Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law (Hardcover)
September 2021 Indie Next List
“Human encounters with wildlife are increasing as land development shrinks wildlife habitat. Roach recounts dangerous engagements, some head-shaking practices, and plenty of laugh-out-loud turf wars.”
— Kay Wosewick, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI
An Instant New York Times Bestseller
#1 Los Angeles Times Bestseller
#1 Indie Hardcover Nonfiction Bestseller
Join "America’s funniest science writer" (Peter Carlson, Washington Post), Mary Roach, on an irresistible investigation into the unpredictable world where wildlife and humans meet.
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.
About the Author
Mary Roach is the author of five best-selling works of nonfiction, including Grunt, Stiff, and, most recently, Fuzz. Her writing has appeared in National Geographic and the New York Times Magazine, among other publications. She lives in Oakland, California.
An idiosyncratic tour with Roach as the wisecracking, ever-probing guide... My favorite moments, ultimately, weren’t the funny ones, but those that reveal a bit of scientific poetry.
— Vicki Constantine Croke - New York Times Book Review
With her characteristic dry wit, [Roach] brings an intense fascination to the seldom discussed details and the at times absurd miscellany in the unexplored corners of unappreciated research... It is impossible not to smirk, chortle and sometimes outright belly laugh as you read her many wry asides and funny but fascinating footnotes... But the real trick Roach pulls off is to keep you laughing while at the same time making sure the earnest points come across.
— Tiffany O'Callaghan - New Scientist
Full of kernels of fascinating information... Her approach is informative and unpretentious, and she’s always armed with a dry sense of humor. Roach will change the way you think about the great outdoors. What more could you ask for?
— Emerson Malone - Buzzfeed
The book brims with Roach’s irreverent humor, which particularly shines when she experiences human-animal conflict firsthand... A blend of modern science and history, with Roach’s flair for spotting hidden absurdities... As another entry in Roach’s canon of books, Fuzz stands tall (and hairy), educating as much as it entertains.
— Bethany Brookshire - Science News
Hilarious! With Fuzz, Mary Roach again takes us into an unfamiliar scientific realm, in this case the science of managing the conflicts between humans and the natural world—lethal leopards, rampaging elephants, jet-downing birds, even killer trees. It’s an ever-widening conflict zone, but one that Ms. Roach gleefully mines for a multitude of bizarre facts that’ll make you snort coffee through your nose.
— Erik Larson, bestselling author of The Splendid and the Vile
Bestseller Roach sheds light on nature’s malefactors in this often funny, always provocative survey...Roach’s writing is wry, full of heart, and loaded with intriguing facts...This eminently entertaining outing is another winner from Roach.
— Publishers Weekly (starred review)
This book is such a rich stew of anecdotes and lore that it’s best savored slowly, bit by bit... No matter the situation, Roach approaches it with contagious enthusiasm.
— Alice Cary - BookPage (starred review)