a passion for digression and description, seldom using one descriptor when three will do. Yet when he bears down and focuses, his prose is riveting and "Rhinos" becomes a page-turner.

Aug 11 2012 | Read Full Review of The Black Rhinos of Namibia: ...

The Boston Globe

But for too much of the book these moments fizzle and we are given only the idea of rhino: “What is a rhino, and just as there are different trophic levels within and upon a landscape — and just as such layers exist in our own lives as we proceed through them — are there possibly similar trophic ...

Aug 10 2012 | Read Full Review of The Black Rhinos of Namibia: ...

Open Letters Monthly

The Black Rhinos of Namibia.

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Oregon Live

"The Black Rhinos of Namibia" is a short account of a trip Bass took to Africa in what seems to be 2005 (the date is never made clear) to see the endangered rhinos in the Damaraland, an arid region on the western edge of Namibia.

Aug 18 2012 | Read Full Review of The Black Rhinos of Namibia: ...

Library Journal

HISTORY A frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books, the author of several smart studies crisscrossing East and West (e.g., Temptations of the West), and also a novelist‚ The Romantics won the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction‚ Mishra brings knowledge and writer...

Feb 12 2012 | Read Full Review of The Black Rhinos of Namibia: ...

Bookmarks Magazine

Against the backdrop of one of the most ancient and harshest terrains on earth, Bass, with his characteristic insight and grace, probes the complex relationship between humans and nature and meditates on our role as both destroyer and savior.

In the tradition of Peter Matthiessen’s The ...

Aug 29 2012 | Read Full Review of The Black Rhinos of Namibia: ...

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