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Lobster (Reaktion Books - Animal) Paperback – May 15, 2011


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Lobster (Reaktion Books - Animal) + The Devil's Cormorant: A Natural History
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Product Details

  • Series: Reaktion Books - Animal
  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Reaktion Books (May 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1861897952
  • ISBN-13: 978-1861897954
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.6 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,234,600 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"[An] elegant little history . . . King's witty and erudite portrait, illustrated with a wealth of images that demonstrate his passionate knowledge of his subject, may leave us feeling that the lobster deserves to be treated with more dignity. But provided our dinner has been traditionally caught, rapidly delivered and responsibly prepared, this book should only enhance our enjoyment." - New York Times

"In Lobster, Richard King, a self-proclaimed "lobsterologist" (a word he invented, I think - I love it), offers a more personal excursion into the subject . . . Mr. King also introduces a great deal of cultural history, touching on a broad range of topics related to lobsters, including the lives of fishermen, lobster-fishing techniques, and the role of lobsters in art . . . skillfully written." 
- Jasper White, Wall Street Journal

"I can't say I was that interested in lobsters before reading this book. But I am now." - The Scotsman

"Sit back and savor this book of lobsteriana with a glass of zinfandel and a shore dinner. Just be careful not to drip any butter on the pages - others in the family will want to read it, too." - Natural History

"Engaging and very well written." - The Age, Melbourne

"Lobster takes its readers on a thoroughly researched, engagingly written tour of the anatomy of both the creature and our imaginings of it." - Sierra Magazine

"The lobsterman with 40 years of hauling under his belt, the marine biologists with a career of research behind them, and the lobster-loving diner who enjoys a well placed arcane anecdote at a dinner table with friends and family, will all likely find something they didn't know about lobster." - Fisherman's Voice

About the Author

Richard J. King is a lecturer in literature of the sea at the Maritime Studies Program of Williams College and Mystic Seaport in Connecticut. He has written widely on maritime culture and literature.

Customer Reviews

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He has created more of a work of literature here.
wednesday
King easily weaves the natural history, biology and pop culture of the lobster with his own experience in this engaging read.
LRBell
It was such an enjoyable quick read that I ended up getting three more to give as gifts.
Edithead

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By wednesday on June 1, 2011
Format: Paperback
As a former scientist, I was involved in an ongoing debate with a friend who teaches literature. We debated the value of literature compared to science. To me the science part was obvious - its how we understand our world, how we improve it, how we define our place in it. All very practical. But what really is the "value" of literature? Aside from an entertaining story, what do Tom Sawyer, Gone with the Wind, or Moby Dick really have to offer us? His answer: a reflection of our own life. That would always shut me down because this is so right!

My assumption when I bought Richard J. King's Lobster was that this would be a work of science - enlightening me on the form and functions of the lobster - which it absolutely is. My background is in marine biology and I found plenty here that I had never known about the lobster - from their migratory patterns to the structure of their eye, to the many other species of lobsters worldwide. Living in New England, its easy to assume that the Homarus americanus you get at the Red Lobster is the only type of lobster out there.

But King does so much more than just give us the (admittedly very interesting) science of the lobster. He has created more of a work of literature here. He holds us in suspense as he intermingles antecdotes about lobster biology while we await the dissection of a live lobster. He expands our idea of "lobster as food" with tales of 8ft "leviathan lobsters" from the 1st century, accounts of the lobster in art, cultural festivals, even contemporary cinema.

As a father I found myself looking forward to sharing a first lobster with my kids. After reading King's book, I am inspired to not only revel in the flavor of this delicacy, but to share with them all my new found fascinating facts about these creepy crustaceans. King's lobster not only entertained, but it left me inspired and reflective. What else can you ask for from a great work of literature...or science!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Edithead on June 1, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book. It is really well written; informative without being too academic. I enjoyed the author's voice and experiences as much as the information, and the images are nicely printed and laid out. It was such an enjoyable quick read that I ended up getting three more to give as gifts.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Red on June 4, 2011
Format: Paperback
I loved the interdisciplinary approach to this book. It is very intelligent and well-written while at the same time being very accessible. King's depiction of the lobster in multiple genres is fascinating! Truly fun and engaging.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By LRBell on June 1, 2011
Format: Paperback
Five pages into this book and I was hooked (or should I say trapped?) King easily weaves the natural history, biology and pop culture of the lobster with his own experience in this engaging read. I particularly enjoyed the variety of photos and illustrations, and the depiction of the lobster in popular movies. Who knew these "bugs" could be so interesting?
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
To be honest, I don't actually care about lobsters...but I am glad someone does.
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More About the Author

Richard J. King teaches Literature of the Sea with The Williams College-Mystic Seaport Maritime Studies Program. He is the author of Lobster (2011) and The Devil's Cormorant: A Natural History (2013). He is the editor of the "Searchable Sea Literature" website and Series Editor for a new selection of American sea literature for University Press of New England. In addition, Rich has published widely on maritime topics in scholarly and popular magazines such as Natural History, Cruising World, Ocean Navigator, Hemingway Review, Island Journal, and Scottish Literary Review. He writes and illustrates a regular column on animals in maritime history for the kids' section of Sea History magazine. For over fifteen years, Rich has been teaching and crewing on tall ships, having sailed throughout the Pacific and the North Atlantic. He has worked as a commercial lobsterman and at a retail fishmarket. (photo: Anna Sawin)

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