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Biography & Autobiography Personal Memoirs


Confessions of a Herpetologist

by (author) Leslie Anthony

Greystone Books Ltd
Initial publish date
Oct 2008
Personal Memoirs, Reptiles & Amphibians, Environmentalists & Naturalists
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2008
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 2011
    List Price

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Out of print

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A rollicking ride full of passion, adventure, and biology into the wild world of snakes and amphibians and the scientists who study them.

Snakebit traces the author's journey from a childhood fascination with snakes, through academic flirtation, to professional association with some of the world's greatest herpetologists. It leads the reader through desert, swamp, jungle, and lab to reveal the strange world of these cryptic creatures and the often stranger fraternity that pursues them.

Both celebrating and sending up the science and philosophy surrounding what surely seems insane to some, Snakebit offers a headlong, fun-for-all read packed with personalities, history, geography, culture, and an eclectic mix of locales. Along the way, the reader is served a generous helping of saccharine-free science, from modern evolutionary theory to unisexuality and biodiversity, seasoned with more than a dash of humor. Also available in paperback.

About the author

Leslie Anthony is an avid adventurer who has won awards for his poetry and is acclaimed for his work in outdoor, action sport, and general-interest magazines such as Skier, Equinox, explore, and Powder. He also holds a PhD in zoology from the University of Toronto and was a postdoctoral fellow at McGill University's Redpath Museum. The author of Snakebit: Confessions of a Herpetologist and White Planet: A Mad Dash through Modern Global Ski Culture, he lives in Whistler, BC.

Leslie Anthony's profile page

Editorial Reviews

A haphazard tour through the natural history of snakes and amphibians enlivened with vivid anecdotes that will make everyone who has ever dreamed of an Indiana Jones-style career glad they chose a desk job over the jungle. —Globe & Mail

Part memoir, part sociological investigation of herpetologist culture, Anthony explores what it means to be snakebit. —Publishers Weekly

Leslie Anthony leads the reader through desert and jungle to reveal the strange world of snakes and the often stranger fraternity that pursues them. —Vancouver Sun

Anthony's writing style is engaging and his insights into the herpetological community and biology of amphibians and reptiles are genuine and accurate . . . The exotic locations are made all the more exotic by the expedition members and the author's ability to tell a good story.—Herplit, Journal from the Society for the Study of Amphibians

Anthony blends science writing with travelogue and history in this learned but light-hearted memoir. —Georgia Straight

A fascinating and often thrilling peek into the world of herpetology. —Edmonton Journal

Leslie Anthony's takes scientists out of the world of labcoats and pocket protectors as he details fieldwork that would fit right into an Indiana Jones adventure film, but he never lets us forget that these are highly trained people doing important work. —Vancouver Sun

A trove of smart, stylish writing about linguistics, biology, geography and mythology—as well as snake lovers with missing digits, hysterical gardeners and church ladies. —The Tyee

Snakebit is a romp through the world of snakes and those that study them. Witty, serious and a reminder of the wonder of nature and those that study it, it's a must for the naturalist in all of us. —Owen Sound Times

Other titles by Leslie Anthony