The novel Last Chance to See by author Douglas Adams is meant to have a serious tone, however its humorous author’s influence has made it one of many funny books. The non-fiction novel was first published in 1990 and it chronicles a serious journey undertaken by author Douglas Adams and Mark Carwardine. The pair set out on a journey across the world to observe and see a group of animals facing extinction. The goal of the duo was to see these animals themselves while they are still in existence.
Though often described as a wildlife documentary, the tale of the pair’s journey is told with an often-humorous tone. It is indicative of many popular satirical news shows now popular on cable television, respecting the animals and their precarious situation, while still providing a humorous experience for the reader. The novel was inspired by a radio show on the BBC hosted by Douglas Adams and Mark Carwardine that chronicled their adventures on air with humor and lightheartedness. The novel primarily follows each of the trips the pair spoke of on their radio show, with a few additional trips added into later publications of the novel.
The pair ventured to several countries to locate the animals facing extinction, including Chile, Brazil, China, Zaire, New Zealand, Madagascar and others. They sought out and spoke with several wildlife experts along the way, relaying their information humorously with an often-ironic touch. The novel also includes color photographs taken of and by the duo during their trips.
Many fans of Douglas Adams will enjoy this work, as it is written in his well-known, humorous style. He works to relay the information about these animals and his travels quite hilariously, however still drawing the reader to the seriousness of the extinction of the species. Adams walks a thin line between humor and seriousness, in an effort to pull readers in while still reminding them of the melancholy facing these animals.
The novel works to be informative and humorous, particularly with the author’s description of the Komodo dragon, for example. The author is incredibly descriptive and informative, while still managing to create laughable moments for dedicated readers of Douglas Adam’s work. This is just one of many funny books written by the author and would appeal to naturalists and humorists alike.