A Natural History of the Senses

A Natural History of the Senses

4.5 9
by Diane Ackerman
     
 

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Diane Ackerman's lusciously written grand tour of the realm of the senses includes conversations with an iceberg in Antarctica and a professional nose in New York, along with dissertations on kisses and tattoos, sadistic cuisine and the music played by the planet Earth. "Delightful . . . gives the reader the richest possible feeling of the worlds the senses

Overview

Diane Ackerman's lusciously written grand tour of the realm of the senses includes conversations with an iceberg in Antarctica and a professional nose in New York, along with dissertations on kisses and tattoos, sadistic cuisine and the music played by the planet Earth. "Delightful . . . gives the reader the richest possible feeling of the worlds the senses take in."—The New York Times. (Literature—Classics & Contemporary)

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Physiology and philosophy mesh in this poetic investigation of the five senses; essays explore synesthesia, food taboos, kissing and the power and diversity of music. ``Rooted in science, enlivened by her own convincing sense of wonder, Ackerman's essays awaken us to a fresh awareness,'' said PW. (Sept.)
Library Journal
The five senses not only serve biological functions, they also are inextricably a part of our culture. Award-winning poet Ackerman celebrates the senses by examining their biological bases and the various and bizarre ways we have come to indulge them. Her catalog of the senses is itself a sensuous journey, with prose rich in imagery and rhythm. Ackerman's book is a provocative and entertaining treat whose details will bestir the reader's imagination. Consider, for example, the guest whose pleasure for fragrance led to an untimely death in a shower of rose petals at a Roman feast, or the diner whose thrill at exciting the palate proved deadly upon tasting the poisonous puffer fish. Unlike the fish, this savory delight is recommended for general readers.-- Laurie Bartolini, Lincoln Lib., Springfield, Ill.
School Library Journal
YA-- An exciting multidiscipline book that crosses the lines of literature, history, anthropology, music, psychology, sociology, and philosophy and that flows with grace and reason. The theme is expressed in such a way as to draw readers into experiential thought and, therefore, impacts heavily upon the way one looks at the issue of sensing and its role for humanity. It is sure to raise readers' consciousness level while providing researched and analyzed information on this topic. In addition, the language is clear and concise, which makes the book valuable to a large cross section of readers. The generous use of cultural and historical examples adds to the readability.-- Nancy Craig, R. E. Lee High School, Springfield, VA

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780679735663
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
09/28/1991
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
161,901
Product dimensions:
5.15(w) x 7.99(h) x 0.75(d)

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A Natural History of the Senses 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book a long time ago but I was so impressed with her writing style that I keep going back to it. THis book takes numbness of life away.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had to buy this book for a college class. I must say I thought this book was written by a quirky woman who lives in some old mansion with 50 cats or something. In many parts, it gets so sappy that I can barely read it. There are some interesting stories in it nevertheless, but for the most part, it's like reading sugar x 10. I wouldn't recommend it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Enchanting and informative, this book leads you through each of the human senses. Ackerman is in top form