Monster of God: The Man-Eating Predator in the Jungles of History and the Mind

Monster of God: The Man-Eating Predator in the Jungles of History and the Mind

Vigeant, Margot A S

SCIENCE

Monster of God: The Man-Eating Predator in the Jungles of History and the Mind, by David Quammen. Norton, September 2003. $26.95

This book is an examination of the relationship between people and the animals that love them . . . for dinner. Made particularly relevant by the recent attack on Roy Horn, this story is a painstakingly researched historical, ecological, and ethnographic study of “alpha predators.” Quammen has traveled the globe in search of people who live with lions, tigers, bears, and the other creatures that think of people “as just another flavor of meat.” He interviews people who live, side-by-side, with lions and are as blase as New Yorkers on the subway. He talks to Aboriginal artists who see crocodiles as their totems, and others who see them as a nice handbag. The organization of the book may be trying for some, but this reviewer found the stream-of-consciousness style (where a single chapter holds Romanian bears, the epic of Gilgamesh, and a discourse on colonization) both fascinating and relevant. -Margot A. S. Vigeant

Copyright University of Virginia Winter 2004

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