If one’s passing affection for The Animal Review has anything at all to do with an interest in the natural world, then Deadly Kingdom: The Book of Dangerous Animals by Gordon Grice may well be for you. It is, in short, a bone-chilling look into the wide and surprisingly terrifying Kingdom Animalia. Centered on animals that can kill people, Deadly Kingdom will scare you. A lot. It will make you never want to go outside again. And you will read it in a few days, tops. And then you’ll go back to it again for more terrifying reading, because you can’t sleep at night.
Everyone knows about the famous maneaters – sharks, lions, tigers, bears – but what of pigs? Whales? Elephants? Turns out many, many animals have been known to kill people in all kinds of awful I-really-shouldn’t-look-but-I-can’t-help-it ways. And information is power, so read Deadly Kingdom, and get ready to view the Animal Kingdom with a whole new respect (by which we mean fear).
And to think that all this time we thought nature was funny. Boy were we wrong.
Combining deep research and serious science with a narrative style that is at once journalistic in its objectivity and child-like in its awe of Nature’s raw power, Deadly Kingdom makes an excellent, addictive read. Both of us got through the entire book in a few days, and then spent several more days after that worrying about leaving the house and encountering wild dogs (or worse, hyenas, whose jaws, it turns out, are powerful enough to crush bone, and…well, just avoid hyenas).
Deadly Kingdom is many things Animal Review is not, funny being the first. But if you enjoyed Animal Review, then Deadly Kingdom may well be for you. And if you didn’t enjoy Animal Review and were one of the people who complained that we didn’t do a good job making it clear which statements were jokes and which statements were in fact true, then Deadly Kingdom is definitely for you.
*We would give an A+, but King Cobra has been calling a lot and acting weird. We think he might be in one of his many moods, and we don’t want to aggravate him if he sees us giving out an A+ to someone who isn’t him.**
**King Cobra, if you’re reading this, we’re not talking about you.