A father’s obsession with carnivorous tropical pitcher plants resulted in the adventure of a lifetime for his family.
In 2007, Hans Breuer was content with his plants growing on the top of his garage in Taiwan, but after attending a topical conference in Borneo, he met them in the wild for the first time.
And this sparked off Hans’s determination to explore the island’s legendary rainforest, fauna and flora.
So, he packed up his life and family and moved to Borneo, where he spent the next nine years taking in its beauty and fascination.
This is all now chronicled in the wonderful new book, “A Greenhorn Naturalist in Borneo”, which is not only packed with science facts, but is written in a tone reminiscent of Bill Bryson, Douglas Adams and Gerald Durrell.
It’s funny and self-deprecating and documents the Breuer family’s fun enjoying Borneo’s enormous biodiversity, with flying snakes, venomous primates, parachuting frogs, pangolins, king cobras, orangutans, the world’s rarest lizard and longest snake.
Adventure lurks behind every corner, as toddler sized monkeys terrorise night hikers, bearded jungle pigs hunt stray dogs, and a giant python almost gets stepped on.
The book also gives an insight into the island’s inhabitants, including Asia’s last rainforest nomads, quaint government officials and former headhunting tribes who proudly display their trophies above their fireplaces.
It also looks at the island’s environmental tragedy caused by decades of severe over-exploitation and the need to protect it from man.
The book broadens the understanding of the natural world generally and of equatorial ecosystems specifically, but has a real gentle humour to it, for those who just want a good read.
With 160 beautiful colour photographs and real knowledge from Hans, who studied sinology at Ruhr University, Bochum and Chinese Studies at Fu Ren University, Taipei, the armchair reader will have so much fun with this book and the delve into the wonderful and wild world of nature.
Publication date: 28th October 2022
UK Price: £18.99
Pages: 288, illustrated with approx. 160 colour photographs
A Greenhorn Naturalist in Borneo
By Hans Breuer
Published by Whittles Publishing
For more information and to order a copy of The Greenhorn Naturalist in Borneo, please visit: www.whittlespublishing.com.
Rebecca Hay is an experienced travel writer and member of The British Guild of Travel Writers. Follow her adventures with her family on Twitter and Instagram @emojiadventurer and on Facebook via EmojiAdventurers2.
Images courtesy of Whittles Publishing