The Book of Deadly Animals Paperback – Jan 31 2012
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“Did he say repugnatorial gland? What a wealth of information Gordon Grice is, and what a fine, beguiling writer. This book is a must for anyone even remotely thinking of getting a monkey, a sea lion, or, heaven forbid, a dog.” — David Sedaris
“When it comes to the most deadly animals on the planet it is best to be prepared! Forewarned is forearmed!” — Bear Grylls, host of Man vs. Wild
“I read with my dog in my lap and my heart in my throat. It’s a wonderful, slightly terrifying, utterly captivating encounter with the animal world—not quite like anything I’ve ever read before.” — Elizabeth Gilbert
“A fresh, strange, and wonderful new voice in American nature writing.” — Michael Pollan
“Gordon Grice writes about animals with a wit that relies on tone of voice, his ironically exact diction and an instinct for analogy … he has a scholar’s precision and a fourth-grader’s enthusiasm.” — Michael Sims, The Washington Post
“To weave the facts so artistically together as Mr. Grice has done takes considerable talent and a keenly felt interest.” — Meredith Greene, San Francisco Book Review
“Grice tempers his book with grim humor, a genuine enthusiasm for the subject, and fascinating trivia (Herman Melville’s Moby Dick was based on an actual whale named Mocha Dick that terrorized the South Pacific). A gifted writer, Grice’s relentlessly detailed descriptions of the effects of spider and snake bites, as well as the outcome of tangling with pencil catfish or alligators, may make this rough going for the easily squeamish, but those with a fascination for wildlife will find this an informative and dramatic study.” — Publishers Weekly
“Taps nicely into our enduring, awed fascination with nature’s predators and the popularity of TV shows such as The Crocodile Hunter. . . . Grice has been dubbed ‘the Stephen King of nature writers.'” — The Bookseller
About the Author
Gordon Grice has written for The New Yorker, Harper's Magazine, Discover, and Granta. His first book, The Red Hourglass: Lives of the Predators, won a Whiting Writers' Award and was named one of the Best Books of the Year by the Los Angeles Times and the New York Public Library. He lives in Wisconsin.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Many of Mr. Grice's stories of deadly animals getting the better of people sure tested my faith in the intelligence of mankind. There's no way around it, some of the victims were laughably stupid. The author has a wonderful, playful ability to explain dangerous wildlife in layman's terms. He covers all the bases. Land, air, water, you name it, there's something out there to do you in. Mr. Grice explains the habits of canines, cats, bears, hyenas (darned right scary fellahs), sharks, fish, whales, numerous other denizens of the deep, snakes, crocodiles, lizards, birds, monkeys, apes, chimps, bats, rodents, elephants, farm animals, and the one section that had me squirming through the entire seventy pages pertained to spiders, boatloads of different insects and worms. It's obvious the guy loves observing animals and knows his stuff. "The Book of Deadly Animals" is a highly informative, entertaining and amusing read. The only problem I have with the thing is that after reading the book I may never leave my house again. I want my mommy.
To sum it all up: well written, well researched, and very entertaining. Thank you.
As a wildife biologist, I appreciated the biologically and factually thorough, humorous, well paced chronicle of a variety of deadly creatures- keeping in mind even the tiny insect that, though less feared, actually cause more deaths than tiger, lion, or bear. I also enjoyed the authors insights into human's "take" on different wildlife and how this influences our behavior. For example, we tend to think that wild animals are, by nature, afraid of people. Not so with reptiles like crocodilians. We are on the menu as much as any other creature. As pet owners, we give canids a "pass" in some cases, because we consider them members of our family, and thus a nip is misbehavior and not aggression. But spiders are feared even when not venomous. The parasitic worm section was especially gross- I mean illuminating.
A worthwhile read and offers some unique insight that got me thinking about our place as "alphas" in this world of claw and fang, where insects are actually king. Nicely done and the author shows a real fascination with his subject which comes through in the writing.
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