Our directory of things of interest

University Directory

JOURNEYS IN THE WILD: The Secret Life of a Cameraman by Gavin Thurston review

  • Written by  Jon Wright
  • Published in Books
JOURNEYS IN THE WILD: The Secret Life of a Cameraman by Gavin Thurston review
10 Oct
2019
by Gavin Thurston • Seven Dials • £16.99 (hardback)

It’s hard not to envy Gavin Thurston. His 30-year career behind the camera has allowed him to gaze upon the birds of the Galapagos, chimps in the Congo, and black-footed ferrets in Nebraska. Thurston has scooped up awards and collaborated with some lofty figures: on one of many trips with Sir David Attenborough, Thurston found time to introduce the great man to the songs of Monty Python.

Stay connected with the Geographical newsletter!
signup buttonIn these turbulent times, we’re committed to telling expansive stories from across the globe, highlighting the everyday lives of normal but extraordinary people. Stay informed and engaged with Geographical.

Get Geographical’s latest news delivered straight to your inbox every Friday!

The going has often been tough: some ‘plane crashes, wars, coups, near-death experiences and a kidnap attempt thrown in to boot’. He was once punched by a silverback gorilla. The mundane inconveniences of the well-travelled wildlife cameraman also take their toll. You lose your way, endure sleepless nights, succumb to illness and, perhaps worst of all, you are separated from your nearest and dearest for long spells: Thurston calculates that he has spent, on average, 220 days per year away from home.

It has, for Thurston, been a worthwhile sacrifice. He stands in awe of the glamorous creatures he has encountered – the Sumatran tigers or the 50,000-strong herds of Canadian caribou. But he also has a soft spot for the little guys: termites are a particular favourite, what with their extraordinary organisational skills and plucky resistance to intrusive swarms of ants. The people he has met also garner praise: the masters of bushcraft in Kenya, the fixer able to negotiate his way through Indonesian airport red-tape, or the hardy French sailor who, ‘chain-smoking and concentrating intensely’ kept the boat afloat in choppy Antarctic seas for hours on end.

Thurston has had the honour of filming geckos begging insects for a drop of honeydew and the curious experience of hitching a lift on a naturist cruise to film whales off America’s Pacific coast. All a long and wonderful way from the borrowed Box Brownie of his school days.

geo line break v3

Free eBooks - Geographical Newsletter

Get the best of Geographical delivered straight to your inbox by signing up to our weekly newsletter and get a free collection of eBooks!

geo line break v3

NEVER MISS A STORY - Follow Geographical on Social

Want to stay up to date with breaking Geographical stories? Join the thousands following us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and stay informed about the world.

More articles in REVIEWS...

Films

The Ocean Film Festival World Tour 2020 brings the water…

Films

2020 has, for many of us, been a dramatic year.…

Films

One woman’s determined plot to tackle multi-national industry through activism…

Films

Acclaimed documentarian Ron Howard brings an intimate depiction of the…

Books

September’s top non-fiction reads

Books

• by Andri Snær Magnason • Serpent’s Tail

Books

August’s top non-fiction reads

Books

By Dawn Bébe and Juliet Coombe • £25 (hardback)

Books

by David Farrier • Fourth Estate • £11.96 (hardback) 

Books

by Jini Reddy • Bloomsbury • £11.89 (hardback)

Books

by James Boyce • Icon Books • £12.99 (hardback)

Books

 by Peter Wilson • £38.99 (hardback)