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Beastly Menagerie: Sir Pilkington-Smythe's Marvelous Collection Of Strange And Unusual Creatures Hardcover – October 21, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Globe Pequot Press (October 21, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1599219867
  • ISBN-13: 978-1599219868
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 6.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,058,991 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Those with a particular fascination for the oddities of the natural world told in a Python-esque parody of old-fashioned almanacs.

From the Back Cover

A modern-day bestiary of the most incredible animals
the world has ever seen—with 200 full-color illustrations

Our planet is a writhing mass of wondrous life, positively popping at the seams with peculiar creatures. Life has wriggled its way into every conceivable nook and cranny, and nature has belched out organisms into even the most inhospitable environments.

A Beastly Menagerie is a compendium of 100 of these most curious of creatures, from beasts that can fit on a pinhead and survive a saunter into space, to sea creatures just waiting for an excuse to smash a ship to smithereens. And let’s not forget to mention the remarkable Jesus Christ lizard, the bone-eating snot flower, the pink fairy armadillo, and the zombie fly.

This beautifully illustrated collection will delight and bedazzle fans of the amazing animal kingdom in equal measure. Narrated by the affable eccentric Sir Pilkington-Smythe and assisted by his cronies at The Proceedings of the Ever So Strange, each entry is an enlightening and marvelous foray into our world and all its wonders . . . topped off with a soupçon of silliness.


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By GKersh on October 22, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This volume surveys such creatures as the microscopic water bear, which can withstand 1000 times as much radiation as a human; the male hooded seal, which doubles the size of its head by inflating the lining of its nostril; and the Jesus Christ lizard, which runs on water. My fellow danger fans will be happy to know that it also includes some old friends of ours, like the candiru, which swims up the human urethra and "sticks out a spike so it can't come out, even if you ask it really, really nicely, and offer it all sorts of cash incentives." On the tendency of vampire bats to share their meals with each other, Sir P. remarks, "All very well, if indeed the idea of vampires vomiting blood into each other's mouths is all very well."

Pilkington-Smythe is hilarious, but he's also well informed, and if you're not careful, you'll learn a lot from this book. The star-nosed mole gives him occasion to mention the ten (not five) human senses, and the mating habits of the right whale lead to a discussion of sperm competition.

I wish I had the vocabulary to tell you how beautifully designed this book is. It's the most gorgeous volume on nature I've seen since Eyelids of Morning. Highly recommended.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 3, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Sir Pilkington-Smythe's Marvelous Collection of Strange and Unusual Creatures looks like a relic that made it to us through some portal or time machine. The sepia pages are beautifully decorated and filled with fantastic facts on some of the extraordinary creatures (invertebrates, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals) that share this pale blue dot with us: immortal jellyfish, eyelash mites, head-exploding termites, to name just a few. It's as if Darwin himself wrote this almanac, that is, if he had a stupendous sense of humour.
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