Last Travels of a Fat Bulldog

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9780094803008: Last Travels of a Fat Bulldog

George Courtauld's many fans will be relieved that the Foreign Office, after having officially retired him from his post as Queen's Messenger, asked him after all to carry on. As a result he has recently visited - among other places - Mongolia, China, South Africa, Kenya, the Persian Gulf, Chile, Brazil, Oman, Israel and Thailand, and we have a final brilliant instalment of his reports on his travels. He is, as ever, infectiously interested in everything he comes across; flora, fauna, architecture, art, history - but it is above all the quirkiness of his favourite species, Homo sapiens, that delights him most. With a sharp ear for speech and an acute eye for the absurd, this is one of the funniest travel series to appear for many years.

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Product Description:

This is the last instalment of the travels of the Queen's messenger, George Courtauld which took him among other places Mongolia, China, South Africa, Kenya, the Persian Gulf, Chile, Brazil, Oman, Israel and Thailand. He is as ever, interested in everything he comes across: flora, fauna, architecture, art and history. But, it is above all the quirkiness of his favourite species, homo sapiens, that delights him most.

Review:

Up until his recent retirement, George Courtauld worked for the Foreign Office as a Queen's Messenger. If you're not sure what that is, reading this book will leave you none the wiser, for Courtauld--bound by the Official Secrets Act--confines his subject matter to places and people. This adds an air of mystery to the book, and leaves room for more of the Fat Bulldog's tales.

Fans of Courtauld's previous books The Travels of a Fat Bulldog and The Fat Bulldog Roams Again will already know the drill, but will be sad to know that this third instalment is to be the last. Reading this book is like reading choice extracts from a most extraordinary diary. In Zambia, Courtauld is taken out to "spot game" at one of the biggest national parks in the world. His host, one Colonel Hawfinch, describes their guide as an "armed incompetent" and his driver as "too stupid to understand my comments on his wretched driving". This is confirmed when the vehicle stalls before 200 charging buffalo and the guard accidentally disconnects the headlamps.

As entertaining as these anecdotes are, what really brings them to life is the author's brilliant use of language. The South African wildebeest, for example, is described as "a ridiculous antelope with a long face and a funny little pair of horns perched on the top of its head like a girl's sunglasses pushed up into her hair. "--Daren King

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George Courtauld
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ISBN 10: 0094803005 ISBN 13: 9780094803008
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