• Fuzz

  • When Nature Breaks the Law
  • By: Mary Roach
  • Narrated by: Mary Roach
  • Length: 9 hrs and 17 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (1,445 ratings)

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By: Mary Roach
Narrated by: Mary Roach
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Interview: Mary Roach Investigates Science's Funniest, Strangest Corners

'Any time I find a little pocket of science that I didn't know about I get very excited'
  • Fuzz
  • 'Any time I find a little pocket of science that I didn't know about I get very excited'

Publisher's summary

One of Audible's Best of 2021

AudioFile Magazine's Best Audiobooks of 2021

An Instant New York Times Bestseller

#1 Los Angeles Times Bestseller

#1 Indie Hardcover Nonfiction Bestseller

A Washington Post and Publishers Weekly Best Nonfiction Book of 2021

Longlisted for the 2022 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction

Join "America’s funniest science writer" (Peter Carlson, Washington Post), Mary Roach, on an irresistible investigation into the unpredictable world where wildlife and humans meet.

What’s to be done about a jaywalking moose? A bear caught breaking and entering? A murderous tree? Three hundred years ago, animals that broke the law would be assigned legal representation and put on trial. These days, as New York Times best-selling author Mary Roach discovers, the answers are best found not in jurisprudence but in science: the curious science of human-wildlife conflict, a discipline at the crossroads of human behavior and wildlife biology.

Roach tags along with animal-attack forensics investigators, human-elephant conflict specialists, bear managers, and "danger tree" faller blasters. Intrepid as ever, she travels from leopard-terrorized hamlets in the Indian Himalaya to St. Peter’s Square in the early hours before the pope arrives for Easter Mass, when vandal gulls swoop in to destroy the elaborate floral display. She taste-tests rat bait, learns how to install a vulture effigy, and gets mugged by a macaque.

Combining little-known forensic science and conservation genetics with a motley cast of laser scarecrows, langur impersonators, and trespassing squirrels, Roach reveals as much about humanity as about nature’s lawbreakers. When it comes to "problem" wildlife, she finds, humans are more often the problem - and the solution. Fascinating, witty, and humane, Fuzz offers hope for compassionate coexistence in our ever-expanding human habitat.

©2021 by Mary Roach. (P)2021 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

Critic reviews

“Roach is an observant and witty writer with an eye for detail and a passion for facts. As it turns out, she is also a remarkably skilled narrator with a pleasant mid-range voice. She reads with verve, and her phrasing and pacing keep the text moving while enabling our laughter or stunned amazement. Roach also re-creates accents, conversations, and speech patterns like the best mimic. What a delightful and informative listen.” (AudioFile Magazine, Earphones Award Winner)

"An idiosyncratic tour with Roach as the wisecracking, ever-probing guide... My favorite moments, ultimately, weren’t the funny ones, but those that reveal a bit of scientific poetry." (Vicki Constantine Croke, New York Times Book Review)

"Bestseller Roach sheds light on nature’s malefactors in this often funny, always provocative survey...Roach’s writing is wry, full of heart, and loaded with intriguing facts...This eminently entertaining outing is another winner from Roach." (Publishers Weekly, starred review)

Editor's Pick

When science, nature, and humor collide
If I were a science writer, I’d want to be Mary Roach. Her brilliance is multifaceted: from the topics she picks to how she finds the most expert experts in whatever field she is exploring and then asks them the questions her fans might be too timid to ask themselves or never even think to ask. She gets people to tell the best tales, always teaching me something new, and making me cringe and laugh out loud at the same time. In Fuzz, she travels around the world investigating the animals and plants in nature that cause problems for humans. She looks at difficulties presented by bears, elephants, leopards, monkeys, cougars, birds, rats, mice, and even poisonous plants and tall trees. Fuzz offers the bonus of getting to hear the author in her own voice. After listening to her narrate, I feel even more of a kinship with the quirky, smart, and always edifying Mary Roach. —Tricia F., Audible Editor

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