Synopses & Reviews
Whether at a zoo, on a camping trip, or under our bedsheets, we are surrounded by animals. While most are perfectly harmless, it's the magnificent exceptions that populate The Book of Deadly Animals. Award-winning writer Gordon Grice takes readers on a tour of the animal kingdom—from grizzly bears to great white sharks, big cats to crocodiles. Every page overflows with astonishing facts about Earth's great predators and unforgettable stories of their encounters with humans, all delivered in Grice's signature dark comic style. Illustrated with awe-inspiring photographs of beasts and bugs, this wondrous work will horrify, delight, and amaze.
"Even the most hardcore naturalist may rethink that camping trip or African safari after reading Grice's rundown of dangerous animals from around the world. From humpback whales to bedbugs, Grice (The Red Hourglass) delights in describing the many ways animals of all sizes can kill us or make us sick. Drawing from antiquity (Herodotus' 2,400-year-old account of self-sabotaging vipers), pop culture (the infamous mauling of Roy Horn of Sigfried and Roy by a beloved tiger), and first-hand experience (a sac spider imperiously poised atop the author's own computer), the unsettling anecdotes are far-ranging. But Grice does more than simply catalog the many ways a lion, tiger, or bear can kill he gives context to the horrors by describing the animal's place in the food chain and its evolutionary adaptations. To be sure, there are terrifying accounts of sailors lost at sea being feasted upon sharks and gruesome details of black bear attacks ('The carcasses are peeled like bananas'), but Grice tempers his book with grim humor, a genuine enthusiasm for the subject, and fascinating trivia (Herman Melville's Moby Dick was based on an actual whale named Mocha Dick that terrorized the South Pacific). A gifted writer, Grice's relentlessly detailed descriptions of the effects of spider and snake bites, as well as the outcome of tangling with pencil catfish or alligators, may make this rough going for the easily squeamish, but those with a fascination for wildlife will find this an informative and dramatic study. Photos. (Jan.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Gordon Grice has written for The New Yorker, Harper's Magazine, Discover, and Granta. His first book, The Red Hourglass: Lives of the Predators, won a Whiting Writers' Award and was named one of the Best Books of the Year by the Los Angeles Times and the New York Public Library. He lives in Wisconsin.