Anthill : A novel by E.O. Wilson
New York : W.W. Norton & Co., 2010. Signed by E.O. Wilson. Hardcover. 378 pages ; 22 cm. $24.95 dust jacket with minimal wear. Pages are clean and unmarked. Binding is firm.
Inspirational and magical, this is the story of a boy who grows up determined to save the world from its most savage ecological predator: man himself.
"What in hell do you want?" snarled Frogman at Raff Cody, as the boy stepped innocently onto the reputed murderers property. Fifteen years old, Raff, along with his older cousin, Junior, had only wanted to catch a glimpse of Frogman's 1000-pound alligator.
Thus begins the saga of Anthill, which follows the thrilling adventures of a modern-day Huck Finn, whose improbable love of the "strange, beautiful, and elegant" world of ants ends up transforming his own life and the citizens of Nokobee County. Battling both snake bites and cynical relatives who just don't understand his consuming fascination with the outdoors, Raff explores the pristine beauty of the Nokobee wildland. In doing so, he witnesses the remarkable creation and destruction of four separate ant colonies ("The Anthill Chronicles")— whose histories are epics that unfold on picnic grounds-becoming a young naturalist in the process.
An extraordinary undergraduate at Florida State University, Raff, despite his scientific promise, opts for Harvard Law School, believing that the environmental fight must be waged in the courtroom as well as the lab. Returning home a legal gladiator, Raff grows increasingly alarmed by rapacious condo developers who are eager to pave and subdivide the wildlands surrounding the Chicobee River. But one last battle awaits him in his epic struggle. In a shattering ending that no reader will forget, Raff suddenly encounters the angry and corrupt ghosts of an old South he thought had all but disappeared, and he learns that "war is a genetic imperative," not just for ants but for men as well.
Part thriller, part parable, Anthill will not only transfix readers with its stunning twists and startling revelations but will also provide readers with new insights into the meaning of survival in our rapidly changing world.
Anthill marks E. O. WILSON's debut as a novelist. Regarded as one of the world's preeminent biologists and naturalists, Wilson grew up in South Alabama and the Florida Panhandle, where he spent his boyhood exploring the region's forests and swamps, collecting snakes, butterflies, and ants—the latter to become his lifelong specialty. The author of more than twenty books, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Ants and The Naturalist, Wilson, a professor at Harvard University, makes his home in Lexington, Massachusetts.
PRAISE FOR ANTHILL
"The South suddenly has a surprising new hero, and his name is Raff Cody. Like Forrest Gump, Raff appears to be yet another innocent Alabama boy. But don't be fooled. In Edward Wilson's remarkable voice, Anthill becomes an inspirational novel for us all." —Winston Groom, author of Forrest Gump
"Wilson has written a debut novel of astonishing dimension, acuity, and spirit [His] wise, provocative novel of the interaction between humankind and the rest of nature expresses a resonant earth ethic." —Donna Seaman, Booklist, starred review
"Thick with the spell of nature, Anthill is a powerful tale of ant empires and a boy determined to save them." —Diane Ackerman, author of The Zookeeper's Wife
"A triumphant epic of life by the world's greatest naturalist. This is War and Peace—among the ants, the land developers, and the environmentalists and preachers. Marvel at E. O. Wilson's wondrous and captivating creation." —Jeffrey D. Sachs, director of the Earth Institute
"This is the way I will teach natural history to my grandchildren." —John W. McCarter, Jr., president, Field Museum of Natural History
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