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A Prickly Affair: The Charm of the Hedgehog

4.2  ·  Rating Details ·  88 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
A Prickly Affair Helps to discover the many wonders of the hedgehog: a funny, charming creature of the countryside. Full description
Paperback, 304 pages
Published April 1st 2010 by Penguin (first published 2008)
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What a great book!

Hugh Warwick has managed to write a book that is simultaneously informative and deeply entertaining. His passion for the humble hedgehog shines through in every page, and it's impossible to not have some of that rub off on you while reading this book. Indeed, it's impossible not to fall a bit in love with the animal the second you 'do the nose to nose thing' with them.

The hedgehog is an inherently silly animal, but there's something in its industrious and utterly benign nature
Juliet Wilson
Jan 21, 2012 Juliet Wilson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nature
Hedgehogs are one of the most popular inhabitants of the British countryside (this book describes them as the most universally loved animals, but the author obviously hasn't visited any bunny blogs!).

This book is a wonderful mix of natural history, animal welfare and total eccentricity. It includes an investigation into the reasons why hedgehogs are declining in the wild, whether hedgehogs have caused population declines in seabirds in Scottish islands, an expedition to China to find the very ra
Natalie Moore Goodison
I have a hunch that he's a better speaker than a writer as his stories carry sparks of animation, but simply does not execute it well. He's a hedgehog enthusiast telling his exploits in the wilds. I would have preferred more explicit reasons on why he dislikes them as pets. His stories of people rescuing hedgehogs and founding centers are disturbing as no sane person would want to interact with people with no sense of hygiene or personal awareness. However he does a charming job of bringing thes ...more
Apr 02, 2013 Dan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is great fun, and quite revealing. As always it's the humans who come out the most bizarrely. There is something very engaging about someone who is knowledgeable and enthusiastic about their subject, although without humour they can become a bore. Warwick manages to get the mix right in this book, which has a similar feel to William Bryant-Logan's "Dirt" (which was may favourite book of 2011). I will be looking out for these industrious and magical creatures with far greater vigilance ...more
Ann Boytim
Sep 19, 2015 Ann Boytim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ok maybe because I always saw a hedgehog in my grandmothers garden and she always fed them bread and milk I enjoyed reading the history of the little creatures. It took me a long time to read this book as it started out with recipes for cooking hedgehogs and I could nit deal with that but then when I picked the book up again I was really interested in following the storyline and how the author had tracked hedgehogs all over the world.
Oct 09, 2016 Gwen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Heel leuk boek met veel humor en koddige tekeningen!
Dec 17, 2012 Jolanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gek op egels, dat is iets wat Hugh Warwick zeker is! Al sinds ik het Engelse boek ooit in het winkeltje van het Britse Natural History Museum zag staan, hoopte ik dat het vertaald zou worden. Want het is zeker een boek wat je niet teleur zal stellen.

Wat je krijgt is een boek vol over onze prikkelige vriend, aangevuld met aandoenlijke illustraties door Dave Shephard. Hugh heeft de eerste helft van zijn boek gevuld met informatie over het hoe en wat van een egel. Maar verwacht zeker geen opsomming
Rebecca Foster
You’ll never come across anyone more enthusiastic about hedgehogs than Hugh Warwick. He believes that working for nature starts not with the intellect but with the heart: ‘falling in love’ with a particular species can lead you into a better relationship with the whole environment. A Prickly Affair tells of his 20 years spent working for hedgehog conservation. Though his writing perhaps lacks a certain poetic beauty (such as that found in Miriam Darlington’s Otter Country), his books are still a ...more
Aug 28, 2015 Michelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Hugh Warwick tells you everything you wanted to know about hedgehogs, and some things you would never have thought to ask. He details some of his life experiences tracking hedgehogs in the wild and collecting data on how rescued hedgehogs do once returned to the wild. Some of the information is not for the squeamish, including some detailed information on how they are eaten in certain cultures. However, the book has many humorous moments and explores the British love affair with the hedgehog, in ...more
Jul 13, 2010 Peter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The author is real enthusiast for hedgehogs but he's not over-sentimental about them. At the heart of the book is some of the research on hedgehog ecology that he's carried out over the years, and it does tell you a lot about the biology and behaviour of hedgehogs, as well as dispelling some of the myths about them. Woven round that are all sorts of tales and anecdotes about the animals and the people who tend for them. There's a strong vein of eccentricity, not to say downright barminess, runni ...more
Jamie Lawrence
Feb 10, 2016 Jamie Lawrence rated it it was amazing
This is perhaps a book that only someone who likes hedgehogs would read. But it's not really about hedgehogs: it's not about their habits or their mating or what they eat, or even how to look after them.

It's a collection of stories & humorous anecdotes from a naturalist who has spent his life investigating hedgehogs. Along the way you learn about the spiky creatures, and our relationship with them. And, ultimately, how this most common & approachable animal could help restore our love f
Sep 21, 2015 Samuel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hedgehogs
It's an inconsistent book, but a sometimes charming one. The best sections, such as the part where Warwick first uses radio devices to track hedgehogs, have a lovely flow to them -- very much in the vein of John McPhee, although not as finely-tuned. The lesser sections get bogged down in a sort of flippant dismissiveness -- as a keeper of African Pygmy Hedgehogs myself, I didn't much appreciate his attitude towards these beautiful pets. At any rate though, I'm very glad to have read this one.
Dec 22, 2010 sisterimapoet rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction10
A lovely read. I so enjoy natural history reads. Contrary to some opinion I liked that this wasn't a technical guide to hedgehogs and a personal and annecdotal account of the authors relationship with the little fellows. A warm and fuzzy read - and impossible not to think back to my own childhood encounters with the spiny ones.
Jul 09, 2010 Darlene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have always been fascinated by hedgehogs and have made clay hedgehog broaches. I saw a pair in a local pet store a number of years ago but generally they do not live in the wild in my north central area. I enjoyed reading about the authors experiences and about the groups of people who save injured hedgehogs.
May 13, 2016 Stuart rated it really liked it
"Relish and wallow" with the charismatic critter that is the hedgehog.
Witty wildlife writing at its best.
Rivals 'H for Hawk' in the nature book category in its fascination for a person with a prickly passion.

"...head off to China and find a hedgehog called Hugh"

"Hedgehogs cleared of crop circle dementia"
May 23, 2012 Joshtb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
it was an amazingly informative book with a pile of unusual knowledge. one of the things I really liked about this book was the fact that he pours in his own experiences much like another favorite writer James herriot.the hedgehog stew recipe was a bit surprising.all in all it was an enjoyable and inspiring fireside book.
Chelsea Cahill
Jan 26, 2014 Chelsea Cahill rated it it was amazing
A fascinating and adorable look into the way people have become enamored with hedgehogs. The author has a true passion that is evident in both his writing style and his adventures tracking down hedgehogs across the globe. Definitely a must-read for anyone interested in these delightful mammals.
George Marshall
Oct 24, 2009 George Marshall rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am not really into wildlife, but actually I really enjoyed this: it is much more about the relationship that people (including Hugh Warwick who has a real passion for this) have with the hedgehogs and at times it is really funny and moving.
Jul 06, 2015 Katherine rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites

A great book, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book about the enchanting little animals that are hedgehogs. I now want to learn more about them and would love to read more from this author. I recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in nature.
Jul 28, 2014 Martin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Showed how to admire nature without having to interfere to the point of doing more harm than good and how to be passionate without being too attached and sentimental. Quite an eye-opener.
Sep 10, 2009 Oanh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2009, green, animals
This is a thorougly charming book about obsession with hedgehogs - it's humane and balanced and humourous.

And the pictures of hedgehogs are just delightful.

Feb 07, 2013 Grecom rated it really liked it
Brilliant! I picked this up thinking that it would be entertaining and it was. That and so much more!
Mizzo73 rated it liked it
Mar 26, 2010
Geertje den Oudsten
Geertje den Oudsten rated it it was amazing
Aug 27, 2015
Cheryl Quine
Cheryl Quine rated it really liked it
Jan 02, 2014
Abi Gazzard
Abi Gazzard rated it really liked it
Sep 17, 2016
Greg Sheridan
Greg Sheridan rated it really liked it
Jul 14, 2015
Vic Ravenchester
Vic Ravenchester rated it it was amazing
Sep 18, 2014
Tracey  Wilde
Jun 30, 2010 Tracey Wilde rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely brilliant ! I loved it !
Very, very readable and very amusing.
Sam Griffin
Sam Griffin rated it really liked it
Aug 24, 2013
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