Book Review: How to Walk a Puma

January 25, 2012  By: Gretchen

This would be the first not-about-Africa book we’ve reviewed here, but it has ties to Africa.  For those that have enjoyed Peter Allison’s books (Whatever You Do, Don’t Run! and Don’t Look Behind You), How to Walk a Puma: And Other Things I Learned While Stumbling through South America is a natural segue.  When he was nineteen, Peter flipped a coin to decide between going to South America and Africa; Africa won.  After many (entertaining) years as a safari guide in Africa, he longed to explore the other continent that was part of his contest, so he headed to South America.  This book shares his adventures there.

Mr. Allison does in fact walk a puma during his time in South America – over and over again  – while trying not to get bitten in the knee too many times.  He also rafts piranha- infested rivers, swims in snake infested waters and gets taken down by a wicked empanada.  As with his other books, they don’t go too deep, but he can craft a story that will keep you entertained throughout.  He manages some good cultural observations and makes the reader wish for some of his adventures but certainly not all.  A fun read that doesn’t require much thinking.