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Snakebit: Confessions of a Herpetologist
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Snakebit: Confessions of a Herpetologist

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  39 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
"Snakebit" traces author Leslie Anthony's journey from a childhood fascination with snakes and amphibians through academic flirtation to professional association with some of the world's greatest herpetologists. In this book, he leads the reader on a rollicking ride through desert, swamp, jungle -- and a few laboratories -- to reveal the strange world of these cryptic crea ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published April 1st 2009 by Greystone Books (first published October 10th 2008)
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Bill Leach
Aug 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Anthony trained as a herpetologist, but transitioned to a science writer. This book describes the authors background and his experiences in herpetology, in an amusing fashion.

The prologue describes a journey to Finnish Lapland for a ski story. His official escort spoke of snow snakes, but rather than fictitious creatures that cause one to catch their edges, it turned out that the venomous European Adder appears on the first exposed ground in the spring in order to make the most of the short sum
Jan 24, 2013 rated it it was ok
Here’s a great example of authorial voice – and of how voice can ruin a book. There’s something so irritating, so self-complacent, so alternately geeky and wonky (and neither in the good way) about Anthony’s voice that wading through the text becomes a chore. You’d think he would have an advantage: he’s a life-long “herp” addict and a professionally trained herpetologist who now stands “outside” the field (he left the profession to become a journalist) and, specifically, outside the snake pit (s ...more
Dec 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
In Leslie Anthony, the world of biology has received a gift from above: a herpetologist, who is actually a journalist, and can therefore write. Usually these kinds of books tell a few good stories badly, and then tempt the reader to skim everywhere else. Anthony, on the other hand, can make a discussion of salamander ploidy interesting, which should probably have its own Pulitzer prize category (seriously, ploidy). If you've every thought about reading a book in this genre, you won't be able to ...more
Sep 01, 2012 rated it it was ok
I'm ashamed to admit that I stopped reading this half-way through. I generally don't like to do that, but this book really wasn't holding my attention. It totally delivered what it advertised, "confessions of a herpetologist", but it turned out that I wanted less info about the evolution of the author's career and more info about biology and natural history. It was nobodies fault...Well, written with a good amount of humor and the parts that did focus on the science were clear and well explained ...more
Feb 13, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009
If I could, I'd give this book 3.5 stars. It was a pleasant read, but I felt that the narrative jumped around a bit too much for my liking. I also found some sections a lot more interesting than others, but I think that's to be expected. This is not just a book about snakes; it's a book about adventure, exploring and the bizarre things that happen when a person collects snakes. I liked that there were so many Canadian details included in this book. I also appreciated the author's fine sense of h ...more
Dec 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
I was talked into purchasing and reading this book by the author himself and I started reading it with trepidation that he was a "snake oil salesman". I happily report that he isn't. Instead, Leslie Anthony is a cleaver wordsmith who combines his scientific knowledge, hands-on experiences and wit to expose the wondrous and wacky word of herpetology to the unsuspecting public. I highly recommend it to readers interested in creative non-fiction like Orchid Thief and Salt.
Came recommended by the boy, who's more into snakes than I am. Was a bit lost. It's well-written and the anecdotes are funny and really jump out but the jargon around each good story makes it clear this was intended for an audience already familiar with herpetology.
Dec 27, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: science
Meandering, and a little light on dangerous snake encounters for my expectations.
Hannah Mccurdy-adams
Nov 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Hilarious and wonderful for Canadian herpetologists
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