Customer Reviews for

Insectopedia

Average Rating 5
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  • Posted March 21, 2011

    Highly recommended...check it out!

    From the very first chapter this book is captivating. I was enthralled by the chapter that dealt with the preparation that goes in to preparing a fighting cricket in China. And amazed that I could be drawn into knowing about locusts and their role in the economy of subsharan Africa. Don't miss this book. It's a gem.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 22, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    I expected nature writing: intriguing descriptions of field observations while tromping through tall grasses, moist earth, and scummy bogs; details of waving antennae, grasping feet, flapping wings, tenacious pincers, iridescent colors; theories of how this variety of creature has evolved or remained constant throughout humankind's history. There is some of this, but Hugh Raffles is an anthropologist, interested therefore in human cultures, and these 26 essays are primarily about insects and their relationships to humans. He writes about the food-pest paradox of the locust for the people of Niger; the revival of cricket fighting in China as a symbol of preserving and remembering the past; the evolution of collecting, selling, and keeping as pets beetles and other insects in Japan as symbols for the Japanese reverence for nature and as inspiration for insect stores and insectaria as well as manga and anime. He writes about the people -- professional and amateur -- who have peered deeply into insect life because of passion, curiosity, and wonder: Jean Henri Fabre and his studies of wasps; Karl von Frisch and his insights into of the language of bees, such as how scouts inform their hive mates of a new food source; Cornelia Hesse-Honneger and her drawings and paintings of flies malformed from nuclear radiation. Hugh Raffles writes with empathy and humor as well as intelligence and insight. While a few of the essays seem a bit long, there is always something new and interesting to be savored in their succeeding sections. This is a wonderful collection of thoughtful and thought-provoking essays about life on our planet.

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    Posted October 22, 2010

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    Posted July 8, 2011

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    Posted May 8, 2010

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