The Truth About Animals: Stoned Sloths, Lovelorn Hippos, and Other Tales from the Wild Side of Wildlife (Paperback)
Mary Roach meets Bill Bryson in this "surefire summer winner" (Janet Maslin, New York Times), an uproarious tour of the basest instincts and biggest mysteries of the animal world
Humans have gone to the Moon and discovered the Higgs boson, but when it comes to understanding animals, we've still got a long way to go. Whether we're seeing a viral video of romping baby pandas or a picture of penguins "holding hands," it's hard for us not to project our own values -- innocence, fidelity, temperance, hard work -- onto animals. So you've probably never considered if moose get drunk, penguins cheat on their mates, or worker ants lay about. They do -- and that's just for starters. In The Truth About Animals, Lucy Cooke takes us on a worldwide journey to meet everyone from a Colombian hippo castrator to a Chinese panda porn peddler, all to lay bare the secret -- and often hilarious -- habits of the animal kingdom. Charming and at times downright weird, this modern bestiary is perfect for anyone who has ever suspected that virtue might be unnatural.
About the Author
On the New York Times Book Review's Paperback Row—-
One of the New York Times Book Review's "17 Refreshing Books to Read This Summer"—-
you'd expect from an Oxford zoologist. It's also downright funny."
"Lucy Cooke's new book makes Playboy seem as tedious and tame as a phone book...In her delightful reading of natural history, [Cooke] is both scientist and standup comic...Trained as an academic, Cooke's writing style is anything but--rather, it's bawdy, irreverent, guiltless, sometimes locker-room-ish and comedic. She makes you feel she's having fun as she pounds out the words...The Truth About Animals is a great read and fascinating fun."—Winnipeg Free Press
"Lucy Cooke takes equal delight in natural oddities and in people's long struggles to understand them. Part history, part biology, and wholly entertaining, The Truth About Animals is a quirky and edifying romp."—Thor Hanson, author of Buzz, Feathers, and The Triumph of Seeds
"Lucy Cooke's [The Truth About Animals] was a joy from beginning to end. Who could resist a writer who argues that penguins have been pulling the wool over our eyes for years, and that, far from being cute and gregarious, they are actually pathologically unpleasant necrophiliacs?"—The Guardian (UK)
"As surprising as it is diverse. Consummate natural history writing: illuminating, remarkable - and very, very funny."
—Alice Roberts, author of The Complete Human Body and The Incredible Unlikeliness of Being