From “one of the most fascinating and thought-provoking writers of natural history” (The Seattle Times), a collection of enduring essays that form a bestiary of wondrous creatures and a gallery of the human faces that peer at them.
The Boilerplate Rhino brings together twenty-six of David Quammen’s most thoughtful and engaging essays from his column for Outside magazine, gifting readers with an irrepressible assortment of ideas to explore, conundrums to contemplate, and wondrous creatures to behold.
In lucid, penetrating, and often quirkily idiosyncratic prose, David Quammen takes his readers with him as he explores the world. His travels lead him to rattlesnake handlers in Texas; a lizard specialist in Baja; the dinosaur museum in Jordan, Montana; and halfway across Indonesia in search of the perfect Durian fruit. He ponders the history of nutmeg in the southern Moluccas, meditates on bioluminescent beetles while soaking in the waters of the Amazon, and delivers “The Dope on Eggs” from a chicken ranch near his hometown in Montana.
Quammen's travels are always jumping-off points to explore the rich and sometimes horrifying tension between humankind and the natural world, in all its complexity and ambivalence. The result is another irrepressible assortment of ideas to explore, conundrums to contemplate, and wondrous creatures to behold.
David Quammen’s books include Breathless, The Tangled Tree, The Song of the Dodo, The Reluctant Mr. Darwin, and Spillover. He has written for The New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine, The Atlantic, National Geographic, and Outside, among other magazines, and is a three-time winner of the National Magazine Award. Quammen shares a home in Bozeman, Montana, with his wife, Betsy Gaines Quammen, author of American Zion, and with three Russian wolfhounds, a cross-eyed cat, and a rescue python. Visit him at DavidQuammen.com.