Ho appena riletto questo libro, e sono sempre più convinto che Douglas Adams era un genio, e la sua perdita non sarà mai abbastanza rimpianta. Il libro (che a quanto mi risulta non è mai stato tradotto in italiano) racconta di un anno passato in giro per il mondo alla ricerca di animali in via di estinzione, e lo fa con lo stile tremendamente witty ed efficace a cui Adams ci ha abituato nelle altre sue opere:
"[The aye-aye] looks a little like a large cat with a bat's ears, a beaver's teeth, a tail like a large ostrich feather, a middle finger like a long dead twig and enormous eyes that seem to peer past you into a totally different world which exists just over your left shoulder."
"By one of those lucky chances the white rhino is in fact a very slightly lighter shade of dark grey than the black rhino. If the white rhino had actually been darker than the black rhino people would just get cross, which would be a pity since there are many better things to get cross about regarding the white rhino than its colour, such as what happens to its horns."
"You can't help but try and follow an animal's thought processes, and you can't help, when faced with an animal like a three ton rhinoceros with nasal passages bigger than its brain, but fail."
"[...] once you look [an emu] right in the eye you have a sudden sense of what the effect has been on the creature of having all the disadvantages of being a bird - absurd posture, a hopelessly scruffy covering of useless feathers and two useless limbs - without actually being able to do the thing that birds should be able to do, which is to fly. It becomes instantly clear that the bird has gone barking mad."
"The kakapo is a bird out of time. If you look one in its large, round, greeny-brown face, it has a look of serenely innocent incomprehension that makes you want to hug it and tell it that everything will be all right, though you know that it probably will not be."
Che dire di più? Peccato che nessuno abbia scoperto in tempo il metodo per rendere immortali gli scrittori inglesi di fantascienza comica alti più di un metro e novanta.