Anthill

( 47 )

Overview

The two-time Pulitzer Prize?winning biologist delivers ?an astonishing literary achievement? (Anthony Gottlieb, The Economist).
Winner of the 2010 Heartland Prize, Anthill follows the thrilling adventures of a modern-day Huck Finn, enthralled with the ?strange, beautiful, and elegant? world of his native Nokobee County. But as developers begin to threaten the endangered marshlands around which he lives, the book?s hero decides to take decisive action. Edward O. Wilson?the ...
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Anthill: A Novel

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Overview

The two-time Pulitzer Prize–winning biologist delivers “an astonishing literary achievement” (Anthony Gottlieb, The Economist).
Winner of the 2010 Heartland Prize, Anthill follows the thrilling adventures of a modern-day Huck Finn, enthralled with the “strange, beautiful, and elegant” world of his native Nokobee County. But as developers begin to threaten the endangered marshlands around which he lives, the book’s hero decides to take decisive action. Edward O. Wilson—the world’s greatest living biologist—elegantly balances glimpses of science with the gripping saga of a boy determined to save the world from its most savage ecological predator: man himself.
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Editorial Reviews

Shelf Awareness
The savage conflicts between the Trailhead and Waterside colonies are as dramatic as any epic of Herodotus or Thucydides, histories Wilson evokes in his characterization of the tiny warriors as myrmidons and hoplites.— Harvey Freedenberg
The New York Times
If you've ever wondered what it would be like to be reincarnated as an ant, this is probably the best description available.— Nicholas Wade
New York Review of Books
Despite the seriousness of the warning he means to convey, I believe Edward O. Wilson had a fine time writing his first novel. It shows in the exuberance of the prose, and in the inventiveness of the plot.... the reader will have a great time reading it. Certainly I did.— Margaret Atwood
The New York Times Book Review
Melville gave us whales and obsessions, Orwell gave us pigs and politicians. Now Wilson suggests with winning conviction that in our own colonies, we proceed at our peril when we cast off mindful restraint in favor of unchecked growth.... carries the reader down the ant-hole to describe life from the ants' point of view. No writer could do this better, and Wilson's passion serves him best here. His language achieves poetic transcendence.— Barbara Kingsolver
Booklist
Starred Review. A foremost authority on ants, an eloquent environmentalist, and the winner of two Pulitzer Prizes for his exceptional nonfiction, Wilson has written a debut novel of astonishing dimension, acuity, and spirit.... With lyrical exactitude, empathy for all life, and a shocking conclusion, Wilson's wise, provocative novel of the interaction between humankind and the rest of nature expresses a resonant earth ethic.— Donna Seaman
Chicago Tribune
Wilson’s foray into fiction allows him to write more expressively, psychologically, even spiritually about the great web of life, humankind included, and the irrefutable rules for ecological survival. ... A teacher as well as a scientist, Wilson uses the prism of fiction to cast new light on the grand unifying lesson of nature: all of us earthlings, all of life’s astonishing creations, thrive or fail together.— Donna Seaman
Barbara Kingsolver
Melville gave us whales and obsession, Orwell gave us pigs and politicians. Now Wilson suggests with winning conviction that in our own colonies, we proceed at our peril when we cast off mindful restraint in favor of unchecked growth. It's hard to resist the notion that as we bustle around with our heads bent to the day's next task, we are like nothing so much as a bunch of ants.
—The New York Times Book Review
Nicholas Wade
Anthill is an enjoyable read, and not didactic…If you've ever wondered what it would be like to be reincarnated as an ant, this is probably the best description available.
—The New York Times
Donna Seaman - Booklist
“Starred Review. A foremost authority on ants, an eloquent environmentalist, and the winner of two Pulitzer Prizes for his exceptional nonfiction, Wilson has written a debut novel of astonishing dimension, acuity, and spirit.... With lyrical exactitude, empathy for all life, and a shocking conclusion, Wilson's wise, provocative novel of the interaction between humankind and the rest of nature expresses a resonant earth ethic.”
The Economist
“One part of Anthill, by the world’s leading myrmecologist, demonstrates that in Mr Wilson ants have found not only their Darwin but also their Homer.... The tale within a tale is an astonishing literary achievement; nobody but Mr Wilson could have written it, and those who read it will tread lightly in the forest, at least for a while.... his evocation of their ways is a more powerful tool for raising ecological awareness than any Disneyfication is likely to be.”
Donna Seaman - Chicago Tribune
“Wilson’s foray into fiction allows him to write more expressively, psychologically, even spiritually about the great web of life, humankind included, and the irrefutable rules for ecological survival. ... A teacher as well as a scientist, Wilson uses the prism of fiction to cast new light on the grand unifying lesson of nature: all of us earthlings, all of life’s astonishing creations, thrive or fail together.”
Harvey Freedenberg - Shelf Awareness
“The savage conflicts between the Trailhead and Waterside colonies are as dramatic as any epic of Herodotus or Thucydides, histories Wilson evokes in his characterization of the tiny warriors as myrmidons and hoplites.”
The Daily Beast
“[A] beautifully written coming-of-age novel about a young boy in Alabama. The highly respected author and entomologist may be sneaking some science down the throats of self-respecting fiction readers everywhere with the tale of a boy-turned-environmental lawyer who tries to save wildlife, but we hardly mind.”
Nicholas Wade - The New York Times
“If you've ever wondered what it would be like to be reincarnated as an ant, this is probably the best description available.”
Margaret Atwood - New York Review of Books
“Edward O. Wilson had a fine time writing his first novel.... The reader will have a great time reading it. Certainly I did.”
Barbara Kingsolver - The New York Times Book Review
“Melville gave us whales and obsessions, Orwell gave us pigs and politicians. Now Wilson.... carries the reader down the ant-hole to describe life from the ants' point of view.... His language achieves poetic transcendence.”
Sue Brannon Walker
“The astute, knowledgeable, amazing structure of Anthill is a masterpiece of craft, a fictional embodiment of the ant.”
Winston Groom
“The South suddenly has a surprising new hero, and his name is Raff Cody....In Edward Wilson's remarkable voice, Anthill becomes an inspirational novel for us all.”
Jeffrey D. Sachs
“A triumphant epic of life by the world’s greatest naturalist. This is War and Peace—among the ants, the land developers, and the environmentalists and preachers. Marvel at E. O. Wilson’s wondrous and captivating creation.”
Bill McKibben
“If Edward O. Wilson were actually an ant, he'd be the warrior and the drone and the queen and everyone else too. Anthill will remind people of all of his gifts and introduce them to some new ones!”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393071191
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/5/2010
  • Pages: 381
  • Sales rank: 553,733
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Edward O. Wilson is widely recognized as one of the world's preeminent biologists and naturalists. The author of more than twenty books, including The Creation, The Social Conquest of Earth, and Letters to a Young Scientist, Wilson is a professor emeritus at Harvard University. The winner of two Pulitzer Prizes, he lives in Lexington, Massachusetts.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 47 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(11)

4 Star

(12)

3 Star

(10)

2 Star

(7)

1 Star

(7)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 47 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 14, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A beautifully written story of a young man in rural Alabama who grows up with first hand knowledge and appreciation of a pristine natural area, Nokobee swamp. It focuses on how he trys to direct his own adult life to position himself to protect it.

    Raff is a highly observant child growing up in poor rural Alabama. He spends a lot of time exploring a nearby swamp, observing and learning the local flora and fauna. He is fascinated by the anthills in one area of the swamp. As he grows up it becomes clear that Nokobee swamp seems destined to fall to developers and Raff feels the need to do something to save it. He becomes friends with local people( a naturalist, a journalist and a wealthy uncle) who can help him position himself to protect the swamp. The book follows his progress through high school, college and ultimately through Harvard Law School as he gains the knowledge and skills he will ultimately use in his effort to protect Nokobee.

    I learned more about ants from this book than from the sum of my prior reading. Raff skillfully uses his knowledge of ants to gain the support he needs to get a good education. The parallels between ant wars and people wars are not lost on the reader. Raff's character is well developed and the writing style is fluid as the slow currents of the swamp itself.

    The pace of the action accelerates toward the end of the book, as Raff is confronted by small minded people unappreciative of his efforts. Forced to run for his life he finds unexpected support deep in the swamp. What goes around comes around in surprising twists of fortune.

    A good read and characters you will not forget.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 5, 2010

    Unusual book, educational, entertaining, & engrossing.

    I enjoyed the book thoroushly. Would recommend it highly.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2012

    Highly recommend

    Interesting story on a number of levels, wether as a light read or as mataphor for civilization.

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  • Posted July 16, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    An Engrossing and Captivating Summer Escape.

    I have to admit I was first drawn to this book by its cover. It reminded me a bit of a throwback to Huckleberry Finn. What I discovered was a completely new and original tale of life in the deep south. While the book's narrative encompasses three worlds, each one is both engaging and entertaining. I would have liked to read more about the young Raph as he discovers life on his own terms (I felt Wilson had him advance into adulthood to quickly). The narrative about the lives of the ant colonies was very interesting. A Watership Down on the insect level if you will. Overall I would HIGHLY recommend this book. I purchased it as an eBook, however the beautiful cover art would look fabulous on my coffee table.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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