Winner of the Library Journal's Best of 2013 (2013)
Behold the cormorant: silent, still, cruciform, and brooding; flashing, soaring, quick as a snake. Evolution has crafted the only creature on Earth that can migrate the length of a continent, dive and hunt deep underwater, perch comfortably on a branch or a wire, walk on land, climb up cliff faces, feed on thousands of different species, and live beside both fresh and salt water in a vast global range of temperatures and altitudes, often in close proximity to man. Long a symbol of gluttony, greed, bad luck, and evil, the cormorant has led a troubled existence in human history, myth, and literature. The birds have been prized as a source of mineral wealth in Peru, hunted to extinction in the Arctic, trained by the Japanese to catch fish, demonized by Milton in Paradise Lost, and reviled, despised, and exterminated by sport and commercial fishermen from Israel to Indianapolis, Toronto to Tierra del Fuego. In The Devil’s Cormorant, Richard King takes us back in time and around the world to show us the history, nature, ecology, and economy of the world’s most misunderstood waterfowl.
|Publisher:||University Press of New England|
|Product dimensions:||6.40(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.50(d)|
About the Author
RICHARD J. KING is senior lecturer in literature of the sea with the Maritime Studies Program of Williams College and Mystic Seaport. He is the author of Lobster.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The book has a fun, engaging narrative while the author follows this bird around the world. I never knew how much the cormorant could tell us about world history and culture, and how much controversy this bird has sparked! I'm a big fan of John McPhee, and this book is in the same category, telling the story of both natural history and people, but with King's own compassionate and, at times, funny voice.