Paul's Reviews > Anthill

Anthill by Edward O. Wilson
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's review
Apr 18, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: fiction, young-adult

Actual rating: 2.5 stars.

I am a devotee of young adult fiction, where the stories are full of action and to the point. E.O. Wilson's Anthill is so labeled. It is very much on point. I was disappointed in the lack of action, though I will admit there is some: as a young teenager, Raff encounters a fearsome backwoods hermit; later, as an adult, Raff flees three bad men who mean to shoot and kill him, and is rescued by the same backwoods hermit. Also, there are the ants ... the best part of the book, to me, was the middle section describing the life cycle of an ant colony, and the life the ants live within that colony. E.O. Wilson makes the point that we humans are part of a colony too, and that our lives differ not all that much from the lives of ants ... but this does not make for an exciting novel. Reading Anthill is like sitting through an excruciatingly long and repetitive biology lecture. Thank goodness the professor delivering the lecture is a likeable guy, otherwise I'd have put the book down halfway through and never picked it up again. E.O. Wilson is not a novelist ... he is a naturalist, and if you are a student of nature, Anthill should appeal to you. Just don't expect much in the way of action.
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Phil Mullen What you say is true, Paul. Wilson's obviously no storyteller. But the ant chapter was really smashing (to me anyway), because Wilson knows ants, & describes them as the everywhere-wonder they are. Thanks for the review.

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