- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Plume; Reprint edition (December 30, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0452290082
- ISBN-13: 978-0452290082
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 152 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #128,163 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Banana: The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World Paperback – December 30, 2008
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“Required reading.”—New York Post
“Ambitious in scope… both fascinating and disturbing... I’ll never walk through the produce aisle the same way again… [Banana] is at once a political and economic treatise, a scientific explication, and a cultural history.”—The Boston Globe
“Clear, engaging… admirable… part historical narrative and part pop-science adventure.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“[A] brilliant history.”—Seattle Post-Intelligencer
“A fascinating and surprising history of our most ubiquitous fruit.”—Edward Humes, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Monkey Girl and Mississippi Mad
“The history of oil has nothing on that of the yellow fruit.”—Salon.com
About the Author
Dan Koeppel, a 2011 James Beard Award winner, is a science and nature writer who has written for National Geographic, Outside, Scientific American, Wired, and other national publications. He has discussed bananas on NPR’s Fresh Air and Science Friday.
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Something I didn't know before I read this book: Bananas are not grown from seeds. Cuttings are taken from existing banana plants and nurtured into yet more banana plants from which cuttings will eventually be taken et cetera et cetera et cetera.
The book would have benefited tremendously with the addition of more pictures and maps, plus a list of every known banana type and the odds of anyone getting his or her hands on one. Although the author mentions various banana varieties, he typically does not show you what they look like. Color plates of the top bananas (pun intended) along with their region of origin in the caption would have enabled a further grasp of how different some bananas really are from others. That creamy purple Tahitian one is something I'd like to check out. Sounds tasty. Wish I knew what it looked like.
At the end of the book, there is a short timeline of the banana and the people, countries and companies involved with its business or scientific development.
All in all, very interesting and informative. Left me wanting more. As another reviewer complained, by the end of the book, you're really not sure how much longer the currently consumed (yet endangered) supermarket banana (the Cavendish) has before extinction. Maybe no one really knows.
Worth a look if you've ever been curious about the banana.
Koeppel's book illustrates the value of narrative non-fiction in presenting history and science at street level. As one reader remarked, "I learned more geography and science from this book than I did in high school, though I must say I wasn't the best of students. It proved to me that geography and science can be very interesting if they are put into a form that you understand," or "I picked this up on a lark, having enjoyed another micro history work on cotton. I never imagined I would be so interested in a book on bananas, but just a few pages in and I was hooked. Nice work." Other reviewers had high praise for the book and often were interested in the place in history of the banana and what the future holds.
This is just one more example of the latest trend in contemporary popular science treatises, a trend that we hope continues for a long time.
Most recent customer reviews
Dan Koeppel has written stories in many magazines and for television and movies. He has tried over twenty different bananas in five continents.Read more