How does a tiny box jellyfish, with no brain and little control over where it goes in the water, manage to kill a full-grown man? What harm have hippos been known to inflict on humans, and why? What makes our closest cousin, the chimpanzee, the most dangerous of all apes to encounter in the wild?
In this elegantly illustrated, often darkly funny compendium of animal predation, Gordon Grice, hailed by Michael Pollan as "a fresh, strange, and wonderful new voice in American nature writing," presents findings that are by turns surprising, humorous, and horrifying. Personally obsessed by both the menace and beauty of animals since he was six years old and a deadly cougar wandered onto his family's farm, Grice now reaps a lifetime of study in this unique survey--at once a reading book and a resource.
Categorised by kind and informed throughout by the author's unsentimental view of the natural order and our place in it, here are the hard-to-stomach, hard-to-resist facts and legends of animal encounters. Whether it's the elephant that collided with a fuel tanker and lived (the tanker exploded), the turn-of-the-century household cure for a copperhead bite (douse the infected area in kerosene), or the shark that terrorised the New Jersey coastline for a summer (later inspiring the film Jaws), everything you've ever wanted to know about animals but were afraid to ask is included in this hair-raising, heart-racing volume. By turns wondrous, mordant, and sobering, this book is ultimately a celebration of the animal world in all its perilous glory by a writer who's been heralded by "The New York Times" for his ability to combine "the observations of a naturalist with a dry, homespun philosopher's wit."
About the Author
Gordon Grice has written for The New Yorker, Harper's, Discover, Granta, and other magazines. His first book, The Red Hourglass, was named one of the Best Books of the Year by the "Los Angeles Times" and the New York Public Library. His work has been anthologized in The Best American Essays.He lives with his family in Wisconsin.
"Did he say "repugnatorial gland"? What a wealth of information Gordon Grice is, and what a fine, beguiling writer. This book is a must for anyone even remotely thinking of getting a monkey, a sea lion, or, heaven forbid, a dog." - David Sedaris
"A wonderful, slightly terrifying, utterly captivating encounter with the animal world--not quite like anything I've ever read before."--Elizabeth Gilbert, author of "Eat, Pray, ""Love" and "Committed
""Deadly Kingdom is an engagingly original field guide to the venomous, the sharp-clawed, the infectious, and the downright predatory. It's a witty, fascinating, and playfully macabre read." - David Baron, author of "The Beast in the Garden"
"Deadly Kingdom is sometimes gory, always gorgeous, and really great. Gordon Grice is a warm and funny guide, his fingers always on the facts. There are amazing stories here, fascinating people and places, but above all, there are the animals we thought we knew, and the ones we've never heard of: hagfish, guinea worms, eyelash vipers, blister beetles. You'll never go barefoot in the barnyard again." - Bill Roorbach, author of "Temple Stream: A Rural Odyssey"
"Deadly Kingdom makes it clear that you are not on top of the food chain." - Pamela Nagami, M.D., author of "Bitten: True Medical Stories of Bites and Stings"
Number Of Pages: 324
Published: 18th May 2010
Publisher: Dial Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 24.3 x 16.8 x 2.8
Weight (kg): 0.603