From Library Journal
Many notable writers have articulated sentiments about killing in first-person essays or via characters in their stories. This diverse collection of short pieces and excerpts from longer works covers a wide range of attitudes, but they're mostly restricted to ethical shadings pertaining to hunting game or fishing, two of the so-called blood sports. Although it purports to represent both sides of the ethical argument on taking animal life, there's nothing even close to an animal rights point of view here. Rather, there are discourses about the practical, pleasurable, ecological, and ethical considerations of killing for food or, in fishing, whether fish should be caught and released to provide thrills for other anglers. Over a dozen pieces by contemporary writers, including Le Anne Schreiber, Jim Harrison, and editor/novelist Jones (Blood Sport, LJ 5/15/97) are juxtaposed with snippets by literary icons such as Tolstoy, Remarque, and Hemingway. Most favor or are ambivalent about killing animals for food or to solve a pest problem. Recreational slaughter, however, is roundly denounced. Recommended for public and large academic libraries. Will Hepfer, SUNY at Buffalo Libs.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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From the Back Cover
Hunting is an exceedingly complicated subject, with outspoken voices on both sides claiming equal righteousness. However, there is a huge range between the extremes-in which thoughtful discourse on the issue becomes an examination of what it means to be alive, as well as the ethics of taking an animal's life. When the voices are those of writers and philosophers both past and present-some who hunt and some who don't-the debate becomes enormously satisfying and far more subtle.
In On Killing, commissioned essays by Dan O'Brien, Pam Houston, Robert F. Jones, Louis Owens, Dan Gerber, John Jerome, Mary Clearman Blew, Le Anne Schreiber, and others are juxtaposed with classic excerpts from Leo Tolstoy's snipe hunting scene in Anna Karenina, Ernest Hemingway's fictional debate on killing animals versus killing men in For Whom the Bell Tolls, and Erich Maria Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front. Also included are works by Jim Harrison, Isak Dinesen, Jim Corbett, Aldo Leopold, John James Audubon, Roderick Haig-Brown, Beryl Markham, and more.
Reflecting the broadest spectrum of ideals, On Killing is a book not to be missed.