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I, Lobster: A Crustacean Odyssey Hardcover – October 9, 2012

4.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“I, Lobster: A Crustacean Odyssey written by Nancy Frazier, is a newly published consideration of the lobster represented throughout history as anicon, subject of art, and delicacy, among other things. Frazier’s comprehensive exploration of lobster lore is fascinating, scholarly, and humorous—and, it’s prompted me to take pause to stop and gawk again.”—Cape Cod Magazine


“This is a quirky, amusing book that explores many diverse aspects of the ways that people think about, write about, portray, cook, and eat lobsters.”—Maine Antique Digest


“This work may be thought of as a thick description of the lobster; it serves as the focal point for Frazier’s wide-ranging observations about a variety of topics, with surprises and unexpected connections in every chapter. It is impossible to think that any fact, thought, feeling, or perception involving the clawed crustacean has been left out of this deftly written and at times whimsical study.” —Choice


“Author Nancy Frazier shifts gears well from erudite discussions of lobsters in art to films (Woody Allen’s ‘Annie Hall’ kitchen lobster escape) to science fiction, fantasy and horror literature (Stephen King’s ‘lobstrocities’) to the creatures’ behavior in the natural world. . . . The wide array of topics covered in each chapter never failed to surprise me.”—Providence Journal

About the Author

NANCY FRAZIER is a former researcher and writer for Newsweek magazine and is the author of The Penguin Concise Dictionary of Art History. She lives in Amherst, Massachusetts, and Waldoboro, Maine.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 268 pages
  • Publisher: New Hampshire (October 9, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1584659629
  • ISBN-13: 978-1584659624
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.9 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,643,476 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After reading Nancy Frazier's tribute to the lobster, I will never look at a lobster on my plate in the same way again. Other than brief meetings in a restaurant, I had no interest in getting to know anyone in the Homarus genus (regardless of its species). Yet, the menu of topics in this book provides an array of everything one can possibly learn about lobsters which quickly evoked a fascination in me. Most fascinating is an appetite though history that humankind has held for the lobster in art, literature, folklore, cinema, and more.
I Lobster treats this creature as a starting point to packets of diverse information spreading into unanticipated regions of engaging facts from eras past to present (which testify to fathoms of research). Yet, it uses a template of philosophical observation which turns its attention to us - our symbolism, perceptions, and the projection of ourselves onto the lobster. As NF states, the central thesis of the book is..."that the lobster as we know it is a reflection of ourselves..." Hume would likely agree, that we "apply to external bodies every internal sensation which they occasion." Lobsters have always provoked a palatable swirl of sensations (ask Stephen King) which the author vividly describes with a colorful style effective as strokes from an artist's brush.
Beyond all that, this book is just plain fun to read.
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Format: Hardcover
What's not to love about a book introducing us to the march of the lobsters? The northern species migrates in winter to the ocean depths, in their usual loner, stay-away-from-me, unsociable style. The southern species, also usually unsociable, migrates in single file chains, the antennae of the one behind in constant contact with the tail-fan of the lobster ahead, thousands and thousands of lobsters in an enormous lobster chain, heading out. Who would have known?

"I, Lobster: A Crustacean Odyssey" delights, charms, informs, and amuses on every page. Many are the books on lobster biology, lobster cooking, lobsters-and-the-environment, honorably and carefully cited in "I, Lobster." What's new and (as far as I know) unique is the beginning, middle, and end viewpoints.

The book began with a term paper on lobsters in art: fine art, from the splendid Roman mosaics to the great artists of the Renaissance to contemporary artists, such as Joseph Cornell (gentle boxes of balletic lobsters) and Salvador Dali (not gentle at all). From fine art, Frazier turns to the other arts. There's a chapter on lobsters in science fiction across many centuries, including one nightmare-inducing book by Stephen King and another by Lucian (CE about 100).

There are 13 richly researched chapters: the cult of the lobster, celebrations seductions & crimes, natural history, life death & medical conditions, man-eating monsters, SF, the Palinurus problem, secrets of the seas, a metaphor for people, the bartender & the lobster, welcome to the lobster hotel, bouilabaisse, and lobster recipes. Each has five or so sections, like short stories within a general theme, cleverly titled, and written with enough detail to satisfy but not overwhelm.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Nancy Frazier is a fine writer, and it took one to amass all this disparate information about lobster through the ages, and then tame it into an organized whole. An original approach to a popular subject. I wish the illustrations would have been in color.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I, Lobster is buttery rich with information about one of my favorite dinners. History, geography, romance, biology, fiction, cuisine and more, covered with an obvious affection. There are places where the author makes a bit of a reach to tie the lobster to a particular topic- but so what! It's all informative and fun, and my appetite is whetted!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A wonderful book that takes you through the history, art, fantasy and adventures of the lobster. Just never imagined the excitement and romance of one of my favorite foods! Little known facts as well as Frazier's usual humor makes this a very enjoyable read.
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