480 pages, 15 b/w illustrations
Life on planet earth is not weirder than we imagine. It's weirder than we are capable of imagining. And we're all in it together: humans, blue whales, rats, birds of paradise, ridiculous numbers of beetles, molluscs the size of a bus, the sexual gladiators of slugs, bdelloid rotifers who haven't had sex for millions of years and creatures called water bears: you can boil them, freeze them and fire them off into space without killing them. We're all part of the animal kingdom, appearing in what Darwin called "endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful".
In this breathtakingly audacious book Simon Barnes has brought us all together, seeking not what separates us but what unites us. He takes us white-water rafting through the entire animal kingdom in a book brings in deep layers of arcane knowledge, the works of Darwin and James Joyce, Barnes's own don't-try-this-at-home adventures in the wild, David Attenborough and Sherlock Holmes. Ten Million Aliens opens your eyes to the real marvels of the planet we live on.
"'One of the most compulsively readable, astoundingly compendious and endlessly thirilling natural histories ever written This is a book that I will treasure for ever. [...] Simon Barnes is determined that we should share his own wonder, and overwhelming delight in the imponderable variety, beauty and almost comical achievements of evolution in the world around us: his fast, friendly and insanely readable prose ensures that we do."
– Stephen Fry
"Barnes has a wonderful knowledge of wildlife and a gift for bringing his enthusiasm to life – He has a deft turn of phrase and a lyrical style."
– Rosie Boycott
"Barnes brings the animal kingdom to life."
"Reading Barnes's prose is a bit like peeling a rather elegant onion, as he gradually reveals secrets about his life through the medium of the natural world."
– BBC Wildlife Magazine
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Simon Barnes is the multi-award-winning chief sportswriter for the Times. He is also a novelist, nature writer and horseman, and the author of a dozen books, including the bestselling How to be a Bad Birdwatcher and The Meaning of Sport . He lives in Suffolk with his family.