Kraken: The Curious, Exciting, and Slightly Disturbing Science of Squid Hardcover – Deckle Edge, 1 Mar 2011
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This Book Is Bound with "Deckle Edge" Paper
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Williams is a fine writer and takes us on an engaging and informative journey through the world of cephalopod science... --The Spectator
Tidbits of natural history...interwoven with a compelling historical narrative.... it's easy to see how cephalopods can mesmerise people. Reading Kraken could put you under that spell too. --New Scientist
...an absorbing, accessible portrait. --BBC Focus
About the Author
Also by Wendy Williams: Cape Wind: Money, Celebrity, Class, Politics, and the Battle for Our Energy Future on Nantucket Sound Paeger / 978-1-58648-397-5 / GBP26.95 / May, 2007 / Hardcover
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Top Customer Reviews
What's a cephalopod I hear you ask? It's a family of spineless creatures that includes squid, octopus and cuttlefish. This book covers all three but does focus on squid, as the title suggests. You'll be amazed by the medical advances that have been made thanks to the research carried out on squid. I even learned a little about the human nervous system, although I did start to tune out a little when it got a bit complex.
On occasion the book branches out to cover other areas of behavioural research, such as a charming story of how the finch learns to sing. Another researcher, carries out an experiment with his pet dog and yellow snow.
There's a chapter on sex which ranges from the funny (an incident of jumping sperm in a classroom) to tragic (the story of the Great Pacific Octopus mother).
Whilst the writing style isn't going to win any literary awards, the subject matter more than makes up for anything lacking in the sentence structure. It is a non-fiction book after all and does well to be entertaining. I repeatedly found myself putting down my current fiction read so I could read a little bit more about squid.
On a side note, the picture captions were very basic. There was one photo near the beginning that just said "a squid". I think if you have picked up the book to read you'll know what one looks like and it should either have been expanded upon or left out.Read more ›
Wendy Williams uses this book to review the state of modern teuthology, concentrating on the swuid including the little know but fascinating Giant and Colossal Squid and our search to discover more about them as well as their passage from creatures of myth to fully described and named species. The ecology of the Humboldt Squid, its researchers and what their research may reveal about the changing ecology of the oceans features a lot in the book but so does the importance of squid neurons in understanding how the human nervous system works, the evolution of the eye and the amazing life cycle of all cephalapods, exemplified by the Pacific Giant Octopus. Through it all the question of cephalaopd intelligence comes through, how it compares to mammalian intelligence and how these animals learn, communicate and develop forms a fascinating and intriguing major theme of the book.
Williams is a good author she lets the scientists tell their stories and writes around these. The book is beautiful, with an old fashioned feel to the paper and that and the splendid cover wre what first attracted me to it. Once I started it I found it easy to read and, despite, probably having a bit more knowledge about these animals than the average reader I found out plenty of new information which showed why these animals fascinate the scientist heroes of the book.
The book itself is beautiful too, rarely is so much thought put into the package.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As an animal lover and all round science geek, this was an easy, absorbing and fascinating read. I thoroughly enjoyed this bookPublished 20 months ago by N Blain
This book was so interesting! If you have any interest in squid or octopuses you will love this book! Read morePublished on 11 Mar. 2014 by Jess