The Red Hourglass: Lives of the Predators

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9780385318907: The Red Hourglass: Lives of the Predators
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Snake venom that digests human flesh. A building cleared of every living thing by a band of tiny spiders. An infant insect eating its living prey from within, saving the vital organs for last. These are among the deadly feats of natural engineering you'll witness in The Red Hourglass, prize-winning author Gordon Grice's masterful, poetic, often dryly funny exploration of predators he has encountered around his rural Oklahoma home. Kill. Eat. Mate. Die. Charting the simple brutality of the lives of these predators, Grice's starkly graceful essays guide us toward startling truths about our own predatory nature. The Red Hourglass brings us face to fanged face with the inadequacy of our distinctions between normal and abnormal, dead and alive, innocent and evil.

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Review:

The Red Hourglass creeps and crawls with seven essays that follow the author's fascination with spiders, insects, snakes--even wild pigs. Its title, suggesting the irony of lethal beauty, provides a hint of the miraculous nature writing contained within; Grice transforms even the most horrific events of the natural world into poetry. Here's a pet praying mantis during feeding time: "The moth flapped its wings into a buzzing blur every few seconds while the mantid unhurriedly ate it, starting from the head. The pruning-shear mouth parts worked away, biting out chunks of moth and lapping the juices. The moth's scales, which had broken into particles of dust when they smeared my hand, looked like little brown feathers when they were whole, and they drifted down in a steady snow." The writing is quirky, lyrical, and intensely personal. Grice is not just an observer of nature; he gleefully participates in the strange and wonderful lives of mostly small, predatory animals, and most readers will simultaneously squirm and delight in his unusual, ground-level perspective. Then again, some readers may be reduced to quivering terror. If you suffer from a fear of the little beasts roaming the earth, perhaps Grice's exploration of the predator-prey relationship might prove too frightening and abhorrent. --Amazon.com

Review:

"Gordon Grice is one hell of a writer. I was originally disturbed by some of the killing he depicts, but his descriptions are so compelling that I had to read on. I'm glad I did."
--Jeffrey Masson, author of When Elephants Weep and Dogs Never Lie About Love

"The Red Hourglass marks the debut of a fresh, strange, and wonderful new voice in American nature writing."
--Michael Pollan, author of A Place of My Own and Second Nature

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780713992526: The Red Hourglass Lives of the Predators :

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0713992522 ISBN 13:  9780713992526
Publisher: Allen Lane / Penquin Press, 1998
Hardcover

9780385318877: The Red Hourglass: Lives of the Predators

Delaco..., 1998
Hardcover

9780140275810: The Red Hourglass: Lives of the Predators (Allen Lane Science)

Penguin, 1999
Softcover

9780140283853: The Red Hourglass: Lives of the Predators (Penguin Press Science)

Penguin, 1999
Softcover

9780713992939: The Red Hourglass: Lives of the Predators

Allen ..., 1998
Softcover

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