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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Steve & Me

by Terri Irwin
288 pages

*** About the Book ***

Steve & Me
Steve Irwin, better know as The Crocodile Hunter from the Animal Planet show by the same name, was a larger-than-life wildlife warrior.  His tragic death from a stingray barb to the chest in 2006 shocked the world.  In this book Steve's wife and partner-in-conservation, Terri, shares the story of their life together and their dreams for the future.

I've added a video from an episode of The Crocodile Hunter at the bottom of this post in case you want to check it out. 

*** Why I Read It ***

Hubby and I always enjoyed watching The Crocodile Hunter together.  Kiddo was a bit young to understand everything but he'd usually watch with us as well.  We continually joked about how over-the-top Steve Irwin, was but underneath the humor we both admired him very much.  When Hubby called me to say that Steve had died, I felt physically sick.  I'd never been impacted by a celebrity death in that way; I was devastated that the world had lost such an amazing spokesperson for wildlife and heartbroken for his family who I'd come to know and love through his show.  When I heard about this book I immediately ordered a copy from PaperbackSwap. It arrived over a year ago and I haven't picked it up until now.  Hubby started reading it the day it arrived and he loved it, but I worried it would be too sad so I kept avoiding it.  Then I saw Alyce's review and I knew I couldn't wait any longer.

*** My Thoughts ***

I have no idea why I put off reading this book. I should have picked it up the day it came through my door. It was such a pleasure to revisit the crazy passion of Steve's world, and it was an unexpected treat to see the incredible relationship he and Terri had. 

Many of the events and stories in the book were familiar to me because my family watched The Crocodile Hunter regularly.  Throughout the book Terri quotes Steve, and I could actually "hear" his distinctive voice sharing about a particular animal, often from an episode of the show I clearly remembered. 

Despite my familiarity with the show there was still a great deal of new-to-me info in the book.  I was amazed by Steve's connection to the wild places of the world.  Of course I knew about this already but the details were fascinating to read.  The book also touches on the plans Steve had to save whales in the Antarctic with the Sea Sheppard crew.  That was interesting as I'm a huge fan of the show Whale Wars.

I didn't realize what a powerful yet unexplained connection Steve and Terri had from the very beginning of their relationship.  It seems that they were truly meant to be together.  The humor and playfulness between them (especially regarding their plan to conceive a boy) was a joy to read. 

I picked this book up on Sunday night intending to read only the introduction.  It was around 1am when I finally put it down, and that was only because the next day was Kiddo's first day of school and I didn't want to risk oversleeping due to a book hangover.  The next day I read during my lunch break and again as soon as I got home, while Kiddo was at hockey practice.  I finished the book Monday evening around 1am.  I'm exhausted now but thrilled to have spent the past few days in Steve's world.  This is a book that will stay on my shelf to be read again, both by Hubby and by me.

*** Your Thoughts ***

Were you a fan of The Crocodile Hunter show?  What are your thoughts on Steve and his mission to protect wildlife?  Is this a book you'd like to read?


Trisha said...

Steve seemed to live life so fully, so much optimism, happiness, and excitement. That was probably part of the act he put on for the show, but still...

Heather J. said...

Trisha - To be honest, it really seems from the book that he was like that 24x7. That's one of the things Hubby and I joked about, how it would be so difficult to live with someone like that, but Terri seems to have done just fine. :)

Anna said...

I used to watch the show all the time with my family, and we were saddened by his death. He seemed to truly love his work, which (plus his craziness) is what made the show so entertaining. I'll have to keep this book in mind.

GMR said...

Great review! Definitely a book on my wish list (before and after reading this)...when I heard he had died, I too realized we had lost one of the more respected and vocal supporters of wildlife. It's wonderful to see his wife and daughter carrying on his "legacy". So glad you enjoyed the book, thanks for sharing your thoughts. Happy reading!

Heather J. said...

Anna - If you watched and enjoyed the show you will definitely appreciate this book.

GMR - Reading this book has made me want to start watching Bindi's show myself. :)

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

I want to read this one too Heather. I never really watched the show but I certainly knew who the crocodile hunter was and I have been occasionally known to quote him with a "crikey!"

Sadly missed, I hope to have the opportunity to review this one soon.

bermudaonion said...

I do admire Steve's passion for animals, but I never saw The Crocodile Hunter, so I'm not drawn to the book.

Alyce said...

I'm glad you liked the book so much! It's one that I'm not going to be giving away either. :)

Marg said...

I remember the day that we heard that he had died. At first we thought it was a joke, but then when we realised that it wasn't we were all shocked. Australia went into national mourning in effect, especially when another national treasure was killed a few days later.

Having said all that, I am not really in a hurry to read this book, mainly because I sometimes feel that the Irwin, particularly Bindi, are a bit overexposed here.

Heather J. said...

Sheila - He IS rather quotable, isn't he?!

bermudaonion - I understand that.

Alyce - Thanks for giving me the push I needed to finally pick it up!

Marg - I can't imagine the shock that all of Australia must have felt, but I can definitely imagine the overexposure that Irwin family likely gets. Thanks for chiming in with an Aussie perspective!

Beth F said...

I watched the show once in a while and thought he was trying to do the right thing. I'm not sure I'll pick up the book, mostly because I have so many other books to read first.

Heather J. said...

Beth F- I know the feeling way too well. ;)

Marie said...

I was definitely a fan of Steve's show. This book sounds amazing- thanks for the great review. I'll go look for it soon!

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