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The Search for the Giant Squid: The Biology and Mythology of the World's Most Elusive Sea Creature Paperback – Bargain Price, October 1, 1999
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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.
Naysayers may contend with the fact that there just isn't enough non-speculative information out there to write a scholarly book dedicated to giant squids, but this is also a great foray into the environs of squid species in general - as just another basis to the understanding of their much larger, mythic relatives -- the Architeuthi.
Read this along with the author's other excellent marine-cryptid book 'Monsters of the sea' and let it do unto you.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
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
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
My copy of the work is somewhat of a novelty, as I bought it at the giftshop of the Smithsonian literally minutes after viewing their giant squid. Read morePublished on January 2, 2006 by Mike
Richard Ellis has written several books about "creatures of the deep" and all of them are excellent. Read morePublished on November 12, 2005 by Shane Kenyon
I've always been fascinated by films and narratives of battles between nature's keystone species. A grizzly struggling to take down a moose in North America; a South American... Read morePublished on January 16, 2005 by Jeffery Steele