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The Hidden Life of Deer: Lessons from the Natural World
     

The Hidden Life of Deer: Lessons from the Natural World

by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas
 

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In The Hidden Life of Deer, Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, the New York Times bestselling author of The Hidden Life of Dogs, turns her attention to wild deer, and the many lessons we can learn by observing nature. A narrative masterpiece and a naturalist’s delight, The Hidden Life of Deer is based on the twelve months

Overview

In The Hidden Life of Deer, Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, the New York Times bestselling author of The Hidden Life of Dogs, turns her attention to wild deer, and the many lessons we can learn by observing nature. A narrative masterpiece and a naturalist’s delight, The Hidden Life of Deer is based on the twelve months Thomas, a renowned anthropologist, spent studying the local deer population near her home in New Hampshire.

Editorial Reviews

The root cause of this book was a New Hampshire acorn crop failure. In the Fall of 2007, deer, deprived of one of their principle food staples, were starving. Taking pity, author and naturalist Elizabeth Marshall Thomas (The Hidden Life of Dogs) began leaving food around her farmhouse. Within days, a herd of deer was tiptoeing through her fields towards the piles of vittles. Being an avid nature watcher, Thomas paid close attention to their curious behavior. What could explain their synchronized arrivals; their alternating patterns of cooperation and competitiveness? Over the rough winter and the more gentle seasons that followed, she literally tracked these quiet visitors as they followed evolutionary rhythms that had been established over millions of years.
Dwight Garner
In this slim and amiable book Ms. Thomas gathers a pile of small, not uninteresting observations about deer, and in doing so she subtly alters the way you look at them in a forest or from a window…Ms. Thomas's treacly side is nicely balanced…by the fact that she's ornery.
—The New York Times
Robert Sullivan
[Thomas] has produced an elegantly written narrative about family groups she names the Alphas, Betas, Deltas and Taus. If you are a suburbanite looking for ways to stop deer from eating your tomatoes and bringing you Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses, then this is not the book for you. If you don't view life and survival in terms of the Gaia principle, a few passages could leave you feeling like a you-know-what in the headlights. If you are interested in an insightful examination, for instance, of the deer's fascinating ability to hide itself—a fawn can drastically slow its heart rate, its body cleaned of smell and its excrement eaten by its mother, also in hiding—then Thomas will delight.
—The New York Times Book Review
Library Journal
Thomas, author of the best-selling The Hidden Life of Dogs and The Tribe of Tiger, spent a year observing the lives of the deer near her New Hampshire home. Well known for her anthropomorphic writings and sometimes controversial and uncharacteristic methods of observation, Thomas doesn't deviate from these traits in her new installment. Scientifically minded readers will rightly balk at Thomas's methods of "scientific observation" as she actively feeds the deer in the course of her investigations into their "natural" behaviors. The last chapter strays from the topic of deer completely and seems a bit out of place. VERDICT Fans of Thomas's work will want this despite its flaws, and readers looking for an eclectic and sometimes eccentric natural history book with some inclusion of deer behavior may enjoy yet another Thomas romp in the woods. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 5/15/09.]—Kyrille Goldbeck, Virginia Polytechnic Inst. & State Univ. Lib., Blacksburg
New York Review of Books
“The Hidden Life of Deer is a glorious achievement, giving new meaning to what it is both to be human and to be alive on this planet of wonders.”
New York Times
“In this slim and amiable book Ms. Thomas gathers a pile of small, not uninteresting observations about deer, and in doing so she subtly alters the way you look at them in a forest or from a window.”
John Updike
Praise for CERTAIN POOR SHEPHERDS:“America’s foremost explainer of animal feelings and thoughts has woven fur and scent into the Christmas story, with amusing, moving results.”
Annie Dillard
Praise for REINDEER MOON“[The author] knows human feelings so well, in all their joy and bitterness. And her literary judgment is flawless. Her wisdom shines forth and, as always, her prose is strong and sure.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061902093
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
09/15/2009
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
1,271,344
File size:
864 KB

Meet the Author

One of the most widely read American anthropologists, Elizabeth Marshall Thomas has observed dogs, cats, and elephants during her half-century-long career. In the 1980s Thomas studied elephants alongside Katy Payne—the scientist who discovered elephants' communication via infrasound. In 1993 Thomas wrote The Hidden Life of Dogs, a groundbreaking work of animal psychology that spent nearly a year on the New York Times bestseller list. Her book on cats, Tribe of Tiger, was also an international bestseller. She lives in Peterborough, New Hampshire, on her family's former farm, where she observes deer, bobcats, bear, and many other species of wildlife.

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