Throwim Way Leg

Tree-Kangaroos, Possums, and Penis Gourds: On the Track of Unknown Mammals in Wildest New Guinea

by Tim Flannery

Subject categories
  • 9780802191113
From the bestselling author of The Weather Makers: “An enthralling introduction to the mountain people of New Guinea . . . and to their magnificent land” (The New York Times Book Review).
A world expert on the fauna of New Guinea with twenty new species and over seven books to his credit, Tim Flannery takes us into the field and on an unforgettable journey into the heart of this mysterious and uncharted country.
Flannery’s scientific voyage leads him to places he never dreamed of: he camps among cannibals and befriends Femsep, a legendary warrior who led the slaughter of colonial whites decades before. He enters caves full of skeletons of long-extinct, giant marsupials, scales mountains previously untouched by Europeans, and is nearly killed when tribes people decide to take revenge for their prior mistreatment by his “clan” (wildlife scientists). And Flannery writes movingly of the fate of indigenous people in collision with the high-tech world of late-twentieth-century industry.
In New Guinea Pidgin, “throwim way leg” means to thrust out your leg on the first step of a long journey. Full of adventure, wit, and natural wonders, Flannery’s narrative is just such a spectacular trip. Like Redmond O’Hanlon’s classics Into the Heart of Borneo and No Mercy, Throwim Way Leg is a tour de force of travel, anthropology, and natural history.
“Flannery combines diligent science, heart-pounding adventure, and a respect for ancient cultures to create a compelling tale.” —Sierra, The National Magazine of the Sierra Club

  • Grove Atlantic; December 2014
  • ISBN: 9780802191113
  • Read online, or download in secure ePub format
  • Title: Throwim Way Leg
  • Author: Tim Flannery
  • Imprint: Grove Press
Subject categories
  • 9780802191113

In The Press

“Readers of Throwim Way Leg, a gripping tale about the most remote areas of New Guinea, will be grateful they’re spared the discomforts and dangers the author describes in hair-raising detail. But they’ll be catapulted into exhilarating and adventures rarely chronicled in such vivid verbal pictures. . . . At the end of this wild adventurous literary ride, readers will feel blessed that a writer of such insight has recorded this remote environment of animal and human cultures on the verge of possible extinction.” —The Christian Science Monitor
“[Throwim Way Leg] is an enthralling introduction to the mountain people of New Guinea—unimaginably remote, charming, cunning, cruel, subtle and appealing—and to their magnificent land. . . . [Flannery’s] evocations of the New Guinea landscape carry you away.” —The New York Times Book Review
Throwim Way Leg tells the story, in a disarmingly wry and unpretentious way, of how Flannery made his great discoveries. . . . All of this makes for great reading—the thrill of the unknown, rare enough these days, combined with a scientist’s true passion for his work and for the creatures he studies.” —The Washington Post
“Whether literally going out on a limb to capture an ‘extinct’ bat, nearly getting killed when a hostile group identifies him as a member of the hated ‘wildlife’ clan, or solving the mystery of a tree-kangaroo with a white man’s face, Flannery combines diligent science, heart-pounding adventure, and a respect for ancient cultures to create a compelling tale.” —Sierra, The National Magazine of the Sierra Club
“Exciting, exotic book, one that introduces the reader to a world far more mysterious than we might have imagined.” —William R. Wineke, Wisconsin State Journal
“Reads like a collection of adventure stories.” —Library Journal
“[An] energetic fusion of natural science and anthropology . . . The title comes from New Guinea Pidgin; referring to a first step, it means “to go on a journey.” Readers would do well to follow Flannery on this one.” —Publishers Weekly
“This book combines an irresistible author with an irresistible subject: Tim Flannery, a great zoologist and writer about science, relating his explorations of New Guinea, a vivid tropical universe. . . . The result is a dangerous book that you pick up at your peril, because it is so hard to put down.” —Jared M. Diamond,  author of Guns, Germs, and Steel
“Australia has found its own Stephen Jay Gould.” —Matt Ridley, The Times Literary Supplement
“One of the world’s greatest zoologists . . . who’s probably discovered more new species than Darwin. He’s a remarkable man.” —Redmond O’Hanlon
“Tim Flannery is in the league of the all-time great explorers like Dr. David Livingstone.” —Sir David Attenborough
“What an extraordinary book this is. . . . Flannery provides a magical polychrome of [New Guinea]. You can hear the cataclysmic thunderstorms, smell the hunting dogs, taste the roast possum. No one else could have written this book. . . . The themes he elucidates are the largest themes available to any writer: life and death; religion and questions of belief; greed and the havoc that the pursuit of money can wreak; the politics of colonialism and oppression; the cultural specificity of morality. . . . Flannery is a fiercely intelligent and perceptive guide. He is also courageous. This is a journey through and beyond fear. . . . Flannery’s book is as fertile and fascinating as New Guinea itself. It deserves to be read widely and often.” —The Age (Melbourne)
“As vivid and compelling as being landed in a helicopter in a high valley among the mountains of Papua New Guinea and Irian Jaya, some of the wildest country left on earth.” —Geoffrey Dutton, The Bulletin

About The Author

Tim Flannery is one of the most celebrated scientists of our time. His landmark bestseller The Weather Makers, which sold one hundred-fifty thousand copies in America and was translated into twenty-four languages internationally, was embraced by readers and endorsed by policy makers, scientists, and energy industry executives around the world. He is Chairman of the Copenhagen Climate Council and acts as a judge (along with Al Gore, James Hansen, James Lovelock, and Crispin Tickell) for Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Earth Challenge. He was named Australian of the Year in 2007 and is a professor at Macquarie University in Sydney.

Subject categories
  • 9780802191113