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Ant Hill (2000)

by Edward O. Wilson(Favorite Author)
3.34 of 5 Votes: 5
review 1: I was pleasantly surprised--not because Ed Wilson is not a good writer or because I am in any way contrary to his scientific notions. Having met him personally & familiar with what many I know & respect find difficult to swallow about his controversial positions, I was nonetheless expecting something that underwhelmed me in terms of fiction. In fact, it is barely fiction, in that it so closely follows the course of Wilson's life that it could be the story of his clone if they waited 60 years to let his genetic material come to life (i.e., it is the current era & not that of his childhood). That said, as a resident of Alabama, I found the historical perspective on Southern culture & Mobile in particular fascinating. Even better though, there is a middle passage that represe... morents the protagonist's honors thesis told from the perspective of ants in a single colony after the thesis had been cleaned up for public consumption by advisors that is truly engrossing. It reminds me of Frans de Waal's "Good Natured" & "Chimpanzee Politics" the way the social dynamics pull one in, almost as would a soap opera. I was always a kid interested in bugs, am a professional scientist, & still have a lay interest in natural sciences outside my field, & this book made me want to know even more. It also gives a more superficial but still interesting tour of the culture of Harvard. And, I should note, I listened to the audiobook, which was very well done in terms of Southern dialects & such. The thriller bit at the end with the hardcore right wing Christians was a bit hokey & falls more into the realm of unfortunate stereotype of the South than reality, but it did carry the story along.
review 2: Totally enjoyed this book. It's fiction, but has such a strong basis in scientific knowledge it read like nonfiction in places. This is the first novel written by this author, a man of science, and I loved the descriptions of the flora and fauna of the area. The story takes place in Lower Alabama, and many of the places of my childhood are mentioned, along with the plants, animals, and people I grew up with. I'm sure that's one reason I liked it so much, but I think I would have enjoyed it even if I'd had no knowledge of the area. My husband does not read fiction, but I am passing this book on to him, and I think he'll enjoy it from a scientific point of view. There is an entire section that interrupts (but enters into) the story on ant colonies, their makeup, job descriptions, anatomy, etc. One reviewer opined that this book is to ants as Moby Dick was to whales. I get that analogy, but found the ant section of this book far more readable than the whale descriptions I forced my way through in Moby Dick! Not sure whether my Alabama friends and family would like this novel or not. It definitely has an unapologetic environmentalist bent, and, in places, paints a not very positive picture of Alabamians in general, and specifically the redneck mentality. If anything, the author may be too general in his assessments of Alabama residents, but, I fear, in many cases, may be right on. less
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The ants win, read how.Good fiction from a great scientist.
Very interesting. Has many layers of information.
nu merge, poate tura viitoare.
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