Buffalo & Erie County Public Library Staff Review by Michelle Snyder:
One may not think that the social impact of a fish would lead to an interesting story, but then they've never experienced the writing of James Prosek. Like other misunderstood creatures, the eel is a remarkable animal whose importance is only beginning to be appreciated at the very moment that its populations are declining. Prosek keeps you captivated as he leads you into Maori culture where the eel is considered a crucial part of their spiritual customs, to Japan where the appetite for eel has merchants paying up to $3,600 per pound and threatens the very existence of this remarkable fish.
Eels are referred to as the "mysterious fish" since they travel thousands of miles from the rivers where they live to the saltwater ocean to spawn, and remain a mystery to biologists who have never actually witnessed their spawning. Prosek argues that saving the eel is about much more than conservation of species. He writes, "If we lose the creatures that form the foundation of our spiritual systems, if we lose those things that inspire us to be spiritual at all, then we will be lost." After reading Eels: An Exploration, it's impossible not to feel the same way.
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