The power went off just before an early winter sunset. I turned to my phone and looked online for information: it was unlikely to be fixed quickly. Suddenly an entire night stretched ahead of me with a million and one things on my to-do list that couldn’t be done, and an increasingly dark house. So I focused on what was in my power to do: light candles, wrap myself in a blanket, and settle on the sofa with my (backlit) Kindle to begin reading Lucy Cooke’s The Unexpected Truth About Animals.
To say I was transported is an understatement. Lucy manages to take two of the topics I usually write about separately—history and nature—and combines them into a fascinating look at the ups and downs of humankind's relationship with animals over the millennia. While the myths of the past seem silly to modern sensibilities, Lucy’s exploration of the topic (and her clear enthusiasm for it), enlightened both my mind and my evening. The hours flew by as I learned the slippery truth about eels, far more about beaver private parts than expected, and had my eyes opened to the reality of panda reproduction.
With a conversational writing style and a passion for wildlife that can’t help but draw you in, Lucy Cooke serves as a myth-buster extraordinaire, and The Unexpected Truth About Animals packs a lot of information into an easily consumed package. Whether you’re looking for a way to kill some time on a dark night, want to learn more about how common wildlife myths have been handed down through the ages (hint: the Comte de Buffon was probably involved somewhere along the line), or are searching for a Christmas gift or stocking filler for the wildlife lover in your life, you probably won’t go wrong with The Unexpected Truth About Animals. I certainly considered it time well spent.
Showing 1-8 of 44 reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
24 August 2018
I have loved reading this book. I love animals and have always struggled to find an informative but ‘easy to read’ book, usually find the ones I buy are great but lots of technical language and I never remember anything I read. Not this book though! So interesting, funny and informative. I have loved every chapter and have enjoyed reeling off all the facts I have learnt to anyone who will listen. If you love animals and have an interest in the environment then I highly recommend this book! It would be a great gift too.
24 March 2018
Fantastic writing. Very interesting read with humour in abundance. Highly recommended.
5 January 2018
Curiosity and amusement in equal doses. Intelligently written and treats you as an intelligent reader. Excellent read and recommend to all. Great to explore as a family with suitably aged kids.
20 January 2019
There are so many things in this world that most of us know little about. This book tells us the truth about some animals that, throughout history, have been either misrepresented or maligned by man in the past. There is so much more that is known today about life on earth and I am grateful to the author for enlightening me further in such an absorbing way.
One person found this helpfulComment
2 July 2019
This is a perfect dip in and out sort of book. You can amuse and irritate people for aaaaages, by saying 'did you know....' and providing them with animal facts whether they want you to or not (they probably will, they are very good facts). It's also very well written and interesting.
17 August 2018
This book is fantastic! So many facts and incredible, and sometimes bizarre, stories from the early days of discovery. I loved learning new things about my favourite animals like the hyena and moose. Well written and very witty, really hope there will be a part 2! Faye
2 people found this helpfulComment