Monday, August 29, 2011

A Somewhat Draining Read

Dark Banquet: Blood and the Curious Lives of Blood-Feeding Creatures 
by Bill Schutt
I now have way more disgusting anecdotes to share with the world about vampire bats, leeches, bedbugs, and anything else that could suck your blood. Consider: a battalion in Napoleon's army washed their faces in a river, inadvertently getting leech eggs lodged in their noses and throats, and ended up dying a gruesome and painful death when the lil baby leeches came alive inside of them! So, I appreciate this aspect of Dark Banquet.

I got a little bored, though, when Schutt went off on long tangents about the cellular makeup of our blood and all the little vampire enzymes blah blah blah. I admire Schutt for trying to mix popular and academic genres, but for me it seemed a little confused ~ was I his real audience, or was a first year Bat Biologist supposed to be his audience? I would have preferred more narrative, or perhaps even more jazzed-up explanations of what is going on biologically when a bed bug feasts on your blood (a la one of my all-time-fav NPR shows, Radio Lab).

He's a great writer, though, and I enjoyed the chance to ponder things like evolutionary advantages and the like that I don't necessarily get to think about every day. And I will cherish all the gross anecdotes forEVER.

Rachel - Programs

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