THE WILDERNESS COAST by Jack Rudloe

THE WILDERNESS COAST

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KIRKUS REVIEW

An enjoyable, loosely arranged series of revised magazine pieces that describe the author's encounters with weird and wonderful sea creatures. Rudloe (Time of the Turtle, 1979; etc.) has met up with some bizarre and frightening--and also some quite familiar--marine phenomena in his many years of capturing live specimens for American zoos, aquariums, and research institutions; and in this, his fifth book, he goes after some of his most interesting (and violent) to date. Spicing up first-person narrative descriptions of his captures with bits of natural history and personal reminiscences, he gives vivid accounts of finding and bringing home electric rays, octopuses, roaring South American toadfish, and fish-devouring sea roaches. ""There seemed to be no limits,"" he writes of his excitement after hauling up the rare toadfish, ""to the giant white mouth that flew open, roared like an angry animal, and crunched down on whatever came within its reach."" Yet his focus here is not so much on the excitement of his quests as on the wonder of actually watching particular phenomena in their native environments. In ""quieter"" chapters on the horseshoe crab, the plumed worm, and an unhappy turtle that had to be returned to the sea, he ruminates knowledgeably on the delicate existence of ancient sea creatures in a changing environment. Another fine piece of nature writing from Rudloe, thrilling and informative.

Pub Date: April 11th, 1988
Publisher: Dutton