Forest of the Pygmies (Alexander Cold Series #3)

Forest of the Pygmies (Alexander Cold Series #3)

by Isabel Allende


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In The Forest of the Pygmies, the final book in Isabel Allende’s page-turning adventure trilogy, young Alexander Cold, his friend Nadia Santos, and his grandmother Kate Cold go on assignment to Africa, where they discover a hidden world of corruption and slavery. Available in trade paperback for the first time, this thrilling coming-of-age novel from Allende, acclaimed author of The Sum of Our Days and The House of the Spirits, is “packed with hair-raising near misses and vivid glimpses of Africa’s landscapes, tribal customs, and wildlife.” (Kirkus Reviews)

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061825101
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 11/03/2009
Series: Alexander Cold Series , #3
Pages: 296
Sales rank: 365,129
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 12 - 15 Years

About the Author

Isabel Allende is the author of twelve works of fiction, including the New York Times bestsellers Maya’s Notebook, Island Beneath the Sea, Inés of My Soul, Daughter of Fortune, and a novel that has become a world-renowned classic, The House of the Spirits. Born in Peru and raised in Chile, she lives in California.


San Rafael, California

Date of Birth:

August 2, 1942

Place of Birth:

Lima, Peru

Read an Excerpt

Forest of the Pygmies

By Isabel Allende


ISBN: 0-06-076196-2

Chapter One

The Market Fortune-teller

At an order from the guide, Michael Mushaha, the elephant caravan came to a stop. The suffocating heat of midday was beginning, when the creatures of the vast nature preserve rested. Life paused for a few hours as the African earth became an inferno of burning lava, and even hyenas and vultures sought the shade. Alexander Cold and Nadia Santos were riding a willful bull elephant named Kobi. The animal had taken a liking to Nadia, because during their time together she had made an effort to learn the basics of the elephant's language in order to communicate with him. During their long treks, she told him about her country, Brazil, a distant land that had no creature as large as he, other than some ancient, legendary beasts hidden deep in the heart of South America's mountains. Kobi appreciated Nadia as much as he detested Alexander, and he never lost an opportunity to demonstrate both sentiments.

Kobi's five tons of muscle and fat shivered to a halt in a small oasis beneath dusty trees kept alive by a pool of water the color of milky tea. Alexander had developed his own style of jumping to the ground from his nine-foot-high perch without mauling himself too badly, since in the five days of their safari he still had not gained the animal's cooperation. He was not aware that this time Kobi had positioned himself in such a way that when Alex jumped down, he landed in a puddle of water up to his knees. Boroba, Nadia's small black monkey, then jumped on top of him. As Alex struggled to pry the monkey off his head, he lost his balance and plopped down on his seat. He cursed to himself, shook off Boroba, and only with difficulty regained his footing because he couldn't see through his glasses, which were dripping filthy water. As he was looking for a clean corner of his T-shirt to wipe the lenses, the elephant thumped him on the back with his trunk, a blow that propelled him face first into the puddle. Kobi waited for Alex to pull himself up, then turned his monumental rear end and unleashed a Pantagruelian blast in his face. The other members of the safari greeted the prank with a chorus of guffaws.

Nadia was in no hurry to get down; she waited for Kobi to help her dismount in a more dignified manner. She stepped upon the knee he offered her, steadied herself on his trunk, and then leaped to the ground with the grace of a ballerina. The elephant was not that considerate with anyone else, not even Mushaha, for whom he had respect but not affection. Kobi was an elephant with clear principles. It was one thing to transport tourists on his back, a job like any other, for which he was rewarded with excellent food and mud baths. It was something entirely different to perform circus tricks for a handful of peanuts. He liked peanuts, he couldn't deny that, but he received much more pleasure from tormenting people like Alexander. Why did the American get under his skin? The animal wasn't sure, it was a matter of chemistry. He didn't like the fact that Alex was always hanging around Nadia. There were thirteen elephants in the caravan, but he had to ride with the girl. It was very inconsiderate of Alex to get between Nadia and him that way. Didn't he realize that they needed privacy for their conversations? A good whack with the trunk and occasionally breaking wind in Alex's face were just what that young man deserved. Kobi trumpeted loudly once Nadia was down and had thanked him by planting a big kiss on his trunk. The girl had good manners; she would never humiliate him by offering him peanuts.

"That elephant is infatuated with Nadia," joked Alexander's grandmother, Kate Cold.

Boroba didn't like the turn Kobi's relationship with his mistress had taken. He had observed them with some worry. Nadia's interest in learning the language of the pachyderms could have dangerous consequences for him. She couldn't be thinking of getting a different pet, could she? Perhaps the moment had come for him to feign some illness in order to gain his mistress's total attention, but he was afraid she would leave him in camp and he would miss the wonderful outings around the preserve. This was his only chance to see the wild animals and, in addition, he wanted to keep a close eye on his rival. He installed himself on Nadia's shoulder, claiming that position as his right, and from there shook his fist at the elephant.

"And this silly monkey is jealous," Kate added.

She was used to Boroba's shift of moods, because she had lived under the same roof with him for nearly two years. It was like having a freakish, furry little man in her apartment. And it had been that way from the beginning, because Nadia had agreed to come to New York to study and live with Kate only if she could bring Boroba. They were never apart. They were so inseparable that they had obtained special permission for the monkey to go to school with her. Boroba was the only monkey in the history of the city's education system to attend classes regularly. It wouldn't have surprised Kate to learn that the creature knew how to read. She had nightmares in which Boroba, sitting on the sofa wearing glasses and sipping a glass of brandy, was reading the financial section of the Times.

Kate had observed the strange trio formed of Alexander, Nadia, and Boroba for some time. The monkey, who was jealous of anyone who came too near his mistress, had at first accepted Alexander as an inevitable evil, but with time had become fond of the young man. Perhaps he realized that in this instance it was not a good idea for him to offer Nadia the ultimatum of "it's him or me," as he usually did. Who knows which of the two she would have chosen? Kate realized that both young people had changed a lot during the past year. Nadia would soon be fifteen and her grandson eighteen; they already had the physical appearance and seriousness of adults.


Excerpted from Forest of the Pygmies by Isabel Allende Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Forest of the Pygmies 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Kingdom of the Golden Dragon seriously made me want to become a Buddhist monk!!!!! a total must read
Guest More than 1 year ago
After waiting in anticipation to read the final installment of Isabel Allende's Alexander Cold series, I was quite disappointed. Other than it being predictable, the ending was not at all what I expected it to be, it just ended, the final sentence of the trilogy upset me most of all. Of the three books, I highly recommend 'City of the Beasts.'
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved Allende's first two books in this series. I wanted to buy it the instant I saw it, but I was broke. Please, just read them.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Isabel Allende's first two novels in the Alexander Cold series are AMAZING reads, and they're translations! I was very intrigued by her first two novels and had a LOT of fun reading them (City of the Beasts and Kingdom of the Golden Dragon are their names). I can't wait to read this new book! It's released tomorrow and I can't WAIT to read it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
In my experience of reading isabel allendes city of the beasts and kingdom of the golden dragon, they are like disney movies, in the sense that theya re for children but much of the plot and darker or complex parts of the story are for adults and teens to enjoy. I hope that the third installment is justa thrilling as the first.
thioviolight on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another exciting adventure in the Allende's trilogy! It's a fun read, although I felt it would have been better if it had been a bit longer. This is the last book, and I'm sad to say goodbye to Alexander and Nadia.
wiremonkey on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Allende takes us into the heart of Africa in this last installment of her young adult series. Kate Cold, intrepid sestagenarian journalist for international geographic is accompanied once again by her grandson Alex and his young friend Nadia. This journey takes them into the heart of Africa, where the travellers are confronte with a village under the cruel thumb of a mercenary. Alex and Nadia use their strength and courage to unmask the villains and return harmony the area. Although the first book balanced adventure with an exploration of the spiritual lives of the amazon, the last two fell short on both sides. Although the story rolled along quite nicely, I found it a little trying to read about how Alex and Nadia were able to conquer the day simply on the strength of their awakened spirituality.
IsaacW on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Though this wasn't the best book in the series it was still pretty good. But like the first book it still took a little time to really get in to it. It is like the other books where Alexander and Nadia are travelling together but this time they go to Africa to search for the Forest of the Pygmies. This is a great ending book to the series.I hope that Isabel Allende will write some more teen books!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I finished kingdom of the golden dragon a little bit ago and no libraries have it! So please answer to frankie. Icant wait to read it!
Ladoctoramaria More than 1 year ago
I read Allende's juvenile series first in Spanish and enjoyed it very much. I sent my 16 year old grandson the first book in English The City of the Beasts and when he said he liked it I got the other two The Forest of the Pygmies and the Kingdom of the Golden Dragon. These are very simple books to read for a teenager who reads well and a lot; but the ideas in the books are entertaining and exciting.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Forest of the pygmies has a very interesting cover with a touch of African culture.the story opens up by introduing the characters,with main character nadia Santos and Alexander cold. you enter the book when the characters are on a safari.I thought this book was alright. I do like all of the Isabel Allende's books (that I have read).This book is hard to follow for me it go's from one thing to another slow but the transition to one one chapter to another you have to find out whare you were.all in all I would recommend this book to sires lover.
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Mountain_River More than 1 year ago
This book, and series as a whole, is amazingly written, and has an enthralling plot. The characters are deep,independent,and humorous, with traits that can be compared with people i know in real life. Overall, this is a great book for sharing with your friends and rereading on cold nights.
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