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Mrs. Johnson relates and exclaims about her final adventures with her famed explorer husband, Martin, on a trip into the primitive fastnesses of North Borneo. She became the first woman to fly over the untamed jungles of Borneo, visited headhunters who had never seen a white woman, captured the largest python ever in the area, and many similar notable firsts. Her writing wobbles between good straight reporting on ethnic matters to reams of ""feminine reaction"" to storms, beasts and vegetation. At first, one thinks her husband might have carried out the writing assignment better--until she begins quoting his inane jokes. Purpose of the trip was to get wildlife photos, which we haven't seen. At one point Mrs. Johnson was trapped between a tree full of flying snakes and a deadly python. She was saved when a native killed the python instantly with a blowgun's poisoned dart. Later, she watched Martin being charged by elephants, saw a native dragged underwater by a crocodile, and helped capture a 350-lb. monster orangutan. The book's most densely detailed and expert passages are about pests, insects and fantastic effects of the rain. At the climax, Martin is delirious with malaria and Osa is in tears over rain-ruined quinine,-- but Martin survives after medication with headhunter drugs. It's all immensely readable, probably because of the lace hankie ripped to shreds in the typewriter.

Pub Date: Jan. 19th, 1965
Publisher: Morrow