Allison, Peter. Whatever You Do, Don’t Run: True Tales of a Botswana Safari Guide. Read by Antony Ferguson. Tantor Media, 2012.
Allison, Peter. Whatever You Do, Don’t Run: True Tales of a Botswana Safari Guide. Guilford, Connecticut: Lyons Press, 2008.
Reason read: in honor of October being the death month of the first supposed for-hire safari leader, Major Sir William Wallis Cornwallis Harris (April 1807 – October 1948). Despite his young age and occupation, Harris did not die by wild animal attack. According to the interwebs, he died of a fever. What probably brought him down was the mini but mighty mosquito.
This is a super fast read. Only 245 pages long (and faster if you read at the same time as listen to the audio like I did), you’ll get through this in no time. Which is good because that will give you time to read it again and again. I know I wanted to! Allison can be hilarious but he can also be extremely poignant. What comes through the strongest, though, is his love for the wildlife in Botswana. Whether its wild cats or beautiful birds, Allison has a deep respect for all creatures he may take a tourist to see.
Two of my favorite quotes were close together, “No matter how many elephants I have stood up to, I am easily bullied by people” (p 173) and “I tend to give human characteristics to inanimate objects…” (p 176). I could relate to both of these statements. Some of you know the story of the Christmas cookies I couldn’t leave in a deserted parking lot.
Author fact: Allison was only supposed to stay in Africa for one year. He ended up staying more than a decade. Her may still be there for all I know. His bio at the time of publication said he split his time between Australia, Africa and the United States.
Extremely trivial trivia: according to the photographs in Whatever You Do… Allison is kinda good looking: boyish grin revealing big white teeth on a cute face…
Narrator fact: Antony Ferguson does a great job mimicking Allison’s Australian accent.
Book trivia: I’m pretty sure Whatever You Do, Don’t Run is Peter’s first published book. The print version has great color photos of Allison’s world.
Nancy said: Nancy called Whatever You Do… “awfully funny collection of essays about trying to herd human animals to safe viewing of herds of nonhuman animals” (p 43).
BookLust Twist: from Book Lust To Go in the very straightforward chapter simply called “Botswana” (p 42).