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Life on a Little Known Planet: A Biologist's View of Insects and their World | [Howard Ensign Evans]

Life on a Little Known Planet: A Biologist's View of Insects and their World

This classic book is natural history at its best. The world of insects is Howard Evans' "little-known planet," the realm of the cockroach and the cricket, the wasp and the bedbug. With the precision and authority of a distinguished biologist, and the wit and grace of an accomplished writer, Howard Evans muses on the uniqueness of dragonflies, the romantic impulses of butterflies, the musicianship of crickets, and the mysteries of the firefly.
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Publisher's Summary

This classic book is natural history at its best. The world of insects is Howard Evans' "little-known planet," the realm of the cockroach and the cricket, the wasp and the bedbug. With the precision and authority of a distinguished biologist, and the wit and grace of an accomplished writer, Howard Evans muses on the uniqueness of dragonflies, the romantic impulses of butterflies, the musicianship of crickets, and the mysteries of the firefly. The insect realm never fails to enlighten, entertain, and sometimes provoke: as Evans asks, "Is the fly a more intricate machine than he appears, or are we less clever than we suppose ourselves to be?"

©1984 Howard Ensign Evans; (P)2002 New Millennium Audio, All Rights Reserved

What Members Say

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3.7 (51 )
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  •  
    Anne Yellowknife, Northwest Terr, Canada 02-16-04
    Anne Yellowknife, Northwest Terr, Canada 02-16-04 Member Since 2002
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    "Some of my favorite bug groups!"

    The more interesting intricacies of insect life histories are presented in a series of chapters, each including some wry commentary from the entomologist's point of view. As a biologist, I found this an easy and fun review of the groups (cockroaches, fireflies, crickets, wasps, bedbugs, dragonflies and butterflies) and enjoyed the author's perspective. The book was first published some 36 years ago with an update in 1993. The language and storytelling style are enjoyable and do not require a scientific background. I found that the author digressed a little too far into the realm of opinion at the end, but overall found this an enjoyable listen!

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barry 10-18-03
    Barry 10-18-03 Member Since 2002
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    "Outdated"

    This is one book that would have been improved if it was in an abridged format. The way studies were quoted gave the book the mood of reading a Master's Thesis rather than an entertaining science piece. Also, the content of the book is outdated, being published in 1968. An epilogue published in 1993 did not make up for having to wade through outdated material.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeff holland, MI, United States 11-11-11
    Jeff holland, MI, United States 11-11-11
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    "Good book"

    would love to hear more bug books like this on Audible, a few things are out dated but still a good book

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lucas Austin, TX, United States 10-27-09
    Lucas Austin, TX, United States 10-27-09 Member Since 2015
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    "often poetic celebration of insects"

    Some of the passages in this book are absolutely beautiful. Yes, it's dated with frequent references to the huge, 60's & 70's investment in the space program, but the intro alone makes a compelling case to appreciate and take greater interest in the ubiquitous insects.

    Some chapters were more intriguing than others and, yes, there's an environmental diatribe (which I happened to like) in the last 20% of the book or so but I found it a really lovely piece of nature writing.

    He goes into depth about fireflies, dragon/damsel-flies, locusts (not my favorite chapter), crickets, roaches, true flies and more. My only real criticism is that I would have like to have had an overview of the insect class before these "case study" chapters began

    Give it a listen and you may find yourself intrigued with a part of the natural world you may have ignored.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    W R Tuscumbia, AL, USA 01-20-05
    W R Tuscumbia, AL, USA 01-20-05
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    "Absolutely one of the Best!"

    The reader is perfect for this text, masterfully imparting the droll humor while offering wonderful information about the strange habits of various insects and the scientists who study them.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kirstin Atlanta, GA, United States 07-06-15
    Kirstin Atlanta, GA, United States 07-06-15 Member Since 2010

    I am a grower. A tangle of vines weaving round myrtle branch fences. Rusty metal, soft stone, and worn wood. Unkempt curls and knees covered in clay. I listen.

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    "Beautiful read even though it is a little outdated"
    What did you love best about Life on a Little Known Planet?

    I loved the descriptions of the insects themselves and their habits.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I loved the descriptions of the insects the most of all. Also the history of the scientist that studied them. This book is a little outdated at times and the author often rants on about political issue ( the budgeting of the space program and environmental hazards) but the essentials are worth reading. It is rather scary how little has change in the movement to protect the environment. There was quite a lot of time spent on the authors opinions about what was environmentally sound and what was not. I didn't really enjoy the opinionated parts, but it didn't ruin the book for me.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    The narration was pretty dry, but I don't think that there was much more that could have been done. Maybe a better recording.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Not really, but I did read it over a two day period


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nan S. HIll 09-01-03
    Nan S. HIll 09-01-03 Listener Since 2002
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    "disappointed"

    The first 1/2 of this book was very interesting. I listened and learned many things about insects. The 2nd half was was a sneak attack to promote his own environmental agenda- booooring!

    5 of 16 people found this review helpful

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