Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
The Search for the Giant Squid: The Biology and Mythology of the World's Most Elusive Sea Creature Paperback – October 1, 1999
Top 20 lists in Books
View the top 20 best sellers of all time, the most reviewed books of all time and some of our editors' favorite picks. Learn more
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
However, the subject matter and transparent excitement of the author win out. You know Ellis admires this beast, he shows it, but it does not detract from the science. Very worthwhile.
Ellis' book is amazing - not too heavy with biology or science in general. He focuses on the history of human encounters with "sea monsters," which he attributes to rogue giant squid, as well as with dead or dying specimens of the Architeuthis itself. As a work of history, this book is fantastic.
Ellis' synthesis of what is actually known about the Giant Squid is also excellent. He presents the multiple theories about the animal's behavior, locomotion, feeding habits, and reproduction. He also dispels many of the rumors about the squid, including those concerning its true maximum size (although his final anecdote leaves the question excitingly unanswered).
I recommend this book for anyone interested in scientific history in general, and that concerning the beasts of the ocean in particular.
If you found this book enjoyable, I'd strongly recommend "Monsters of the Sea" (for the raise-the-hairs-on-your-arm mystery it calls up) and either the Encyclopedia of the Sea or Deep Atlantic (because those will show you Ellis's impressive illustrations).
Ellis really needs a more active editor or something. Another of these reviews was right -- he often includes short repeated passages, at times within a page of two of one another. He has a clean, accessible tone as a writer, and his drawings are distinctive and eye catching, really engaging as science illustrations go. Someone should be helping him to establish a little more continuity in his text, and shaping each book so it'll lay out gracefully around his wonderful pictures. Instead Giant Squid includes only a few drawings by Ellis himself, all repeats from other books I think, and for some reason nobody's told him to put the tiresome (and weirdly overstated) footnotes ironically bashing Jules Verne to rest. (The footnotes are all repeats, too...)
Short version: I'd probably recommend Monsters of the Sea, Deep Atlantic, or the Encyclopedia of the Sea first. You can come around to this later if you've got Architeuthis fever.
One of the most surprising things for this reader about Richard Ellis' book is the discovery that what I thought might be an epic battle between two behemoths is almost certainly a very one-sided affair, with the sperm whale winning nearly every time. The giant squid is a large enough beast that it can prey on many fair-sized species of shark and probably has no other natural foes, but the sperm whale appears well-adapted to counter its size and strength. I say "appears," because no one is really sure what to make of the battles between whale and squid - they have almost never been seen. Nearly everything about them has to be inferred from dead whales or dead squids.
Even more surprising, given the level of interest in the beast, is how little is known about the giant squid at all. Not until after the publication of this book was a healthy giant squid even observed in its natural habitat.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Written in such a way as to keep the attention of an older child; devoured by my twelve-year-old in two days. Read morePublished on October 25, 2013 by Valvool
An amazing read. A journey through history, science, mythology and more. The story fascinated me from page one. Read morePublished on April 14, 2013 by vulture12
I have been intrigued for many years by the giant squid. (I love calamari and I make a marinated squid dish that is truly terrific. Read morePublished on June 29, 2010 by katieray
All the information about the gigant squid is very interesting. It's a nice selection of facts, clear, easy to read and to understand.Published on May 2, 2010 by Tiffany Sosa
After a couple reads of this, self-proclaiming yourself a Teuthologist (fancy scientific name for 'squid investigator') becomes a reality. Read morePublished on July 24, 2009 by double smite
I've given "Giant Squid" a three star rating because it deals with a subject I am interested in. On the other hand, I expected more from it. There is little new here. Read morePublished on October 11, 2008 by Ron Braithwaite
With one exception, it mentions everything that I would.
The exception? The book is ATROCIOUSLY organized. Read more
I'm sure Richard Ellis is a fine fellow. But I just can't understand how _anyone_ gave this book a positive review, and I'm 2/3 through it. Read morePublished on May 30, 2007 by Sanjay Krishnaswamy
This was a pretty good book, but I would have given it 3 and a half stars if that option existed. The biggest problem with the book is that it needed an editor to come through and... Read morePublished on November 13, 2006 by Joshua C. Williams