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His research on the lions of Gir forest in India, on the crocodiles of Northern Australia, on the bears of the Carpathian Mountains in Romania, and on the Siberian tigers of Far East Russia finds animals held in constant tension, encircled by every-expanding human populations. But Quammen doesn't oversimplify the conflicts. Often, in fact, Quammen has so much to say about competing interests that he makes several false starts before finding his true theme. Recalling his reading in the l970s literature on crocodiles in Africa, for example, Quammen abruptly jumps to a failed farming and reintroduction project begun in India before finally settling into the investigation of Northern Australia's Crocodylus Park.
These changes in geography, time, and perspective can be disorienting in a book that is already complicated by its several competing approaches. Adding to the abundance, Quammen explores human population growth projections, images of the Leviathan in the Bible, keystone species theory, the Muskrat hypothesis (the idea that the "wastage parts" of an animal species are the ones most likely to suffer predation), and the 1994 discovery of the Chauvet cave paintings. Yet Quammen, author of The Soing of the Dodo moves with such ease through this wilderness of ideas that even the most difficult material becomes palatable. --Patrick OKelley
My first Quammen book and now I'm hungry for more. He digs deep into history, myth, folklore, and gets into his own field work to produce this masterwork.Published 2 months ago by Greg
David Quammen is a fantastic nature writer. Here he discusses man's relationship with alpha predators, particularly those that are known to eat humans. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Matthew Reid
This is a prime example of an invidious and mendacious genre-- tabloid ecology. The author jets around to exotic locales and writes cleverly about the gory details of human... Read morePublished 4 months ago by A Customer
I recently reread this book, and had forgotten how good it is. Note the title reads "In the Jungles of History and the Mind. Read morePublished 8 months ago by lyndonbrecht
Excellent book. As always Quammen delivers with fluid prose, engaging anecdotes, and thought provoking analysis. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Kindle Customer
David Quammen is an exceptionally good writer; however, this book is very slow in places and boring to read. Much of the book reads like a research paper which in a way it is. Read morePublished on November 14, 2013 by Patrick S.
This book discusses all predators, great and small, their place in their local ecology, their places in the myths and memories of people from the ancient to modern, etc. Read morePublished on September 9, 2012 by Vincent J.