- Gebundene Ausgabe: 256 Seiten
- Verlag: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (19. Juni 2012)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0547752660
- ISBN-13: 978-0547752662
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 21,1 x 13,7 x 2,8 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 1 Kundenrezension
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 313.018 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
Life Everlasting: The Animal Way of Death (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 19. Juni 2012
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Praise for WHY WE RUN:
“ [T]horoughly engrossing . . . As inspiring as it is fascinating, this book should have wide appeal both within and beyond the athletic world”—Publishers Weekly
“The book operates on several levels: as a memoir, natural history, experimental training guide.… There is an unfailing wonder in [Heinrich’s] writing that gives the book a transforming visual quality.”—New York Times Book Review
“A meditation on humanity. It is the work of a mind that is restless in the most profound sense.…”—Boston Sunday Globe
Praise for THE NESTING SEASON:
"Blending scientific research with memoir, Heinrich reveals the complex courtship and mating rituals of birds--along with the startling commonalities between certain human and avian domestic arrangements...Skillfully narrated and illustrated by the author's own photographs and watercolor sketches, this book offers a range of intellectual and aesthetic pleasures." --Publishers Weekly
"A fascinating exploration of the biological origins of bonding and emotional attachment."--Outside online
"Perhaps the best natural history book of the year! Heinrich illuminates one of the hottest topics in contemporary biology in a very accessible way. A great read.--Wayne Mones Audubon magazine blog
Praise for THE SNORING BIRD:
"Arguably today's finest naturalist author...our latter-day Thoreau."--Publishers Weekly
"Heinrich, who combines his keen scientific eye with the soul of a poet, enthralls." --New York Times Book Review
"One of the finest living examples of that strange hybrid: the science writer."--Los Angeles Times Book Review
"[B]rilliant...there is in Heinrich's every page, wonderment." --San Francisco Chronicle
"[S]plendid nature writing...a fascinating glimpse of the growth of one scientist's mind. Heartily recommended."--Library Journal
Praise for RACING THE ANTELOPE:
"As inspiring as it is fascinating, this book should have wide appeal both within and beyond the athletic world."--Publishers Weekly
Praise for SUMMER WORLD:
"Bernd Heinrich-the object of my admiration-has been . . . writing about [nature] with brio, for decades. Perhaps his most attractive quality . . . . is his ability to find something intellectually stimulating whenever he steps out the door. . . . The man is irrepressible."--New York Times Book Review
"One of our greatest living naturalists...Heinrich, author of 15 marvelous, mind-altering books.is a national treasure." --LA Times
"This is hands-and-knees science at its most engaging...as the great greening occurs all around us, we can only hope to see half as much as Heinrich does."--Boston Globe
Bernd Heinrich is one of the finest naturalists of our time. "Life Everlasting" shines with the authenticity and originality that are unique to a life devoted to natural history in the field. Edward O. Wilson, author of "The Future of Life" and "The Social Conquest of Earth"
How does the animal world deal with death? And what ecological and spiritual lessons can we learn from examining this? Bernd Heinrich has long been fascinated by these questions, and when a good friend with a terminal illness asked if he might have his green burial at Heinrich s hunting camp in Maine, it inspired the acclaimed biologist and author to investigate. "Life Everlasting "is the fruit of those investigations, illuminating what happens to animals great and small after death.
From beetles to bald eagles, ravens to wolves, Heinrich reveals the fascinating and mostly hidden post-death world that occurs around us constantly, while examining the ancient and important role we too play as scavengers, connecting death to life.
"Despite focusing on death and decay, Life Everlasting is far from morbid; instead, it is life-affirming . . . convincing the reader that physical demise is not an end to life, but an opportunity for renewal." "Nature"
A worldwide tour of the role of death in nature that is consistently fascinating and fun to read. "Seattle Times"
[AU PHOTO] BERND HEINRICH is an acclaimed scientist and the author of numerous award-winning books, including the best-selling The Mind of the Raven, Why We Run, and Winter World. He is a frequent contributor to national media, and professor emeritus of biology at the University of Vermont.
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As you may know from his other books, Heinrich is a very close observer of the natural world. He's also a very fluid and engaging writer. He'll introduce you to beetles that bury mice for food, the many animals that consume a dead deer, vultures, dung beetles, the ecosystem around the salmon who die after spawning, and other topics. It's all fascinating, and presented in a way that does not require a particularly strong stomach.
He frames the book in the story of a dying friend who was seeking a more natural way for his body to return to earth, It seems the choices are a waste of wood and metal in an airtight coffin or the fossil fuel and carbon emission disaster of cremation. Heinrich doesn't preach, but his sensibility is right: American society needs a more natural way to return our earthly remains to earth. Every other species already does it.
Or not. I'm a squeamish vegetarian, and I loved this book. It turns the tables on our usual perception of death as about endings and personal grief and looks at bigger picture. Death not only makes room for life, but also sustains and enables it. From burying beetles that locate, bury, and raise their young in carrion to fungi that recycle dead trees into food and shelter for many organisms, Life Everlasting is not about dust to dust, but rather life to life.
Although short at just under 200 pages, Life Everlasting has a broad scope and introduces lay readers to many biological wonders, from the behavior of ravens to the composition of chalk and the curious life cycle of salmon. Not all the chapters are equally interesting to me, but all of them are enjoyable to read and clearly written. There's a substantial list of recommended reading at the back (including one of my favorite previous Vine books, The Mystery of Metamorphosis: A Scientific Detective Story), but Heinrich never becomes pedantic with either scientific terms or academic footnotes. He's a patient, detailed observer and has a knack for picking out the most interesting stories. His illustrations, which are on the cover and scattered throughout, add to the charm.
More than that, though, Life Everlasting offers some really piquant commentary on where humans and human death fit into these complex ecosystems. As top predators and undertakers, we've disrupted many food chains and ignored our interconnection with the biosphere; our current burial practices encase our bodies like hazardous waste and prevent us from being recycled back into other life forms. The final chapter is highly personal as Heinrich considers his friend's request for his body to be left in the woods and thinks about his own origins and unavoidable death. It also has some of the calmest and oddly reassuring words on death I've ever read. Heinrich concludes, "I see the whole world as an organism with no truly separate parts. I want to be connected to the grandest, biggest, most real, and most beautiful thing in the universe as we know it: the life of earth's nature."
Me, too. Read Life Everlasting. You don't have to be a biologist to appreciate the insights Heinrich offers us into life, death, and the animal world -- which is, after all, our world, too.
Not many books cover whale falls, the term used to decribe dead whales sinking into the ocean depths where they subsequently host an extraordinary assemblage. If dung beetles, scarabs, and exploding deceased cetaceans interest you, then by all means, pick this one up.
Despite my admiration for Heinrich's ideas and interest in the topic I felt the book was a little too scattered and random, moving from continent to continent, and from human history to ravens to sinking whales to insects to ravens. Of course, these are all connected, but I didn't really feel the connection while reading--I only felt like I was reading a series of short chapters on a related topic.
So for me personally, the book was a bit of a disappointment. For others with an interest in biology who haven't considered the larger ideas before, this could be a fine introduction.