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Insectopedia by Hugh Raffles

In Insectopedia, author Hugh Raffles divides it into 26 chapters, from A to Z, but the letter attached to each chapter doesn't refer to an insect. Instead, they refer to whatever topic Hugh Raffles wants to explore. For instance, A is for Air and he examines the flights of insects, including a spider found at 15,000 feet and that over one square mile of land, 25 million to 36 million insects might be airborne at any moment. In other chapters, he expounds on human/insect interaction and their affect on culture, history, economics, and travel, filling his essays with arcane knowledge of the insect world. Insectopedia has received positive reviews with the New York Times saying, "Impossible to categorize, wildly allusive and always stimulating, Insectopedia suggests an Enlightenment amateur wandering around the world stocking his cabinet of curiosities, unrestricted by notions of disciplines or specializations. Its author is at one moment a scientist in the field, the next an art critic, then an acute historian. His is a disconcerting, fantastical, (multi-)eye-opening journey into another existence, and one thing is for sure: You will never look at a cockroach the same way again, even if it is sharing your morning shower."
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Austin Chronicle review by Wayne Alan Brenner

New York Times review by Janet Maslin

Seattle Times review by David B. Williams

New York Times review by Katherine Bouton

New York Times review by Philip Hoare

Hugh Raffles
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