Gory Details: Adventures from the Dark Side of Science

National Geographic. Mar. 2021. 336p. ISBN 9781426220975. $26. SCI
Science journalist Engelhaupt compiles her most intriguing articles from National Geographic, all of which have been expanded on in this engaging collection. The author explores concepts that people have a tendency to shy away from, and she does it with an appropriate amount of levity and humor. She collects research and interviews experts from different fields of study to explain why weird things happen, and then she presents that research in a style that is both informative and entertaining. The title doesn’t lie: some of the information is gory, such as details on how things can go badly when a person eats a slug, snail, or worm. Keeping with the gory theme, Engelhaupt also describes stinging insects, and how where on the body you’re stung can severely impact the side effects. Each chapter has an individual identity and can be read on its own, or the collection can be read through at once in an enjoyable deep dive. Black-and-white illustrations by Morrow-Cribbs make complex topics more accessible. All research is cited and indexed, so the text can be used for both entertainment and research.
VERDICT A must-read for curious minds, trivia fans, and crime drama enthusiasts.
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