Reaktion £9.99 (232pp) £9.49 from the Independent Bookshop: 08430 600 030
Camel, By Robert Irwin
Friday 27 August 2010
Peter O'Toole owes his life to Shagram, the "No. 1 camel" which – during the filming of Lawrence of Arabia - stood over the star after a fall as stampeding horses thundered past. Robert Irwin's erudite, droll and utterly delightful book about the life and lore of the dromedary (one hump) and Bactrian (two) abounds with details that reflect glory on a much-misundersstood animal.
As bright as an eight-year-old human (to Robyn Davidson), perceptive and affectionate – but moody – the camel has suffered from stereotypes throughout its loyal if "grudging and grumbling" partnership with us. Across art, zoology and literature, from Egypt to India, Irwin gives the perfectly-adapted desert beast a boost with wide learning, superb illustrations - and deadpan wit.
Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treattv
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Woman accidentally shoots herself in the head while posing for a selfie
- 2 Isis burns woman alive for refusing to engage in 'extreme' sex act, UN says
- 3 Puerto Rico, island of lost dreams: People are leaving the debt-hit territory in droves as near neighbour Cuba's star rises
- 4 Female Muay Thai champion hustles coaches to give them a beating
- 5 16-year-old girl beaten and burned alive by lynch mob in Rio Bravo, Guatemala
Eurovision 2015: Graham Norton returns with another cutting commentary - his best lines
Eurovision 2015: The best moments from Australia's random entry to Lithuania's gay kiss
Clarkson, Hammond and May Live: Top Gear trio returns with a blend of fireworks, AC/DC and 'automotive pornography'
Eurovision 2015 winner: Sweden beats Russia and Italy to take the title from Conchita Wurst
Eurovision 2015: Estonia seemingly enters Louis Tomlinson from One Direction
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland