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The Book of Eels: Our Enduring Fascination with the Most Mysterious Creature in the Natural World
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Published:
Ecco 2020
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Description

A Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize

National Bestseller

Winner of the National Outdoor Book Award

Longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction

A New York Times Notable Book

One of TIME's 100 Must Read Books of the Year

One of The Washington Post's 50 Notable Nonfiction Books of the Year

One of Smithsonian Magazine's 10 Best Science Books of the Year

One of Publishers Weekly's Best Nonfiction Books of the Year

A New York Times Editor's Choice

Part H Is for Hawk, part The Soul of an Octopus, The Book of Eels is both a meditation on the world's most elusive fish—the eel—and a reflection on the human condition
Remarkably little is known about the European eel, Anguilla anguilla. So little, in fact, that scientists and philosophers have, for centuries, been obsessed with what has become known as the "eel question": Where do eels come from? What are they? Are they fish or some other kind of creature altogether? Even today, in an age of advanced science, no one has ever seen eels mating or giving birth, and we still don't understand what drives them, after living for decades in freshwater, to swim great distances back to the ocean at the end of their lives. They remain a mystery.

Drawing on a breadth of research about eels in literature, history, and modern marine biology, as well as his own experience fishing for eels with his father, Patrik Svensson crafts a mesmerizing portrait of an unusual, utterly misunderstood, and completely captivating animal. In The Book of Eels, we meet renowned historical thinkers, from Aristotle to Sigmund Freud to Rachel Carson, for whom the eel was a singular obsession. And we meet the scientists who spearheaded the search for the eel's point of origin, including Danish marine biologist Johannes Schmidt, who led research efforts in the early twentieth century, catching thousands upon thousands of eels, in the hopes of proving their birthing grounds in the Sargasso Sea.

Blending memoir and nature writing at its best, Svensson's journey to understand the eel becomes an exploration of the human condition that delves into overarching issues about our roots and destiny, both as humans and as animals, and, ultimately, how to handle the biggest question of all: death. The result is a gripping and slippery narrative that will surprise and enchant.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
05/26/2020
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780062968838
ASIN:
B07WCPKL1V
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Patrik Svensson. (2020). The Book of Eels: Our Enduring Fascination with the Most Mysterious Creature in the Natural World. Ecco.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Patrik Svensson. 2020. The Book of Eels: Our Enduring Fascination With the Most Mysterious Creature in the Natural World. Ecco.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Patrik Svensson, The Book of Eels: Our Enduring Fascination With the Most Mysterious Creature in the Natural World. Ecco, 2020.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Patrik Svensson. The Book of Eels: Our Enduring Fascination With the Most Mysterious Creature in the Natural World. Ecco, 2020. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
May 27, 2020 11:05:05
Date Updated:
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A Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize

National Bestseller

Winner of the National Outdoor Book Award

Longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction

A New York Times Notable Book

One of TIME's 100 Must Read Books of the Year

One of The Washington Post's 50 Notable Nonfiction Books of the Year

One of Smithsonian Magazine's 10 Best Science Books of the Year

One of Publishers Weekly's Best Nonfiction Books of the Year

A New York Times Editor's Choice

Part H Is for Hawk, part The Soul of an Octopus, The Book of Eels is both a meditation on the world's most elusive fish—the eel—and a reflection on the human condition
Remarkably little is known about the European eel,...

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A Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize

National Bestseller

Winner of the National Outdoor Book Award

Longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction

A New York Times Notable Book

One of TIME's 100 Must Read Books of the Year

One of The Washington Post's 50 Notable Nonfiction Books of the Year

One of Smithsonian Magazine's 10 Best Science Books of the Year

One of Publishers Weekly's Best Nonfiction Books of the Year

A New York Times Editor's Choice

Part H Is for Hawk, part The Soul of an Octopus, The Book of Eels is both a meditation on the world's most elusive fish—the eel—and a reflection on the human condition
Remarkably little is known about the European eel, Anguilla anguilla. So little, in fact, that scientists and philosophers have, for centuries, been obsessed with what has become known as the "eel question": Where do eels come from? What are they? Are they fish or some other kind of creature altogether? Even today, in an age of advanced science, no one has ever seen eels mating or giving birth, and we still don't understand what drives them, after living for decades in freshwater, to swim great distances back to the ocean at the end of their lives. They remain a mystery.

Drawing on a breadth of research about eels in literature, history, and modern marine biology, as well as his own experience fishing for eels with his father, Patrik Svensson crafts a mesmerizing portrait of an unusual, utterly misunderstood, and completely captivating animal. In The Book of Eels, we meet renowned historical thinkers, from Aristotle to Sigmund Freud to Rachel Carson, for whom the eel was a singular obsession. And we meet the scientists who spearheaded the search for the eel's point of origin, including Danish marine biologist Johannes Schmidt, who led research efforts in the early twentieth century, catching thousands upon thousands of eels, in the hopes of proving their birthing grounds in the Sargasso Sea.

Blending memoir and nature writing at its best, Svensson's journey to understand the eel becomes an exploration of the human condition that delves into overarching issues about our roots and destiny, both as humans and as animals, and, ultimately, how to handle the biggest question of all: death. The result is a gripping and slippery narrative that will surprise and enchant.

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