Fuzz by Mary Roach

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Table of Contents   |   Reviews   |   Excerpts

What’s to be done about a jaywalking moose? A bear caught breaking and entering? A murderous tree? Three hundred years ago, animals that broke the law would be assigned legal representation and put on trial. These days, as  New York Times  best-selling author Mary Roach discovers, the answers are best found not in jurisprudence but in science: the curious science of human-wildlife conflict, a discipline at the crossroads of human behavior and wildlife biology.

Roach tags along with animal-attack forensics investigators, human-elephant conflict specialists, bear managers, and “danger tree” faller blasters. Intrepid as ever, she travels from leopard-terrorized hamlets in the Indian Himalaya to St. Peter’s Square in the early hours before the pope arrives for Easter Mass, when vandal gulls swoop in to destroy the elaborate floral display. She taste-tests rat bait, learns how to install a vulture effigy, and gets mugged by a macaque.

Combining little-known forensic science and conservation genetics with a motley cast of laser scarecrows, langur impersonators, and trespassing squirrels, Roach reveals as much about humanity as about nature’s lawbreakers. When it comes to “problem” wildlife, she finds, humans are more often the problem—and the solution. Fascinating, witty, and humane, Fuzz offers hope for compassionate coexistence in our ever-expanding human habitat.

Praise for Mary Roach

“There is much to enjoy about Mary Roach—her infectious awe for quirky science and its nerdy adherents, her one-liners. . . . She is beloved, and justifiably so.”
—Jon Ronson, New York Times Book Review

“Our most consistently entertaining science journalist . . . Roach goes where other writers wouldn’t dare. . . . And her search produces images—a kind of technopoetry—that are hard to forget.”
O, The Oprah Magazine

“Nobody does weird science quite like [Mary Roach].”
—Lexi Pandell, Wired

"[Mary Roach] is a bold, tenacious, and insatiable reporter. . . . [She] has a knack for posing the embarrassing, nonlinear and too obvious questions that others are always afraid to ask.”
—Pamela Paul, New York Times Book Review

“[Roach’s books are] meticulously researched, beautifully written, and disturbingly funny. . . . Roach’s prose is a triumph—an engaging blend of anecdote, research, and reflection. . . . She’s the most courageous—and empathetic—science writer we’ve got.”
—Emily Rapp Black, Boston Globe

“Roach excels in capturing science’s ‘foreign country’ aspect—roaming as a stranger in a strange land among its weird norms and novelties, grand monomaniacal passions, practitioners’ idiosyncrasies and obscure lexicon. . . . She writes exquisitely about the excruciating.”
—Stephen Phillips, Los Angeles Times

Copyright © 2010-2021 Mary Roach. All rights reserved.