P A N G A E A
© Marcelo D. Beccaceci
Naturalist-writer-photographer Marcelo Beccaceci has given us Natural Patagonia/Patagonia natural, a splendid book on Patagonia that is graced by interesting, informative easy-to-read text worthy of the photos.
The bilingual book's English version is good thanks to the efforts of its US publisher, Pangaea (Saint Paul).
The wildlife photos in this book are outstanding not only for their technical quality, but also because they are natural; the birds appear in a believable size, just a bit closer than you can get walking, thanks to the camera's zoom lens. But the zoom isn't obtrusive; by not taking you impossibly close to the subject, it makes you feel like you are there. And if you aren't, you want to be.
The landscape photos conjure up the land perfectly. Mount Fitz Roy looks as impressive with its snowstorm mantle as it does on one of those days when the sky is cloudless. Details of flowers and cascades have their own music and colour. Definitely, a book that takes Patagonia home to you.
BUENOS AIRES HERALD, by Bonnie Tucker, 17 October 1998.
The photographs in this book speak first and eloquently about the power and attractions of Patagonia. One criterion for evaluating a travel book is whether it makes a reader want to go to a place, while another is, does it bring the place home to the reader. This book satisfies both criteria. Even if you never read a word of the text, you can respond to the photographs with both a sense of wonder that is beckoning and a feeling of imaginative engagement that is intimate.
However, it would be a shame not to also read the text. This bilingual Spanish-English edition is accessible to readers in many countries and provides an extra bonus to readers with some knowledge of both languages who would like to practice their second language.
This is a natural history guidebook, so it does not provide information on how to get there and where to stay. For that, you also need a guidebook to Chile or Argentina. However, the book is rich with details on the geological origins and evolution of Patagonia, and reading it will help make the reader an educated traveler, one who will go gently and preserve it.
INDEPENDENT PUBLISHER, by Joan Haladay, November/December 1998.
Other companies have excelled in publishing nature-oriented guides: what differentiates these [books by PANGAEA] from others is a Spanish/English format and intense color photos throughout, which provide a rich multicultural travel exploration accessible to both Spanish speakers and those touring from the outside. Alfonso Silva Lee's Natural Puerto Rico (0-9630180-6-X, $18.95) provides an in-depth focus on the wildlife of the island, describing the natural history of insects, reptiles and birds. Marcelo Beccaceci's Natural Patagonia (0-9630180-3-5 paperback $24.95 and 0-9630180-4-3 hardcover $32.95) achieves the same for Patagonia. While these are as much science as travel guides, they will especially enrich the tours of any outdoors-oriented adventurer, providing fine natural history insights to accompany any traveler's journey.
THE MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW, October 1998
Beccaceci is not only devoted to endangered species.He also frequently writes travel journalism and accompanying guides for ecotourists. His third book reflects clearly this facet. Natural Patagonia, in fact, is a pleasant trip through the geological past and environments of the legendary region, by way of tight text and a hundred beautiful images. This work awakens as much the desire to pick up one's suitcases as to protect nature.
VIDA SILVESTRE (Argentina), July-August 1999.
In hardcover, this beautiful book presents--in Spanish and English--the Patagonian region, Argentine as well as Chilean. The text describes the different Patagonian ecosystems (mountains, steppes and coasts), accompanied by abundant color photos. This book, that seems very well suited for foreign tourists who pass through Patagonia, has the double objective of being a source of information on Patagonian natural history and a beautiful collection of photographs that each reader can carry to remember.
AIRE Y SOL (Argentina), August 1999.
A caprice of the gods of the rocks--a place of multi-colored hues and forms, greens and sands, fjords and lakes, ice and boundless snows--"Patagonia" is simply magical." Victoria Lichtschein starts, thus, the prologue to Natural Patagonia, by Marcelo Beccaceci, published in the United States by Pangaea, 1998. Its rich content in images of the south of Argentina and of Chile, legends and beautiful descriptions, make this work a magnificent incentive to travel this vast area of South America. Beccaceci, a veterinarian who researchs species in danger of extinction, is a collaborator with Tiempo de Aventura. His vision as a specialized scientific journalist and photographer, he gives to the reader as a detailed statement relating everything to the conservation of nature. The book is sold in bookstores specializing in the topic.
TIEMPO DE AVENTURA (Argentina), October 1998.
Beccaceci's vision from the standpoint of ecotourism, invites us to journey through Patagonia from the mountains to the sea, the steppes and coasts, allowing us to know and value it for our own delight and for that of future generations.
Esc. Juan Carlos Lucero Schmidt
Dean of Faculty for History and Letters, Salvador University, Argentina
The beautiful descriptions and images of this work will help generate the enthusiasm and awareness to protect the landscape, fauna and flora of this wonderful region.
National Director, Conservation of Protected Areas, National Parks Administration, Argentina
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