Synopses & Reviews
Determined to document the vanishing riches of central Africa's last wild places, ecologist J. Michael Fay set off on a grueling 465-day trek through Congo's darkest jungles to Gabon's virgin shore. In The Long Follow, critically-acclaimed essayist David Quammen chronicles that harrowing feat (famously named the Megatransect) and makes it the heart of his engrossing, wide-ranging look both at the rich history of past great African expeditions and at the modern scientific understanding of tropical biology and conservation in 21st century Africa.
But, The Long Follow is above all a character study of the man at its center, J. Michael Fay. A New Jersey native long since expatriated to Central Africa, this peculiarly forceful and cantankerous figure is a worthy successor to the bold, often wildly eccentric explorers of yore. Deeply devoted to elephants and gorillas, militaristic in his leadership style, obsessive, sometimes charming, sometimes obnoxious, always brilliant and rawhide tough--and, as Quammen learned during several months with Fay on his epic trek, he's as fascinating as he is exasperating. With all its hard edges and paradoxical convolutions, Fay's singular character, even more than his monumental achievement, shapes this remarkable book.
The perfect combination of a compelling and colorful subject with a consumately gifted writer, The Long Follow will mesmerize armchair adventurers, nature lovers, and anyone interested in Africa's least known places.