Throwim Way Leg is a book of wonder and excitement, struggle and sadness, a love letter to Papua New Guinea and Irian Jaya. 'In New Guinea Pidgin,' Tim Flannery explains, 'throwim way leg means to go on a journey. It describes the action of thrusting out your leg to take the first step of what can be a long march...' Here he invites us to share in his breathtaking adventures, as he meets skilled hunters and befriends a shaman, climbs mountains never before scaled by Europeans, discovers new species and, deep in the jungle, stumbles across the giant bones of extinct marsupials. He also writes movingly about the fate of indigenous people when their intricate cultures collide with mining companies and the high-tech modern world.
'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' Jared Diamond
'An enthralling introduction to the mountain people of New Guinea - unimaginably remote, charming, cunning, cruel, subtle and appealing - and to their magnificent land' New York Times Book Review
Tim Flannery is an internationally acclaimed writer, scientist and explorer. As a field zoologist he has discovered and named more than thirty new species of mammals, including two tree-kangaroos. His books include Country and the award-winning international bestsellers The Future Eaters, The Eternal Frontier and The Weather Makers. He has also edited and introduced many historical works, including The Birth of Sydney, The Diaries of William Buckley and The Explorers.
This energetic fusion of natural science and anthropology caused the Times Literary Supplement to declare that in Flannery "Australia has found its own Stephen Jay Gould." Indeed, Flannery's book is, like Gould's work, erudite and informing. But Flannery (The Future Eaters, 1994), an Australian biologist who specializes in mammalogy, gives us a much more personal take in this memoir of his scientific and cross-cultural adventures during 15 expeditions to New Guinea--undertaken in order to research the many species of mammals that exist on this large island, which he refers to as "one of the world's last frontiers." His accounts of crossing the rugged island terrain and enduring onslaughts from snakes, bees, flies and mosquitoes are vivid yet understated. During his explorations, Flannery documented many new species of mammals and discovered the presence of a bat that had previously been considered extinct. The best parts of the book are those in which Flannery tells of his forays into remote villages. His descriptions of the indigenous peoples he met and worked with are sympathetic and often very funny (with the humor frequently at his own expense), particularly the tales of the cannibals of Yominbip and Betavip. Flannery accepted funding from the Indonesian PT Freeport mining company, which operates in Irian Jaya, but that doesn't stop him from voicing his concern that the presence of Freeport has led to civil unrest, violence, racial tensions and environmental havoc. 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.