Dr Tatiana's Sex Advice To All Creation: Definitive Guide to the Evolutionary Biology of Sex Paperback – 5 Jun 2003
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"Darwin titillated 18th-century London with his poem 'The Loves of Plants.' He never knew the half of it. Dr. Tatiana knows how the other half loves, and it's much kinkier than anybody imagined. Never has science seemed more like daytime TV" (Matt Ridley, author of The Red Queen)
"Perhaps the most original advice manual ever written... Judson has pulled off the rarest coup: a science book that's actually fun to read" (New Republic)
"Funny and blissfully original... Dr. Tatiana's science is first-rate" (The Economist)
"Captivating... An evolutionary biologist with interesting and amusing things to tell us" (Wall Street Journal)
"Eye-popping, filthy and funny" (Literary Review)
In witty question-and-answer format, this book explains biology by entertaining reference to the evolution of "all creatures great and small".See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
This is how it's set out:
• It starts with an explanatory note from Dr Tatiana.
• The chapters each start with a short introduction, followed by a selection of letters (from correspondents troubled about their peculiar sex lives) and helpful replies from Dr Tatiana. Chapters end with a brief conclusion.
• The chapters are divided into 3 parts. Chapters 1 to 5, 'Let Slip the Whores of War!', cover the battle of the sexes; Chapters 6 to 10, 'The Evolution of Depravity', cover the more extreme and beastly methods employed by the warring sexes; Chapters 11 to 13, 'Are Men Necessary?', looks at why sexual reproduction might be preferred to asexual reproduction.
• The book ends with extensive notes, bibliography and an index.
It was a great pleasure to read this hoard of extraordinary sex stories - so many different life-forms and their astonishing variety of sexual behaviours, all tied together to make a sensible whole. It's a fascinating subject and Olivia Judson presents the facts with clarity and humour, bless her. I vaguely remember how sex was covered in biology lessons at school, 3 decades ago - it was dry, boring and embarrassing. This book is the opposite of that. It's unashamedly rude and funny. It sizzles. Now I know that even birds and bees get up to the most incredible antics in their struggle to reproduce. If they could have made the subject seem even half as interesting as this when I was a pupil, I would have bothered to study.
Although this book makes for a terrific vacation or conference-trip read whilst in transit, it also has much of seriousness to offer the student of comparative psychology, sociology, anthropology, zoology or medicine. For those wishing to cut to the chase with the primary literature concerning particular issues, over 20 pages of extensively referenced notes are provided.Read more ›
The conceit of various creatures writing to the wise Dr Tatiana for advice on their bizarre sex lives gives the book a certain verve and amusement value that, for example, my university texts did not have. The facts and theories, however, are just as good.
Judson (or Dr Tatiana) has obviously picked on the weirder reaches of sexual behaviour, just as I suspect the agony-aunt columns in newspapers do, but her discussion places each of these behaviours in its evolutionary place. Nobody's sexual conduct is bizarre for the sake of it (except maybe <i>Homo sapiens</i>, but that's a different book) - there is a reason why heads get bitten off, penises are covered in spines, and some organisms change sex, and Dr Tatiana explains the evolutionary logic behind each. She even briefly considers the evolutionary value of homosexuality: it has persisted in many species, so what is it for?
Apart from the sheer fascination, the thing that I most valued about this book was the comprehensive list of references. It's one thing to be interesting - it's quite another to provide the material to allow the interested reader to go and find more detail should they wish to do so.
I would recommend this book not only for anyone interested in the evolutionary biology of sex and wanting an overview of the landscape, as it were, but also anyone who is contemplating writing a science-fiction book involving aliens.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A very amusing and informative read. It works well as a coffee table book and makes a good present to a biologist enthusiast.Published 9 months ago by Clairy D
Fantastically funny and easy to read. It was recommended to me by my lecturer and I have enjoyed every section of it. Read morePublished 18 months ago by devoted bookworm
Covers can be deceptive. Those expecting a titillating sex manual will be disappointed. Despite its "Agony Aunt" format this is a serious study of the evolutionary biology... Read morePublished 24 months ago by Alex
Must have for zoologist/ animal behavior students, a hilarious and at times risky introduction to sexual antagonism, behavior and evolution. Read morePublished on 3 Jun. 2014 by Jade
Not a bad book as far as it goes but it's basically just a list of animals and their sexual habits loosely grouped together by theme. Read morePublished on 10 Mar. 2013 by Chris Chamberlain
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