Fruit: Edible, Inedible, Incredible
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Fruit: Edible, Inedible, Incredible [Hardcover]

Wolfgang Stuppy , Rob Kesseler
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Editorial Reviews


This work makes a great source and reference for artists, designers and gardeners. (Making Scents 2009-10-00)

This lusciously-illustrated volume...fruitfully combines full-page and other photographs of such exotic fruits as Buddha's hand, cashew apple, and Japanese wineberry with scientific names and explanations of the complexities of their classification, evolution, growth and reproductive habits. (SciTech Book News 2009-12-00)

Fruit is an amazing book. Suitable as a coffee table book, it is full of vibrant photographs and informative explanations on the nature of fruit. I simply love this book. I believe that Fruit: Edible, Inedible, Incredible by Wolfgang Stuppy & Rob Kesseler is now one of my favorite nonficfion books of all time. The highlight of this fascinating book [is] the photographs. Rob Kesseler used special lighting and scanning electronic microscopy to create the magic that populates the pages... I couldn't put the book down -- I was fascinated by the vibrant images... I would give Fruit: Edible, Inedible, Incredible 10+ star if possible. The pictures are captivating and the text enlightening. This is now the prize book in my gardening collection. It should be in yours, too. ( Books Review: Trees and Shrubs 2008-10-00)

"Fruit" is clearly an art book. The images are arresting and the stories fascinating. (Joel M. Lerner Finger Lakes Times 2008-12-21)

Fruit: Edible, Inedible, Incredible is pure poetry. (Garden Design 2009-02-00)

The work is arresting, distinctive, familiar, yet it covers entirely new ground... Fruit is little short of astonishing. If the book never gets further than your coffee table, it's still likely to blow the stuffing out of anything else laid near it... Reading all of Fruit is like a fantastic mini education. Don't feel like reading? Just look at the pictures. They'll take you away. (David Middleton January Magazine 2008-12-21)

Bearer of seeds, fruits have an amazing variety of forms that are displayed in high definition images in this exquisite picture book. The striking graphic design of this publication is artwork of the highest quality; images appear to leap out from its shiny black pages... The highly informative narrative...examines the nature of fruits, their purpose, and an extensive collection of many distinctive structures that serve as a means for seed dispersal and ultimately plant survival. A helpful glossary assists the reader in understanding the particular vocabulary of this scientific discipline. (National Garden Clubs, The National Gardener 2008-12-00)

Rob Kesseler's digital photographs are extraordinary. Every hair, scale and targeted structure is crystal clear... Simply as art, the book could stand alone. But the reader is in luck. Those marvelous photographs accompany a fascinating text. (Chris Smith Seattle Post-Intelligencer 2008-11-27)

A mammoth undertaking...pictorially magnificent. (Judy Creighton The Daily News (Kamloops) 2009-01-10)

Stuppy divulges the copulating secrets of numerous fruits in a humourous, explicit fashion. (Joel Bentley GardenWise 2009-03-00)

Amazing images... Up close, many are unrecognizable, appearing to be futuristic landscapes or startlingly human-like sexual organs. Stuppy's thoroughly scientific examination of what makes a fruit a fruit is peppered with amusing observations. (Wendy Thomson GardenWise 2009-03-00)

A fascinating look at a subject that has baffled botanists for years...The book is pictorially magnificent...Tiny interior structures of plants and seeds are blown up to fill the oversized pages, creating images that are sometimes surreal yet breathtakingly beautiful. (Canadian Press 2009-01-08)

A swanky coffee table tome, packed with truly amazing photos....Kessler's pictures reveal just how precious--and extraordinary--our planet is. (Sonia Day The Toronto Sun 2008-12-13)

Fruit is clearly an art book. The images are arresting and the stories fascinating. (Joel M. Lerner The Washington Post 2008-12-13)

Fruit is just as visually luscious and insightful into the juicy secrets of some of our world's most delicious fruits. (Linda Stilkowski Winnipeg Free Press 2008-12-07)

Beautiful.... By examining fruit at this [microscopic] level users can gain a better understanding of plant reproduction and how it thrives in the natural world. (Mary Ellen Snodgrass American Reference Book Annual)

A remarkable collaboration of nature, art and photography, celebrating the beauty of fruit... Fruit is groundbreaking in its intimate examination of plant reproduction. An essential source and reference for artists, designers and gardeners, this stunning book will fascinate any reader interested in the natural world and biological structures. (I Can 2008-01-00)

I recently had the pleasure of spending many long winter hours paging through this book. Randomly opening the book, I would be caught by one of Kessler's striking images, and settle in to read, quickly losing myself in Stuppy's writing... This wonderful, oversized book is the perfect gift for a botanist who appreciates artistic images of plants, or the photographer with a keen botanical enthusiasm. At first glance, it appears to be a typical coffee table photography book; on closer inspection, a botanist finds a compelling text with a refreshing degree of scientific rigor. The authors have intentionally used botanical terms, Latin names, and included taxonomic information that will please botanists who look for beautiful books with technical information... The images are beautiful, and illustrate the minutia that we rarely see with a hand lens or microscope.... Stuppy's text is engaging, and covers most everything you would want to know about fruits, from biology to natural history. (Kurt A. Reynertson, Weill Medical College of Corne Economic Botany, Vol. 64 2011-05-01)

About the Author

Wolfgang Stuppy is the seed morphologist for the Millennium Seed Bank Project at London's Royal Botanic Gardens.

Rob Kesseler is a visual arts professor and artist whose work has been shown in museums and galleries in the United Kingdom and Europe.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.


Professor Stephen D. Hopper FLS
Director, The Royal Botanic Gardens

Like most people, I must confess at the outset to being an incorrigible frugivore. I have enjoyed consuming fruit since my earliest memories, and do so to this day. It is an honour, consequently, to have been invited by the authors of this book to write a few words about their collaborative and brilliant merger of the science and art of fruit. This is the third such book in an award-winning series celebrating the diversity of plant reproductive structures. Its predecessors were Pollen - The Hidden Sexuality of Flowers, Rob Kessler and Madeline Harley, published in 2004, and Seeds - Time Capsules of Life by the present team, published in 2006. I cannot think of a more fitting contribution to the series.

Apart from their obvious nutritional value, fruits offer an enthralling assemblage of insights, inspiration and wonderment. Rob Kessler's imaginative images have captured such pleasures and made them available to a general readership. Complementarity is assured through Wolfgang Stuppy's lively text -- authoritative but accessible. A powerful combination indeed.

We are told that there are more than 150 different technical fruit names coined by botanists over the past two centuries. This is heady stuff. Yet the book takes the reader along a path that unlocks the riches behind such dry nomenclature. I for one enjoyed reading every word, and learnt much more about fruits than I already knew. As the stories of evolution, biology and the use of fruits unfold, the book becomes a compelling read. There is a fertile field here from many points of view. I'm sure that no reader will regard a humble fruit in quite the same way once they have savoured what's in store herein.

This celebration of the beauty and intrinsic interest of fruits contains a significant and deeper message. Fruits are the containers of seeds, of new life on which all animals, including ourselves, are intimately dependent. Without fruits and their dispersal of seeds to safe sites, extinction, the death of birth, is inevitable. We cannot afford to let this happen, if for no other reason than self interest and our very survival. In a time when we travel down unprecedented pathways of climate change, caring for plants, the primary consumers of carbon, was never more important nor urgent. We must stop destroying plant life, and turn to ways that focus on nurturing and supporting green photosynthesizing organisms. We can only do so if plants continue to bear fruit, in all their amazing diversity. This book hopefully will encourage many to go beyond the aesthetic pleasure it so bountifully offers to helping plants and people survive into the future.

The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is proud to play its part in inspiring and delivering science-based plant conservation worldwide, enhancing the quality of life. Kew's Millennium Seed Bank, in particular, has engaged a hundred partner institutions in more than fifty countries in helping save plant life. Together, we all can contribute to such a pressing and important cause. It is a real pleasure to say that Kew remains a staunch partner in this publishing venture.

I congratulate the authors, publisher and all involved in this fine production.

Viva fruits -- edible, inedible, incredible!

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