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Fuzz

by Mary Roach

Kirkus Tracing the line between wildlife and the law, the acclaimed science writer examines how humans interact with the natural world.What is the proper course when wild animals break laws intended for people? So asks Roach in a book that, in the authors characteristic style, ranges widely, from wild animal attacks to the inherent dangers of certain plants to ways in which we have treated animals that most humans consider vermin. The author begins by examining the intractable nature of human-wildlife conflictas it is known today by those who grapple with it professionally. Roach discusses well-known conflicts such as bear attacks before moving on to an account of her visit to a tea plantation in West Bengal, India, a place where the elephant in the room is not a metaphor. As in her previous bestsellers such as Grunt and Stiff, the author has clearly done her homework, speaking to professionals across a variety of disciplines, including members of the military; nuns, priests, guards, and other workers at the Vatican; and those with job titles that sound like something youd hear if you asked an animal-besotted ten-year-old, What do you want to be when you grow up? (The lucky fellow in question, who has a doctorate in wildlife biology, researches mountain lions and gray wolves, two apex predators.) Traveling from a bear seminar in Reno to a bird-infested island in the Pacific that plagued the American military during World War II, among many other venues, Roach joyfully explores how human culture and wildlife, including plant life, have either found ways to coexist or are constantly at odds. Throughout, Roach highlights people who are genuinely passionate about the work, and she also includes suggestions for readers on how to deal ethically (and effectively) with their own wildlife issues, wherever they live.From the terrifying to the frustrating, a great starting point for understanding the animal world. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Kirkus Tracing the line between wildlife and the law, the acclaimed science writer examines how humans interact with the natural world. “What is the proper course when wild animals break laws intended for people?” So asks Roach in a book that, in the author’s characteristic style, ranges widely, from wild animal attacks to the inherent dangers of certain plants to ways in which we have treated animals that most humans consider vermin. The author begins by examining “the intractable nature of human-wildlife conflict—as it is known today by those who grapple with it professionally.” Roach discusses well-known conflicts such as bear attacks before moving on to an account of her visit to a tea plantation in West Bengal, India, “a place where ‘the elephant in the room’ is not a metaphor.” As in her previous bestsellers such as Grunt and Stiff, the author has clearly done her homework, speaking to professionals across a variety of disciplines, including members of the military; nuns, priests, guards, and other workers at the Vatican; and those with job titles that sound “like something you’d hear if you asked an animal-besotted ten-year-old, What do you want to be when you grow up?” (The lucky fellow in question, who has a doctorate in wildlife biology, researches mountain lions and gray wolves, two apex predators.) Traveling from a bear seminar in Reno to a bird-infested island in the Pacific that plagued the American military during World War II, among many other venues, Roach joyfully explores how human culture and wildlife, including plant life, have either found ways to coexist or are constantly at odds. Throughout, Roach highlights people who are genuinely passionate about the work, and she also includes suggestions for readers on how to deal ethically (and effectively) with their own wildlife issues, wherever they live. From the terrifying to the frustrating, a great starting point for understanding the animal world. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Publishers Weekly Bestseller Roach (Bonk) sheds light on nature’s malefactors in this often funny, always provocative survey of species that “regularly commit acts that put them at odds with humans.” Readers will learn that most lethal bear attacks (which are very rare) are committed by what is commonly believed to be the less dangerous black bear, and that the animal responsible for the most damage to civil aircraft in the U.S. is, surprisingly, the white-tailed deer. Along the way, Roach attends a training for wildlife officers on using forensics to identify the culprits of attacks, where shop talk involves such questions as “ever tase an elk?” In Vatican City, papal officials have a scarecrow that uses lasers to scare off birds and keep them from destroying Easter flower displays. Roach hopes that humans can come to embrace coexistence even with creatures seen as pests—as she does the rat living in her own home. Roach’s writing is wry, full of heart, and loaded with intriguing facts: “You may be wondering: When you live off your own fat, do you need to use the toilet? If you are a bear, you do not.” This eminently entertaining outing is another winner from Roach. (Sept.)

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal The expert on quirky science writing doesn't disappoint. In Roach's (Grunt; Gulp; Stiff) newest book, she brings readers on her journey into the realm of human-wildlife conflict. Roach's writing combines research with firsthand experience, plus tips for handling an unplanned encounter with a wild animal. She observes and talks with international laypeople and specialists across many fields, such as animal-attack forensics investigators. Her natural curiosity and wit pair well with her topics, including her harassment by monkeys, and the way emus and albatrosses outsmarted the Australian and U.S. militaries, respectively. She gets elbow-deep in crime scenes with furry suspects and travels to India to investigate the high rate of deaths by elephant. Roach also explores how politics, climate change, and religion can complicate human-wildlife interactions worldwide. Like Roach's previous best-selling pop science works, this book is unpretentious and honest about what she sees and what she learns along the way. VERDICT A must-read for wildlife enthusiasts, popular science readers, and anyone who has enjoyed Roach's other books. Her occasionally awkward interactions with people and animals make for the engaging narrative style that Roach is famous for.—Cate Triola, Capella Univ., Minneapolis

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