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on 16 October 2000
I bought this book on the basis of a favourable review in New Scientist. The book is written in a very accessible style, making it very readable by non-scientists and scientists alike. The story writing ability of Carl Zimmer is a welcome change from some of the supposed popular science authors. Many of the storys are deliciously gruesome, but also educational, as Carl explores the complex relationship of parasite and host from many angles. The role of parasitism in shaping eveolution is considered as are the physiological and behavioural consequences of a parastic relationship. My one criticism is that Carl does not differentiate between parasites (keep their hosts alive) and parasitoids (intentionally kill their hosts), a subtle distinction that I felt would have helped in his explanations. This is a minor issue and certainly does not detract from an excellent book. I would thoroughly recommend this book to anyone who is even vaguely interested in parasites and modern diseases.
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on 5 August 2009
This is a fantastic book! I bought on the strength of the other reviews, not particularly due to interest in the subject.

The prose style is flowing and draws you in - as well as imparting lots of information at the same time - leading you, by the end, to a sense of real admiration for these specilists of nature. Zimmer is so good that he has managed to take a "yuck" subject and made it both beautiful and fascinating.

It also managed to answer my long-standing question as to why Toxicara is dangerous for pregnant women / young children (-i.e. they can't clear out the cat litter), but is harmless to older children and adults (-unless they have AIDS). So, educational, readable and relevent : it rightly deserves it's 5 stars.
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on 13 May 2015
Very interesting book, I am past the half way point and I am enjoying it more and more. It can be a bit boring at times, but get past those bits and you will get a much better insight as to the why's and how's (to get rid of :-)) of this parasitic world living inside us. I have also bought Dr. Hulda Clark's book, The Cure for all Diseases, in my quest to rid my body of parasites and unwanted waste and toxins. She was one of the pioneers in this field and I highly recommend her. Stay happy, healthy and blessed.
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on 13 May 2014
Written by some-one who knows his subject of parasitology in an easy style, full of information and giving food for thought - sometimes the parasites are beneficial in preventing an even worse scenario; we too could be classed as parasites depending on your species point of view.
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on 7 February 2010
What these creatures can make their hosts do is amazing, after reading this book I started to wonder who is in charge!
I am not a scientist but Carl Zimmer has introduced me to the parasitic world in a way that I understood and found absorbing.
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on 15 December 2009
Lots of information about infectious diseases caused by parasites(elephantiasis, blood flukes, etc). Any adult could easily understand the writing. Really enjoy reading it. Very informative and yet written in such an interesting way.
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on 13 March 2016
I had wanted this book for a long time and am really glad I finally purchased it. Really detailed on the subject. Maybe not to be read around mealtimes if you want to keep your appetite.
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on 17 February 2017
lots of information about parasites life but written in beletristic style. One has to read this book with pencil and underline the important information.
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on 4 May 2009
The things you miss if you're not looking in the right place!

Encellent book - Hightly recommended.
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on 3 January 2017
Interesting, engaging and easy to digest.
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