• Mother Nature Is Trying to Kill You

  • A Lively Tour Through the Dark Side of the Natural World
  • By: Dan Riskin
  • Narrated by: Dan Riskin
  • Length: 5 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 03-31-14
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars 4.3 (38 ratings)

Regular price: $26.59

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Publisher's Summary

It may be a wonderful world, but as Dan Riskin explains, it's also a dangerous, disturbing, and disgusting one. At every turn, it seems, living things are trying to eat us, poison us, use our bodies as their homes, or have us spread their eggs. In Mother Nature Is Trying to Kill You, Riskin is our guide through the natural world at its most gloriously ruthless. Using the seven deadly sins as a road map, Riskin offers dozens of jaw-dropping examples that illuminate how brutal nature can truly be. From slothful worms that hide in your body for up to 30 years to wrathful snails with poisonous harpoons that can kill you in less than five minutes to lustful ducks that have orgasms faster than you can blink, these fascinating accounts reveal the candid truth about "gentle" Mother Nature's true colors. Riskin's passion for the strange and his enthusiastic expertise bring Earth's most fascinating flora and fauna into vivid focus. Through his adventures - which include sliding on his back through a thick soup of bat guano just to get face-to-face with a vampire bat, befriending a parasitic maggot that has taken root on his head, and coming to grips with having offspring of his own - Riskin makes unexpected discoveries not just about the world all around us but also about the ways this brutal world has shaped us as humans and what our responsibilities are to this terrible, wonderful planet we call home.
©2014 Dan Riskin (P)2014 Tantor
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Critic Reviews

"A fact-filled and amusing trek through nature's dark side that adroitly combines learning and the yuck factor." (Kirkus Reviews)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Dr. Amen-Ra on 03-25-18

The fundamental philosophy of biology writ large

An encapsulation of the pervasive pain, waste, greed and death extant in the natural world and an intelligent admonishment to defy the dumb domination of our genes. Dr. Riskin convincingly counsels Mankind to become essentially Aristotelian, accentuating what is quintessentially human in our nature and subordonating the naturalness of being brute beasts. Adhering to this unnatural ethic extracted from both evolutionary biology and ironclad logic will mitigate the misery that is the measure of all mortals.

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5 out of 5 stars
By Marsha L. Woerner on 06-12-16

"All-natural" is NOT synonymous with "good for you"

Would you consider the audio edition of Mother Nature Is Trying to Kill You to be better than the print version?

No idea

Any additional comments?

This is a great book –
It fills in the picture of "All Natural", the catchphrase that retailers use to encourage certain kinds of purchases. It's underlying theme is that the phrase "all-natural" is not synonymous with "good for you". "Natural" may actually be good for something, but that something is not necessarily human!
Survival of the fittest encourages "nature" to adapt to all – and I do mean ALL – organisms, not just humans. I personally was always suspicious of the phrase "all-natural" because I could always use deadly nightshade as an example of something "all-natural" that I was NOT interested in having in my breakfast! This book expands on that.
Mr. Riskin makes a humorous and somewhat touching essay about nature in general and what ALL organisms are doing – and how they're adapting – to survive and grow their species. Most of it has nothing to do with keeping humans healthy. The book has the added plus of answering the question "is my love of my son solely because of DNA?"
The book is well thought out and comprehensive. It's an excellent choice!

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