The expedition to Burma was a scientific and politcal breakthrough. Burma is one of the last remote places where scientific surveys have not been systematically conducted. This is due mainly to the despotic government as well as the ruggedness of the terrain with the attendant difficulties of exploring. Joe's expedition included scientists researching birds, reptiles, insects and plants, in addition to the snakes. Several new species were discovered. Joe stuck his hand into a collection bag and was bitten by a krait, the most venomous snake in Asia. The story of how the expedition members attempted to keep Joe alive is detailed, along with the fact that Joe knew exactly what would happen to him and discussed his death and the stages of his reactions in detail with his campmates. A krait bite is not an instanteous death; Joe lived for over a day after the bite.
The book is arranged in chapters, and each chapter starts with a description of a different snake. Along with Joe's story, there were lots of facts about snakes and reptiles. For example, I learned that all snakes are venomous in some degree. Another interesting note was that there is a worldwide decrease in the number of frogs and other amphibians. The information about Burma and the inside look at how research expeditions are mounted and how they work was also interesting. This book is recommended for those interested in nature and those whose work includes categorizing the world around us.