The Beauty of the Beastly

The Beauty of the Beastly

New Views on the Nature of Life

Book - 1995
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Houghton
Natalie Angier, one of the foremost American science writers, is the author of the masterly book Natural Obsessions: The Search for the Oncogene. (1988). Now, in The Beauty of the Beastly, she has reshaped many of her daily and weekly articles into a narrative that vividly conveys the discoveries of contemporary biological science and how biologists made them. She has arranged her topics according to the energy from which they spring - the life forces that inform and energize her (and our) work. To Angier, the movement, the dance, the play of life supplies the heartbeat of knowledge. In seven sections entitled, in order, Loving, Dancing, Slithering, Adapting, Healing, Creating, and Dying, Angier focuses on what science knows about the living world, in her own witty and exalted language.

Baker & Taylor
Portrays discoveries of contemporary biological science in a narrative divided into sections that focus on what scientists know about the living world

Blackwell North Amer
"The beauty of the natural world lies in the details, and most of those details are not the stuff of calendar art," Natalie Angier writes in the introduction to The Beauty of the Beastly. "I have made it a kind of hobby, almost a mission, to write about organisms that many people find repugnant: spiders, scorpions, parasites, worms, rattlesnakes, dung beetles, hyenas. I have done so out of a perverse preference for subjects that other writers generally have ignored, and because I hope to inspire in readers an appreciation for diversity, for imagination, for the twisted, webbed, infinite possibility of the natural world. Every single story that nature tells is gorgeous."
She has taken pains to learn her science from the molecule up, finding "the very pulse of the machine" in everything from the supple structure of DNA to the erotic ways of barn swallows, queen bees, and the endangered, otherworldly primate called the aye-aye. Angier knows all that scientists know - and sometimes more - about the power of symmetry in sexual relations, about the brutal courting habits of dolphins, about the grand deceit of orchids, about the impact of female and male preference on evolution. She knows how scientists go about their work, and she describes their ways, their visions, and their arguments.

Baker
& Taylor

The author of Natural Obsessions portrays discoveries of contemporary biological science in a narrative divided into sections that focus on what scientists know about the living world--Loving, Dancing, Slithering, Adapting, Healing, Creating, and Dying.

Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 1995
ISBN: 9780395718162
0395718163
Characteristics: xxii, 278 p. ; 22 cm

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