E. O. Wilson is one of America's greatest living and best known biologists. Although the book will not win him a third Pulitzer Prize, readers curious about his first attempt at fiction will not be disappointed. The book's basis is no doubt semi-autobiographical. However, there is more to this coming-of-age story and imaginative portrayal of a bug's life (ants). The professor offers us an engaging lesson and model of how environmentalists and crass land developers can compromise with both sides winning is engaging.
Raff Semmes Cody grows up in today's Nokobee County, Alabama learning to love the flora and fauna around Lake Nokobee. With help from wealthy Uncle Cyrus, Raff "Scooter" Cody is able to attend Florida State University and then Harvard Law. Why would an enthusiastic naturalist choose the law?
Although the author's inexperience with dialog and character narrative occasionally show, the reader does become interested and involved with Raff, ants and human society--are they really that different? Nature lovers, tree huggers, budding biologists or anyone interested in the planet's future will identify with both the story and, more importantly, appreciate the author's clever legalistic alternative to ecoterrorism--yes, cool brains over hot rhetoric and emotion. Gandhi and Martin Luther King would have approved.
Recommended by Robert L. Hicks, Librarian.