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The Book of Eels : : our Enduring Fascination With the Most Mysterious Creature in the Natural World

Svensson, Patrik, 1972- Book - 2020 Adult Book / Nonfiction / Science & Nature / Animals / Fish, 597.43 Sv None on shelf 9 requests on 2 copies Community Rating: 5 out of 5

Cover image for The book of eels : : our enduring fascination with the most mysterious creature in the natural world

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Location Call Number Branch Item Status
Westgate Adult Books Adult Book / Nonfiction / Science & Nature / Animals / Fish Westgate Branch On Hold Shelf
Downtown 2nd Floor 597.43 Sv Downtown Library Due 10-28-2021

"Originally published as Ålevangeliet in Sweden in 2019 by Albert Bonniers Fölag"--Title page verso.
The eel -- By the stream -- Aristotle and the eel born of mud -- Looking into the eyes of an eel -- Sigmund Freud and the eels of Trieste -- Illegal fishing -- The Dane who found the eel's breeding ground -- Swimming against the current -- The people who fish for eel -- Outwitting the eel -- The uncanny eel -- To kill an animal -- Under the sea -- Setting an eel trap -- The long journey home -- Becoming a fool -- The eel on the brink of extinction -- In the Sargasso Sea.
"Part H Is for Hawk, part The Soul of an Octopus, The Book of Eels is both a meditation on the world's most elusive fish-the eel-and a reflection on the human condition. Remarkably little is known about the European eel, Anguilla anguilla. So little, in fact, that scientists and philosophers have, for centuries, been obsessed with what has become known as the "eel question": Where do eels come from? What are they? Are they fish or some other kind of creature altogether? Even today, in an age of advanced science, no one has ever seen eels mating or giving birth, and we still don't understand what drives them, after living for decades in freshwater, to swim great distances back to the ocean at the end of their lives. They remain a mystery. Drawing on a breadth of research about eels in literature, history, and modern marine biology, as well as his own experience fishing for eels with his father, Patrik Svensson crafts a mesmerizing portrait of an unusual, utterly misunderstood, and completely captivating animal. In The Book of Eels, we meet renowned historical thinkers, from Aristotle to Sigmund Freud to Rachel Carson, for whom the eel was a singular obsession. And we meet the scientists who spearheaded the search for the eel's point of origin, including Danish marine biologist Johannes Schmidt, who led research efforts in the early twentieth century, catching thousands upon thousands of eels, in the hopes of proving their birthing grounds in the Sargasso Sea. Blending memoir and nature writing at its best, Svensson's journey to understand the eel becomes an exploration of the human condition that delves into overarching issues about our roots and destiny, both as humans and as animals, and, ultimately, how to handle the biggest question of all: death. The result is a gripping and slippery narrative that will surprise and enchant."-- Provided by publisher.

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Turns out, eels are awesome submitted by bec on June 14, 2021, 12:31pm I loved this profile of eels and meditation on their role in the modern world. I had no idea they were so profoundly mysterious or endangered, and Svensson's portrait of them is fascinating in its own right. He also uses eels to chart human history from trade to human longings to know the natural world and make sense of the unknowable- sometimes using his own life as a place for that exploration. A peaceful and engrossing read.

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PUBLISHED
New York, NY : Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2020]
Year Published: 2020
Description: 241 pages ; 22 cm
Language: English
Format: Book

ISBN/STANDARD NUMBER
9780062968814

ADDITIONAL CREDITS
Broomé, Agnes.

SUBJECTS
Eels.