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Insectopedia (Vintage) Paperback – 22 Mar 2011

3.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Inc; Reprint edition (22 Mar. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400096960
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400096961
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 2.4 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 747,988 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Beautifully lyrical." –"The Boston Globe
""Unique beyond imagination. Bizarre. Endlessly interesting, a book that cannot be categorized. This book insists you learn its unexpected facts because you cannot put it down…You will never forget having read this book. You will never forget where you put it either, since you have dog-eared it for displays of another astounding fact when your friends come to visit." –"Decatur Daily
""As Raffles shows our nearby neighbors to be at once dangerous and beautiful, common and incomprehensible, he refracts a world that is newly fascinating." –Audubonmagazine.com
"Compulsively readable, equal parts anthropology, travel, philosophy, history and science…"Insectopedia" will stir your imagination." –valeaston.com, "Plant Talk"
"As inventive and wide ranging and full of astonishing surprises as the vast insect world itself. Raffles takes us on a delirious journey, zooming in and out from the m

"A collection of imaginative forays into what, for most readers, will be terra incognita. . . . "Insectopedia" qualifies as food for thought. . . . As inventive and wide ranging and full of astonishing surprises as the vast insect world itself. Raffles takes us on a delirious journey."
--"The New York Times"
"Impossible to categorize, wildly stimulating. . . . A disconcerting, fantastical, (multi-)eye-opening journey into another existence."
--"The New York Times Book Review"
"Vivid and fascinating. . . . This book will challenge your view of insects and make you see these wonderful creatures from a new perspective."
--"New Scientist"
"As Raffles shows our nearby neighbors to be at once dangerous and beautiful, common and incomprehensible, he refracts a world that is newly fascinating."
--"Audubon Magazine" (Editors' Choice)
"[A] big, beautiful testament to the glory of paying attention."
--"The Boston Globe"
"The coolest, most beautifully written book on bugs imaginable."
--"San Francisco Chronicle"
"Sings with scholarship, deft writing, and an authentic fascination with the six-legged creatures that have so long roamed the Earth."
--"Seed Magazine"
"Combines elements of science, history, travel and popular culture to form a sparkling whole, a wide-ranging and idiosyncratic survey of a world we all too often scorn or swat. . . . [Raffles] reminds us of the connections among all creatures, of the unfathomable mysteries that separate us, and of the fragility and resilience of life."
--"The Providence Journal"
"A revelation of the world of our fellow creatures . . . by a writer whose style is equal to his huge and strange task."
--"Buffalo News "(Editor's Choice)
"Unusual and most engaging."
--"The Seattle Times"
"Provocative. . . . "Insectopedia" opens up a can of worms and it's doubtful they can be herded back in."
--"Santa Cruz Sentinel"
"Lucid and often beautifully constructed prose. . . . We can't recommend it highly enough."
--"Austin Chronicle"
"The most readable book ever written about insects."
--"The Stranger"
"Gorgeous, fascinating, and thought-provoking. . . . A stunning, sensitively written, insightful book. . . . Raffles set out to write a book about how people learn something new about themselves through relationships with insects, and he succeeded admirably."
--"Bookslut"

A collection of imaginative forays into what, for most readers, will be terra incognita. . . . "Insectopedia" qualifies as food for thought. . . . As inventive and wide ranging and full of astonishing surprises as the vast insect world itself. Raffles takes us on a delirious journey.
"The New York Times"
Impossible to categorize, wildly stimulating. . . . A disconcerting, fantastical, (multi-)eye-opening journey into another existence.
"The New York Times Book Review"
Vivid and fascinating. . . . This book will challenge your view of insects and make you see these wonderful creatures from a new perspective.
"New Scientist"
As Raffles shows our nearby neighbors to be at once dangerous and beautiful, common and incomprehensible, he refracts a world that is newly fascinating.
"Audubon Magazine" (Editors Choice)
[A] big, beautiful testament to the glory of paying attention.
"The Boston Globe"
The coolest, most beautifully written book on bugs imaginable.
"San Francisco Chronicle"
Sings with scholarship, deft writing, and an authentic fascination with the six-legged creatures that have so long roamed the Earth.
"Seed Magazine"
Combines elements of science, history, travel and popular culture to form a sparkling whole, a wide-ranging and idiosyncratic survey of a world we all too often scorn or swat. . . . [Raffles] reminds us of the connections among all creatures, of the unfathomable mysteries that separate us, and of the fragility and resilience of life.
"The Providence Journal"
A revelation of the world of our fellow creatures . . . by a writer whose style is equal to his huge and strange task.
"Buffalo News "(Editor s Choice)
Unusual and most engaging.
"The Seattle Times"
Provocative. . . . "Insectopedia" opens up a can of worms and it s doubtful they can be herded back in.
"Santa Cruz Sentinel"
Lucid and often beautifully constructed prose. . . . We can t recommend it highly enough.
"Austin Chronicle"
The most readable book ever written about insects.
"The Stranger"
Gorgeous, fascinating, and thought-provoking. . . . A stunning, sensitively written, insightful book. . . . Raffles set out to write a book about how people learn something new about themselves through relationships with insects, and he succeeded admirably.
"Bookslut""

About the Author

Hugh Raffles teaches anthropology at The New School. He is the author of "In Amazonia: A Natural History, " which received the Victor Turner Prize in Ethnographic Writing. His essays have appeared in "Best American Essays, Granta, "and "Orion." "Insectopedia" is the recipient of a Special Award for Extending Ethnographic Understanding from the Society for Humanistic Anthropology. In 2009, he received a Whiting Writers Award. He lives in New York City.
Visit the author's website at: www.insectopedia.org."

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is a fantastic book that I recommend to all posthumanities scholars, insect folk, and anybody interested in having their ideas of the microcosmos shaken up and repoliticised in all sorts of provocative ways. The text is very Benjaminian, at turns poetic and funny, but constellating into a radical rethink of non-human worlds. Its a book to keep delving into, being surprised by and thinking with.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A truly amazing book. I had no particular interest in insects until I started reading it. very well written, very entertaining ,and full of amazing information. Did any of you know that one of the main sports in Shanghai is cricket fighting( and I don't mean test match squabbles).? A rare gem.
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Format: Hardcover
I am afraid I did not read the whole of this book as it was written by an author who did not understand his subject. In one chapter on insect dispersal he cited an old text which suggested that the death of a lot of the insects was "for the good of the species". Although "for the good of the species" sounds good and is trotted out a lot it is wrong. Individual animals and plants do what is good for them. If they help a member of their family it is because they expect help from that individual in the future. They do not do what is "for the good of the species" by laying down their life as it does not help them. Selfishness rules.

In a later chapter he follows a lady who has carried out a lot of sketches of the Drosophila fly downwind of Chernobyl after its disastrous accident. She sketched a lot of eye mutations and then tried to sell that as evidence that it was because of the effects of Chernobyl. The author slated scientists as they did not accept this as evidence. The problem is that is was not evidence. There was no "control" where this means a similar study in a none effected area. Drosophila can breed like rabbits and if a few are not up to scratch it does little to reduce the parents success as they produce lots. You have to provide a study that shows what happens to the flies 1) with Chernobyl and 2) without Chernobyl before it can be used as evidence.

I stopped reading there as it was like reading a book about supermarkets written by someone who had never actually been shopping.
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