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The Book of Deadly Animals Paperback – January 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
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
Not that this deters from the entertainment value of the book. Quite the contrary. It is this encyclopedic wealth of information that really drives home Grice's writing. He systematically covers dozens of species ranging from tapeworms to elephants. For each one, he methodically explains what the species is, exactly how it is dangerous, and then proceeds to list numerous instances in which it has been proven to be dangerous. By the time you reach the end of the book, you may be hesitant in stepping outside the safety of your home. Not that your home is by any means safe, you will learn.
A friendly suggestion to all you campers out there. Forget ghost stories by the campfire. Instead, pack a copy of this bad boy in with your gear, and when the time is right read aloud a chapter or two covering species indigenous to the area. You may not sleep a wink.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Satisfactory in whetting my appetite for more material in the same subject. He covered a lot of ground in this book and not so much detail.Published 13 months ago by William R. Jones
This book is not a novel and really has no flow to it, but instead is broken up into sections about different kinds of animals ranging from sharks to insects to wild cats. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Alex Madden
You have no idea how many times this book will come up in conversation. There are so many examples of how NOT to interact with animals that you just have to share them. Read morePublished on August 22, 2013 by Harold L. Jennings Jr.
It was almost impossible to put down once I opened it.
For a fairly short book, its quite full of grusome tales of animal mayhem inflicted upon humans. Read more