The Boilerplate Rhino: Nature in the Eye of the Beholder

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9780743200325: The Boilerplate Rhino: Nature in the Eye of the Beholder

In 1981 David Quammen began what might be every freelance writer's dream: a monthly column for Outside magazine in which he was given free rein to write about anything that interested him in the natural world. His column was called "Natural Acts," and for the next fifteen years he delighted Outside's readers with his fascinating ruminations on the world around us. The Boilerplate Rhino brings together twenty-six of Quammen's most thoughtful and engaging essays from that column, none previously printed in any of his earlier books.
In lucid, penetrating, and often quirkily idiosyncratic prose, David Quammen takes his readers with him as he explores the world. His travels lead him to rattlesnake handlers in Texas; a lizard specialist in Baja; the dinosaur museum in Jordan, Montana; and halfway across Indonesia in search of the perfect Durian fruit. He ponders the history of nutmeg in the southern Moluccas, meditates on bioluminescent beetles while soaking in the waters of the Amazon, and delivers "The Dope on Eggs" from a chicken ranch near his hometown in Montana.
Quammen's travels are always jumping-off points to explore the rich and sometimes horrifying tension between humankind and the natural world, in all its complexity and ambivalence. The result is another irrepressible assortment of ideas to explore, conundrums to contemplate, and wondrous creatures to behold.

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David Quammen, a highly regarded popular-science writer (Song of the Dodo) and novelist, brings a range of qualities to his work as an interpreter of nature: a journalist's talent for finding a good story and telling it well, a scholar's conviction that facts matter, and an amateur naturalist's passion for learning about the way things work. For 15 years, Quammen put these qualities to good use in his Outside magazine column "Natural Acts." The Boilerplate Rhino gathers 26 of those columns between book covers, and to good purpose: every one of them is a keeper. Quammen writes of such matters as the entirely reasonable human fear of spiders (which he shares) and snakes (which he does not); of the work of such groundbreaking theoreticians and thinkers as E.O. Wilson and Henry David Thoreau; of the history of American lawns; the life of the durian fruit; the commodification of nature by way of television documentaries; the strange scholarly fortunes of Tyrannosaurus rex; and the landing patterns of cats in free fall. (Really.) A single theme underpins these scattered pieces: namely, how humans "in all their variousness, regard and react to the natural world, in all its variousness." Quammen explores this theme with good cheer and hard-won knowledge, and his essays teach his readers much about the world. --Gregory McNamee

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Book Description SIMON SCHUSTER, United States, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. From 1981 to 1996 David Quammen delighted readers of OUTSIDE magazine with his thoughtful ruminations on the world around us in his monthly column, NATURAL ACTS. This is a selection of twenty-six of his most durable and engaging essays from that column. The Boilerplate Rhino presents Quammen s distinctive take on topics such as rattlesnake handlers and rattlesnakes, eel mythology and living eels and arachnaphobia and spiders. Each essay is written in the articulate and penetrating style for which Quammen is so renowned. Each touches upon the rich and sometimes horrifically fascinating tension between man and the natural world, in all its complexity and ambivalence. The result is another irrepressible assortment of ideas to explore, conundrums to contemplate, and wondrous creatures to behold. From the acclaimed author of WILD THOUGHTS FROM WILD PLACES and the award winning THE SONG OF THE DODO. Bookseller Inventory # BZV9780743200325

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Book Description SIMON SCHUSTER, United States, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. From 1981 to 1996 David Quammen delighted readers of OUTSIDE magazine with his thoughtful ruminations on the world around us in his monthly column, NATURAL ACTS. This is a selection of twenty-six of his most durable and engaging essays from that column. The Boilerplate Rhino presents Quammen s distinctive take on topics such as rattlesnake handlers and rattlesnakes, eel mythology and living eels and arachnaphobia and spiders. Each essay is written in the articulate and penetrating style for which Quammen is so renowned. Each touches upon the rich and sometimes horrifically fascinating tension between man and the natural world, in all its complexity and ambivalence. The result is another irrepressible assortment of ideas to explore, conundrums to contemplate, and wondrous creatures to behold. From the acclaimed author of WILD THOUGHTS FROM WILD PLACES and the award winning THE SONG OF THE DODO. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780743200325

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Book Description SIMON SCHUSTER, United States, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. From 1981 to 1996 David Quammen delighted readers of OUTSIDE magazine with his thoughtful ruminations on the world around us in his monthly column, NATURAL ACTS. This is a selection of twenty-six of his most durable and engaging essays from that column. The Boilerplate Rhino presents Quammen s distinctive take on topics such as rattlesnake handlers and rattlesnakes, eel mythology and living eels and arachnaphobia and spiders. Each essay is written in the articulate and penetrating style for which Quammen is so renowned. Each touches upon the rich and sometimes horrifically fascinating tension between man and the natural world, in all its complexity and ambivalence. The result is another irrepressible assortment of ideas to explore, conundrums to contemplate, and wondrous creatures to behold. From the acclaimed author of WILD THOUGHTS FROM WILD PLACES and the award winning THE SONG OF THE DODO. Bookseller Inventory # BZV9780743200325

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