Against the spectacular backdrop of the Galapagos Islands, a riveting story of modern-day piracy, greed, and the struggle to save one of the planet's last untouched natural treasures from human destruction.
Mention the Galapagos Islands to almost anyone, and the first thing that springs to mind are iguanas, tortoises, volcanic beaches, and, of course, Charles Darwin. That's what Mike D'Orso imagined until he travelled there three years ago. What he discovered was a tropical paradise under siege from an onslaught of desperately poor South American refugees and corrupt fishing fleets that have brought crime, crowding, pollution and violence to these idyllic islands.
In a narrative rich and bizarre as the landscape and creatures that frame it, D'Orso tells the story of the odd European adventurers who first settled here in the early 20th century, of the eccentric Americans who arrived in the mid-1950s, of the scientists who dug in a decade after that, and of the eco-tourist industry that has exploded in the past 20 years.
Following a group of outlandish characters, D'Orso explores the conflicts on the land and seas that now threaten to destroy this fabled "Eden of evolution".