The Truth About Animals

The Truth About Animals

Stoned Sloths, Lovelorn Hippos, and Other Tales From the Wild Side of Wildlife

Book - 2019
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Mary Roach meets Bill Bryson in this uproarious tour of the basest instincts and biggest mysteries of the animal world
Whether we're seeing a viral video of romping baby pandas or a picture of penguins "holding hands," it's hard for us to think of animals as anything but playful paragons of innocence and virtue. 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 embarks on a global adventure 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.
Publisher: New York, NY : Basic Books, 2019.
Edition: 1st trade pbk. edition.
ISBN: 9781541674080
Characteristics: 336 pages : 21 cm


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Dec 03, 2018

Overall, was a decent read. I liked all the animal facts but found that the author wasn’t always clear in what she was stating. Also found that she would start talking about a different animal than the main subject of the chapter (specifically in the chapter about storks). Would have liked to learn more about current thoughts/theories on the animals.

SkokieStaff_Steven Aug 01, 2018

Lucy Cooke’s “The Truth About Animals: Stoned Sloths, Lovelorn Hippos, and Other Tales from the Wild Side of Wildlife” reads like an unlikely but surprisingly successful collaboration between Sir David Attenborough and Benny Hill. On the one hand, it is highly informative, a survey of animal behavior that focuses on the sort of creature that even a five-year-old could pick out of a line-up: beavers, vultures, penguins, pandas, and the like. On the other hand, it is riotously funny, especially for those whose sense of humor veers toward the scatological and the sexual. Cooke never ceases to amaze when she describes her subjects as they actually are, but she truly excels when she explodes the ridiculous myths that people actually believed about animals. I mean, why on earth would anyone think that birds spend the winter hibernating under ice in frozen lakes or migrate to the moon? The audio version of this book is like nothing I’ve ever heard before. Cooke reads it herself, and she has a screechy voice that she uses to constantly OVEREMPHASIZE certain WORDS and PHRASES as if she were reciting the book in a fierce headwind. This is annoying at first, but her way of reading gradually becomes completely endearing and a real asset to the tales she tells.

Jul 10, 2018

This is not a heavy academic tome, however it does have a wealth of myth-busting information about a variety of animals in a breezy, irreverent, easy-to-read style. It's not in-depth, more a quick-dip-at-a-trot, but there are copious end-notes and a bibliography for those who want to explore further.


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