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Anthillby Edward O. Wilson
Anthill is a Southern tale that somehow incorporates a political analysis on environmental preservation, species extinction, and corrupt land developers into a coming-of-age novel. Midway through the book, the reader gets an extensive look at the explosive rise and dismal fall of several ant colonies in the Lake Nokobee forest in Alabama. Wilson has the amazing ability to explain ant colony life as though it's the most fascinating thing you could ever wish to read. Culture, purpose, war, and a dramatic arc fit for Greek tragedy — it's all there. To say that Anthill is an exciting and "human" dissertation on ant life makes it sound much, much less thrilling than it actually is. The story of Raff Cody and his life-long love of nature is sweet, beautiful, frightening, and enlightening. Don't try to understand the seemingly insane charms of this book — just read it!
"Wilson's foray into fiction allows him to write more expressively, psychologically, even spiritually about the great web of life, humankind included, and the irrefutable rules for ecological survival. Fiction grants him the freedom to imagine an inspiring hero who finds a way forward through the labyrinth of environmental conundrums. Drawing on the great classics of Southern literature, Wilson hopes to emulate what Harper Lee did for civil rights in To Kill a Mockingbird by dramatizing the urgent need for justice on the environmental front." Donna Seaman, Special to the Chicago Tribune (Read the entire Chicago Tribune review)
Synopses & Reviews
"What the hell do you want?" snarled Frogman at Raff Cody, as the boy stepped innocently onto the reputed murderer's property. Fifteen years old, Raff, along with his older cousin, Junior, had only wanted to catch a glimpse of Frogman's 1000-pound alligator.
Thus, begins the saga of Anthill, which follows the thrilling adventures of a modern-day Huck Finn, whose improbable love of the strange, beautiful, and elegant world of ants ends up transforming his own life and the citizens of Nokobee County. Battling both snakes bites and cynical relatives who just don't understand his consuming fascination with the outdoors, Raff explores the pristine beauty of the Nokobee wildland. And in doing so, he witnesses the remarkable creation and destruction of four separate ant colonies (The Anthill Chronicles), whose histories are epics that unfold on picnic grounds, becoming a young naturalist in the process.
An extraordinary undergraduate at Florida State University, Raff, despite his scientific promise, opts for Harvard Law School, believing that the environmental fight must be waged in the courtroom as well as the lab. Returning home a legal gladiator, Raff grows increasingly alarmed by rapacious condo developers who are eager to pave and subdivide the wildlands surrounding the Chicobee River. But one last battle awaits him in his epic struggle.
In a shattering ending that no reader will forget, Raff suddenly encounters the angry and corrupt ghosts of an old South he thought had all but disappeared, and learns that war is a genetic imperative, not only for ants but for men as well. Part thriller, part parable, Anthill will not only transfix readers with its stunning twists and startling revelations, but will provide readers with new insights into the meaning of survival in our rapidly changing world.
Astonishing, inspirational, even magical: a naturalist"s novel about an Alabama boy who heroically tries to save a sacred forest.
Winner of the 2010 Heartland Prize for fiction: Inspirational and magical, the story of boy who grows up determined to save the world from its most savage ecological predator: Man himself.
"Thick with the spell of nature, is a powerful tale of ant empires and a boy determined to save them."--Diane Ackerman, author of "Wilson speaks with a humane eloquence which calls to us all."--Oliver Sacks "His style is gracious and lucid, the example of his life greatly inspiring."--Barry Lopez "Wilson is a writer of enthralling importance for our place in time."--Edward Hoagland, "There's a new Darwin. His name is Edward O. Wilson."--Tom Wolfe
About the Author
Edward O. Wilsonis the author of more than twenty books, including the Pulitzer Prize'"winning The Antsand The Naturalist. Born and raised in Alabama, the Harvard biologist makes his home in Lexington, Massachusetts.
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