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Magical Mushrooms, Mischievous Molds

4.08  ·  Rating Details ·  105 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
Mushrooms magically spew forth from the earth in the hours that follow a summer rain. Fuzzy brown molds mischievously turn forgotten peaches to slime in the kitchen fruit bowl. And in thousands of other ways, members of the kingdom Fungi do their part to make life on Earth the miracle that it is. In this lively book, George Hudler leads us on a tour of an often-overlooked ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published November 5th 2000 by Princeton University Press (first published 1998)
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Community Reviews

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Matthew
Apr 12, 2008 Matthew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An easy-to-read and brief introduction to Mycology, the study of fungi. The title was undoubtedly chosen to draw the most attention, but fortunately there's a lot more to this book than a discussion of hallucinogenic mushrooms. There's a quick overview of fungal biology at the beginning, followed by chapters on fungi as forest pathogens, mycoses, yeasts, mychorrizal associations, lichens, ergots, edible and poisonous mushrooms of all kinds, and a section on how fungal metabolites are being ...more
Briana
Aug 31, 2012 Briana rated it it was amazing
I give this book 5 stars for being an informative text that isn't so boring I stop reading after 5 minutes. Quite the opposite! I can hardly put this book down. Every species of fungi that is discussed is introduced with a (sometimes harrowing) historical account of its effects on humans, either directly or indirectly.

I don't know anything about fungi or plant biology. I'm an English major, and I picked up this book to do research for a story I'm working on. I was worried that jargon and textbo
...more
Rebecca McNutt
May 24, 2015 Rebecca McNutt rated it it was amazing
Detailed, informative and surprisingly interesting, I really liked this book and all the facts it gave. It even incorporates a small amount of light humor to its content, which made it fun to read through, and it has a few photographs that are very detailed.
Stephen Case
Dec 30, 2014 Stephen Case rated it did not like it
This was without a doubt the worst book about mushrooms that I’ve ever read. Now, to be fair, I’m relatively certain it’s only the second book about mushrooms I’ve ever read, but it was still much less than satisfying. Writing a compelling science book, and one about a subject as far-ranging and yet obscure as fungus, has to be difficult. But as fascinating as the subject matter may be (and I’m not speaking ironically when I admit I find this particular topic incredibly interesting), unless the ...more
Lauren
Jan 30, 2008 Lauren rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: nerds, chefs, potheads, people who like pretty fungi
Shelves: science, favorites
This is actually a textbook for a really awesome course I'm taking this semester. For people who only want to read the first two sentences of a review, let me just say that I read this "textbook" in one weekend. And now, some highlights:

Lichens are a combination of a fungus and an algae. Although lichens are the prototypical example of a symbiotic relationship, further research reveals that the fungus is more of a parasite than a helper, contributing only 10% to the life of the lichen. Lichens a
...more
Joyce
Oct 21, 2015 Joyce added it
Not gonna lie, this is one of the worst-titled books I've ever read. But for those of us who will pick sincere emotion and deep knowledge over marketing finesse every time, it turns out to be a notably loving and appreciative introduction to the fungus kingdom by a longtime Cornell professor.

We often think of fungi as vegetables because our most visible interaction with them is via button mushrooms in the produce section of the supermarket... but that isn't even close enough to the truth to be w
...more
Adam
A travesty of blandness and mediocrity for a book about such a fascinating subject. Instead of emphasizing the things that are actually interesting about fungi (their ecology), Hudler emphasizes their impact on human lives. I feel that this is done because the author seems desperate to prove to his audience that his subject of interest isn't worthless or disgusting. If that doesn't seem like a terrible reason to write a book to you, then maybe you'd like this one.
Heather Healy
May 28, 2015 Heather Healy rated it it was amazing
I finally got around to reading this book after I put it down last summer. I really enjoyed the review of fungi and their relationship with human history-- including medicinal fungi, edible lichens, poisonous fungi, mind altering fungi, symbiotic fungi and more!
Maddy
Mar 16, 2009 Maddy rated it really liked it
This is an awesome book for an awesome class at Cornell written by and taught by a hilarious man who LOVES fungi!
Joey
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Sep 28, 2013
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Jonas
Jul 29, 2012 Jonas rated it really liked it
Shelves: biology
Great introduction to the importance of fungi to human welfare and society.
Lisa
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Mar 08, 2008
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Howard
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Mark
Jul 07, 2015 Mark marked it as to-read
Shelves: from-library, science
COCC QK 603 .H79 1998
paula
paula rated it really liked it
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Jessie Dockins
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Nicolas
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Oct 18, 2012
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