Katherine Harmon Courage, I read your book. It sucked.
Why are there two chapters dedicated to catching and eating octopuses?
Why is it there? Catching might have something to do with the “mysteries” of the creature, but what the hell does eating them have to do with it?
Why is there a section in one of the chapters near the end where tentacle erotica starts getting discussed? What purpose does it serve? Was a brief few sentences on their cultural pervasiveness not enough?
It reads like a 218-page magazine article that’ feels that it’s not so much about the octopus as it is about the author finding out about the octopus.
Another way of putting it would be to say that this is to learning about octopuses as to what An Idiot Abroad is to learning about travelling.
With that being said, I’m fairly certain An Idiot Abroad doesn’t market itself as being about travelling.
More appropriate titles for the book would be My Learning About Octopuses, or Octopus! What I’ve Learned and What Some People Know. However, those are probably not as marketable.
I admit that that I’m being a bit harsh.
It does have some information in there that would work as something akin to the bare minimum base to build knowledge on.
Someone who only has a passing interest in octopuses would probably enjoy it.
Beyond that, anyone who is considering reading it shouldn’t go in expecting a fully scientific book because it doesn’t seem that Katherine Harmon Courage set out to write a fully scientific book.
The main problem may be that the author’s writing style let her down for the type of book she that she wrote. At times it’s far too flippant and at others it’s too flippant.
Perhaps Katherine Harmon Courage wasn’t comfortable with letting her own voice to come through, or maybe editors prevented it from being present in the text.
The main problem could be that there may not be enough information about octopuses to warrant a light read.
It could also be that Katherine Harmon Courage may not have allowed (or been allotted) a sufficient amount of time to learn about octopuses. If this is the case, then she probably could have spent more time in fewer areas, saving on travel expense and time, allowing an increase in obtaining more information. I imagine this would have been more beneficial to the book than writing about eating octopus arms whilst they are still moving around.
When I was reading this, I was reminded of a book I read in 2013 written by Wendy Williams. It was called Kraken.
It, like Octopus!, admitted that we did not know much about the subject creature. It, like Octopus!, has some information in there that would work as something like a bare base to build on and someone who only has a passing interest in squid would probably enjoy it.
It didn’t feel like a book on squid so much as it felt like a book about how interesting it was that we knew things about them and how they can benefit us.
I had to stop reading the book for a few months as I was getting through it too quickly and not really enjoying it.
Wendy Williams wrote a significantly better book.