Customer Reviews for

Life Everlasting: The Animal Way of Death

Average Rating 3.5
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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2013

    Enlightening, reassuring, gentle, scholarly.

    This is NOT an overtly spiritual work; Heinrichs is a physiological ecologist. His entre to his subject matter is disinterested but absolutely not dispassionate. The primary subject matter of the work is the processes of death and transformation, and the creatures who engender those processes. But the creatures themselves (insects, birds, and about any hungry mammal) are fascinating, brilliantly and sometimes delightfully adapted to their tasks. And as we learn, their tasks are to return the stuff of a physical life to the environment. Heinrichs doesn't deal just with animals, either. He dwells at length on the critical role of dead plants, especially trees, to the health and vitality of the forest. He cites an ongoing study, of 200 YEARS' duration, of all the processes, actors, beneficiaries, and benefits in the death and decay of a single tree in the forest. He also explains why the larval form of, say a butterfly is NOT a stage in a butterfly life. Instead the butterfly is a reincarnation of the larva, since the larva dies and dissolves within its cocoon, and the butterfly constrcts itself from the stuff that was the larva.

    I began this review by saying this was not an overtly spiritual work, and it isn't. But when you finish reading it, if you do have any propensities toward theistic beliefs, you may be moved to sing a couple choruses of "How Great Thou Art." The gentleness of the prose belies the truly spiritual wallop this brief, fast reading, innately positive, and satisfying little book packs. Worth every penny.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 6, 2013

    Heinrich writes beautifully, and even movingly about death, life

    Heinrich writes beautifully, and even movingly about death, life, and immortality. I loved it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2012

    Not a good read for me

    I started reading the Life Everlasting but found it not to my liking. It wasn’t the idea of the book but how it was presented. When Bernd Heinrich started to go on and on about his study of bugs I closed the book and deleted it.

    2 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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