on January 5, 2005
Vermeij is a man who, although blind, sees the pattern and meaning behind objects in the natural world with insight that is truly transformative. Although this book is about shells, and only shells, it relates them to evolution and geography in a way that takes the read way beyond its nomitive subject matter to something that should widen the mind of any curious reader.
on May 23, 2012
This book represents a splendid 'celebration of shells' written by a man with an ardent passion to shell-bearing animals of the Ocean. It is so unique that I recommend it even to professional malacologists (though the book is intended to much wider auditorium and it is not a scientific monograph). "A natural history of shells" is a concise and full of interesting considerations introductiob to study of molluscan shells as one of the most attractive examples of Nature's beauty. The author deals with many aspects of shells ranging from the geometry of their structure to ecology of molluscs (soft-bodies animals) that live within them. So, it is a true "natural history" in the exact meaning of this term as it was understood in the epoch of Linnaeus, Buffon, Cuvier, Darwin and other great naturalists of the past.
on March 22, 2010
Very good book, It came highly recommended and was special in so far as it was not a species identification book. The Author, the Perspective, and the Scope of the book are all extraordinary.