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Books

From water-dwelling sponges to face-eating hyenas: the whole of life is in this book

A review of Ten Million Aliens: A Journey Through the Entire Animal Kingdom, by Simon Barnes. Avoiding all anthropocentrism, the book proceeds by interlocking the most sophisticated life-forms with the most simple

15 November 2014

9:00 AM

15 November 2014

9:00 AM

Ten Million Aliens: A Journey Through the Entire Animal Kingdon Simon Barnes

Short Books, pp.480, £20, ISBN: 9781780721422

‘The meaning of life’, announces Simon Barnes in the opening pages of his new book, ‘is life, and the purpose of life is to become an ancestor.’ Simple really. Yet it is hard to imagine a title launched this autumn that has a more all-encompassing theme or a larger moral purpose.

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Available from the Spectator Bookshop, £17 Tel: 08430 600033. Mark Cocker’s latest book is Claxton: Field Notes from a Small Planet.

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