What's Eating You?: People and Parasites [NOOK Book]

Overview

In What's Eating You? Eugene Kaplan recounts the true and harrowing tales of his adventures with parasites, and in the process introduces readers to the intimately interwoven lives of host and parasite.

Kaplan has spent his life traveling the globe exploring oceans and jungles, and incidentally acquiring parasites in his gut. Here, he leads readers on an unforgettable journey into the bizarre yet oddly beautiful world of parasites. In a narrative that is by turns frightening, ...

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What's Eating You?: People and Parasites

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Overview

In What's Eating You? Eugene Kaplan recounts the true and harrowing tales of his adventures with parasites, and in the process introduces readers to the intimately interwoven lives of host and parasite.

Kaplan has spent his life traveling the globe exploring oceans and jungles, and incidentally acquiring parasites in his gut. Here, he leads readers on an unforgettable journey into the bizarre yet oddly beautiful world of parasites. In a narrative that is by turns frightening, disgusting, and laugh-out-loud funny, Kaplan describes how drinking contaminated water can cause a three-foot-long worm to burst from your arm; how he "gave birth" to a parasite the size and thickness of a pencil while working in Israel; why you should never wave a dead snake in front of your privates; and why fleas are attracted to his wife. Kaplan tells stories about leeches feasting on soldiers in Vietnam; sea cucumbers with teeth in their anuses that seem to encourage the entry of symbiotic fish; the habits of parasites that cause dysentery, river blindness, and other horrifying diseases--and much, much more. Along the way, he explains the underlying science, including parasite evolution and host-parasite physiology.

Informative, frequently lurid, and hugely entertaining, this beautifully illustrated book is a must-read for health-conscious travelers, and anyone who has ever wondered if they picked up a tapeworm from that last sushi dinner.

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Editorial Reviews

Michael Sims
[Kaplan] simply conveys a vast amount of information painlessly…He has a lively sense of story.
—The Washington Post
Times Literary Supplement
Dip into Kaplan for a rich dose of disgust.
— Anne Hardy
Literary Review
In two decades I have not had the pleasure of appraising such a repulsive volume as What's Eating You? I heartily commend it. . . . The thirty chapters of Professor Eugene H. Kaplan's study all read like punchy little fables about different aspects of parasitology.
— David Profumo
New Scientist
Engrossingly gross: A paean to parasites . . . Kaplan is a master raconteur. What's more, he has an almost comical knack of contracting every parasitic infection going, which serves to bring his stories to life all the more vividly. This is gonzo parasitology writing at its finest.
— Clint Witchalls
San Francisco Chronicle
[What's Eating You?] takes the prize for most eww-inducing book title of the week. Ever want to know about hirudin, the anticoagulant in leech saliva? This is the book for you.
Chronicle Review
[This] book has its squirmy pleasures. . . . [Kaplan's] approach is often lurid, sometimes humorous vignettes on different parasites, each story culminating in a page of scientific drawings that illustrate the intersecting paths of parasites and hosts.
— Nina Ayoub
The Australian
You can't go wrong with a book about the disgusting, utterly gross organisms that set up shop in and on the human body. Think tapeworms, flukes and leeches. Seriously high yuck factor. Still, these alien invaders are so bizarre they're fascinating. In his riveting, if often revolting, book Eugene H. Kaplan regales with tales from his life as a parasite taxonomist. . . . Lurid and charming in equal measure.
— Leigh Dayton
Washington Post
[Kaplan] simply conveys a vast amount of information painlessly. . . . He has a lively sense of story.
— Michael Sims
Toronto Star
Over many years of teaching parasitology, Eugene Kaplan found a way to keep students awake: lurid stories. Now the retired biology professor and researcher from Hofstra University on Long Island, New York, has a new book, What's Eating You?, that tucks in the science about both rare and common parasites along with the tales.
— Nancy White
The Lancet
Kaplan's gory stories, fun though they are, are simply gateways into a fascinating aspect of biology: symbiosis. . . . Kaplan dazzles with a wealth of knowledge about worms, live, and bed bugs. His colourful descriptions of their biology and life cycle are bolstered by evolutionary explanations. . . . Kaplan is a good writer, but it is his brilliantly uninhibited sense of humour that really makes the prose zing with life.
— Priya Shetty
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Not for the queasy or faint of heart. But if you're the least bit curious about the creatures that can inhabit humans, I promise you'll be fascinated.
— Scott Shalaway
Discover Magazine
Take a rousing romp through the zoo of beasties that make a living invading our bodies. Kaplan, a professor of parasitology and himself a victim of amebic dysentery and 8-inch roundworms, gives a raucous crash course that blends surprising biology with macabre stories.
Life Science Review
[A] real cracker of a page-turner. . . . [O]ne of the books of the season that will appeal to professionals or anyone who's ever doubted whether it's a good idea to wash your hands or cook food properly.
— Paul O'Doherty
Foreword Magazine
What we don't know hurts us most, and thus Dr. Eugene Kaplan's well-illustrated mini-encyclopedia of parasites, their modes of entry into our bodies, and the damage they do is a must-read for all adventurous and scientifically curious travelers. . . . What's Eating You is totally readable and rich in historical asides and social notes.
Choice
People who enjoy travel adventures in near and far exotic places may want to read this clearly written, beautifully illustrated book about parasites. . . . Kaplan describes the bizarre, frightening, and even disgusting ways of parasites in entertaining language. For each story, he explains the biology of the interwoven lives of host and parasite along with the social consequences resulting from parasitic diseases.
Journal of Parasitology
Although this book serves up what can basically be described as 'Parasitology 101' for the masses, it is quite a feast with an incredible variety on the menu! It's 'full' (30 chapters) of parasites, from microscopic protistans to 12-m-long tapeworms. You're going to want to wash your hands before you eat (although you should already) and really do your homework before schlepping off overseas to try the local fare.
— Charles K. Blend
Times Literary Supplement - Anne Hardy
Dip into Kaplan for a rich dose of disgust.
New Scientist - Clint Witchalls
Engrossingly gross: A paean to parasites . . . Kaplan is a master raconteur. What's more, he has an almost comical knack of contracting every parasitic infection going, which serves to bring his stories to life all the more vividly. This is gonzo parasitology writing at its finest.
Chronicle Review - Nina Ayoub
[This] book has its squirmy pleasures. . . . [Kaplan's] approach is often lurid, sometimes humorous vignettes on different parasites, each story culminating in a page of scientific drawings that illustrate the intersecting paths of parasites and hosts.
Washington Post - Michael Sims
[Kaplan] simply conveys a vast amount of information painlessly. . . . He has a lively sense of story.
The Australian - Leigh Dayton
You can't go wrong with a book about the disgusting, utterly gross organisms that set up shop in and on the human body. Think tapeworms, flukes and leeches. Seriously high yuck factor. Still, these alien invaders are so bizarre they're fascinating. In his riveting, if often revolting, book Eugene H. Kaplan regales with tales from his life as a parasite taxonomist. . . . Lurid and charming in equal measure.
Literary Review - David Profumo
In two decades I have not had the pleasure of appraising such a repulsive volume as What's Eating You? I heartily commend it. . . . The thirty chapters of Professor Eugene H. Kaplan's study all read like punchy little fables about different aspects of parasitology.
Toronto Star - Nancy White
Over many years of teaching parasitology, Eugene Kaplan found a way to keep students awake: lurid stories. Now the retired biology professor and researcher from Hofstra University on Long Island, New York, has a new book, What's Eating You?, that tucks in the science about both rare and common parasites along with the tales.
The Lancet - Priya Shetty
Kaplan's gory stories, fun though they are, are simply gateways into a fascinating aspect of biology: symbiosis. . . . Kaplan dazzles with a wealth of knowledge about worms, live, and bed bugs. His colourful descriptions of their biology and life cycle are bolstered by evolutionary explanations. . . . Kaplan is a good writer, but it is his brilliantly uninhibited sense of humour that really makes the prose zing with life.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Scott Shalaway
Not for the queasy or faint of heart. But if you're the least bit curious about the creatures that can inhabit humans, I promise you'll be fascinated.
Life Science Review - Paul O'Doherty
[A] real cracker of a page-turner. . . . [O]ne of the books of the season that will appeal to professionals or anyone who's ever doubted whether it's a good idea to wash your hands or cook food properly.
Journal of Parasitology - Charles K. Blend
Although this book serves up what can basically be described as 'Parasitology 101' for the masses, it is quite a feast with an incredible variety on the menu! It's 'full' (30 chapters) of parasites, from microscopic protistans to 12-m-long tapeworms. You're going to want to wash your hands before you eat (although you should already) and really do your homework before schlepping off overseas to try the local fare.
"PLOS Biology déric Thomas
The greatest strength of this book lies in its personal touch. . . . Through all manner of disgusting and even frightening details, Kaplan makes attractive and easy to follow what is usually soporific in other books.
From the Publisher

"What we don't know hurts us most, and thus Dr. Eugene Kaplan's well-illustrated mini-encyclopedia of parasites, their modes of entry into our bodies, and the damage they do is a must-read for all adventurous and scientifically curious travelers. . . . What's Eating You is totally readable and rich in historical asides and social notes."--Foreword Magazine

"People who enjoy travel adventures in near and far exotic places may want to read this clearly written, beautifully illustrated book about parasites. . . . Kaplan describes the bizarre, frightening, and even disgusting ways of parasites in entertaining language. For each story, he explains the biology of the interwoven lives of host and parasite along with the social consequences resulting from parasitic diseases."--Choice

"Although this book serves up what can basically be described as 'Parasitology 101' for the masses, it is quite a feast with an incredible variety on the menu! It's 'full' (30 chapters) of parasites, from microscopic protistans to 12-m-long tapeworms. You're going to want to wash your hands before you eat (although you should already) and really do your homework before schlepping off overseas to try the local fare."--Charles K. Blend, Journal of Parasitology

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781400832200
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 3/15/2010
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Course Book
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 1,036,521
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Eugene H. Kaplan is the Donald E. Axinn Endowed Distinguished Professor of Ecology and Conservation (emeritus) at Hofstra University. His many books include "Sensuous Seas: Tales of a Marine Biologist" (Princeton) and "A Field Guide to Southeastern and Caribbean Seashores" (Peterson Field Guides).
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Table of Contents

Preface: Personal Parasites ix
Acknowledgments xi
Apologia xiii
On the Sacredness of Life xv

Introduction. The Saline Solution--An Inner Sea 1
Chapter 1: Land of Smiles 6
Chapter 2: An Encounter with Jordan Rose 15
Chapter 3: I Had a Farm in Africa 25
Chapter 4: Death of a Mouse 33
Chapter 5: Intimate Relationships 40
Chapter 6: A Peek into the Anus of--My Child 48
Chapter 7: The Well-Hung Dog 58
Chapter 8: Fiery Serpent 69
Chapter 9: It Hardly Ever Happens 75
Chapter 10: The Anti-Semitic Tapeworm 82
Chapter 11: Mother Always Wanted Me to Be a Real Doctor 91
Chapter 12: Missus Murphy's Baby 98
Chapter 13: The Day I Flunked the Macho Test 109
Chapter 14: The Biblical Plagues 117
Chapter 15: Alley Cats and Seagulls 127
Chapter 16: A Better Mousetrap 137
Chapter 17: Scandals and Ghosts 144
Chapter 18: Spiny-Headed Monsters 155
Chapter 19: Bloodsucking Beasts 165
Chapter 20: Ode to a Cockroach 174
Chapter 21: Bats, Bugs, and Bloody Bites 184
Chapter 22: Little Fleas Have Littler Fleas 195
Chapter 23: How to Get Rid of Crabs 203
Chapter 24: Wild Virgins 211

Inexplicable Behavior: Some Relationships Are More Intimate Than Others 221
Chapter 25: Topsy-Turvy Worlds 224
Chapter 26: A Day in the Caribbean 235
Chapter 27: Tit, Tit, Tittie--Cuckoo 245
Chapter 28: The Game of Life: Name That Category 251
Chapter 29: Paean of Praise 257
Chapter 30: Tips for Travelers 268
Epilogue 277
Glossary 281
Selected References 293
Illustration Sources 295
Index 297

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2013

    I wish i had not spent all my money

    I spent all my money! Why did i have to.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 24, 2011

    love it

    i have never read it but i love parasites well not when they are in you like i mean i love to study them even thought i am young it dosen't mean i can't study about these amasing creatures.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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