Gregory Kirschling
August 16, 2002 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Extinction Club

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Robert Twigger
publisher
William Morrow
genre
Nonfiction

We gave it a C+

Eleven pages in, Twigger’s agent calls him with the proposal that became this book: Why not write the comeback saga of an endangered species of Chinese deer called the Milu? ”I thought the story was OK, but not amazing,” Twigger confesses. Sixteen pages from the end, after 200 pages of halfhearted deer history, he grants he’d probably give back the persuasive advance and scrap the book if only his wife would let him. This indifference to the Milu is pretty galling. Instead, Twigger improvises on the bigger ideas of survival and extinction, and the book’s redeeming kick comes from its unusual glimpse of an itchy author who’s flailing around for something memorable to say.

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