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The Bedside Book of Beasts: A Wildlife Miscellany Hardcover – Deckle Edge, November 3, 2009
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In a wonderfully diverse selection of writings and gorgeous illustrations, this stunning companion to The Bedside Book of Birds explores the relationship between predators and their prey.
The intricate, complex connection between the hunter and the hunted has defined animal life on earth throughout time. In The Bedside Book of Beasts, Graeme Gibson gathers breathtaking works of art and literature that capture the power, grace, and inventiveness of both predators and their natural prey.
The Bedside Book of Beasts presents myths, fables, poetry, and excerpts from nature and travel writing, journals, sacred texts, and works of fiction. Within these pages we encounter big cats, bears, wolves, and the small but voracious praying mantis, as well as works that bring to life the experience of more vulnerable prey. Portraits of such legendary evil beasts as the Minotaur, Grendel, and the biblical Leviathan add to the depth and breadth of the collection. An impressive array of art, both traditional and contemporary, as well as scientific, religious, and mythological drawings, paintings, and woodcuts make this volume an utterly unique gift for the holidays or any occasion.
A fascinating exploration of the chain of life, of survival and mortality, The Bedside Book of Beasts evokes a profound sense of the eternal connection between humans and the creatures they endeavor to tame.
Look Inside The Bedside Book of Beasts
Praise for Graeme Gibson's The Bedside Book of Birds
“[Gibson]'s book is a stunner. The wealth of imagery and the range of intelligence are grand, the kinds of relationships with birds he sets out nearly bewildering…. It's what I'll take to bed tonight to incite my dreams.” —Barry Lopez
"Gibson's own graceful and erudite essays tell of the pleasure, fear, confusion, or hope that birds inspire, and their imperiled place in nature." —O, The Oprah Magazine
“Intriguing, beautifully illustrated.” —Publishers Weekly
“This is a book to dip into during those spare minutes, and the reader will be well rewarded by these glimpses into avian-human relations.” —Booklist
"The most compulsively readable of a clutch of bird-themed books out this autumn. Taking in everything from classic nature-writing to poetry via folklore and Mayan creation myths, The Bedside Book Of Birds is by no means for 'twitchers' only." —Daily Mail
"The perfect book for armchair ornithologists with an eye for words as well as feathers." —The Daily Telegraph
"A wonderful collection of poetry and prose, folk tales and myths, which pay tribute to our feathered friend. . . . A perfect Christmas present, even for non-anoraks." —Mail on Sunday
"The beauty of the writing and the illustrations contained in The Bedside Book of Birds is matched by the beauty of the physical book itself. Great pains have been taken by the author and the publisher to make this book a work of art, and they have succeeded marvelously." —The Globe and Mail
"An astoundingly beautiful book . . . featur[ing] some of the most sublime writings to be found on the subject." —The Globe and Mail
“A superb gift, a compulsive must-have, for the bird-lover, the storyteller, and the anthropologist in the family. As a collection it is exemplary of how fascination can re-order the world. Readers will be thinking feathered thoughts for days and they will be happier.” —The Calgary Herald
“A beautiful volume, sumptiously illustrated.” —The Vancouver Sun
"Gibson's preambles are as satisfying as the texts and accompanying illustrations." —Library Journal
You may have noticed that some of our books are identified as "deckle edge" in the title. Deckle edge books are bound with pages that are made to resemble handmade paper by applying a frayed texture to the edges. Deckle edge is an ornamental feature designed to set certain titles apart from books with machine-cut pages. See a larger image.
Top customer reviews
Exquisite, full-color reproductions of beast-themed drawings, paintings, and woodcuts, ranging from ancient to modern illustrate each entry, making this book more of an experience than just an interesting read.
It is important to note that those not particularly fond of or interested in animals might not see the appeal in this book, and it contains mature and complex language which may deter children. Otherwise, these stories will be great for anyone. Each section has a particular theme; predator and prey, the conflict between man and beast, etc.. There is a considerable amount of text in each section, but the entire book can be read in a few days at a reasonable pace. Any given story might be an ancient legend, chapter of a novel, insight into animal behavior, or a poem.
In short, The Bedside Book of Beasts appeals with its varied and interesting content and beautiful illustrations. Assuming you find animals interesting, this book is a must-own. Graeme Gibson deserves to be commended for this work, and I cannot recommend it more!