Top critical review
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An interesting, if slightly disappointing read
on 24 February 2013
I just finished this book today, though I did begin skimming a little towards the end.
It came up in my Amazon recommendations for some reason, possibly due to my having purchased '20,000 leagues under the sea' a while ago. I thought it would make an unusual read, a bit of a swerve ball in my reading list.
The book itself is a superb edition. It is small enough to be carried around with you and the pages are of a high quality.
I did enjoy the book and certainly improved my knowledge of cephalopods! the science is written in an easily digestible way without missing any necessary information. Wendy Williams presented a subject that I essentially had no real interest in, in a way that was easily readable and left me feeling as though I had learned something.
The reason I have only rated 'Kraken' three stars is because I couldn't help but feel slightly disappointed with a few things.
First and foremost: Lack of colour pictures. There is much written about the chromatophores and their ability to change colour - It would have been great to have some images displaying these colours and patterns. The pictures in the book are limited to small, low quality black and white prints slotted in amongst the paragraphs of texts. Given the subject of the book it strikes me the author missed a trick in not giving us some high quality images of these amazing creatures.
Furthermore, I assumed from the title that there would be slightly more made of the mythology of the Squid, maybe more anecdotes or old sea tales. As it is the book is relentlessly scientific, which I felt took some of the fun out of it. There wasn't any speculation of 'what else maybe lurking down there' or suchlike. Whilst the science of the cephalopods is fascinating enough, it did get a bit tiresome and as I've mentioned, I did start to skim a bit toward the end.
All in all a good read, very informative and suprising. I would just liked a few colour images and perhaps (rightly or wrongly) a little sensationalising!!