cover image Cannibalism: A Perfectly Natural History

Cannibalism: A Perfectly Natural History

Bill Schutt, read by Tom Perkins. HighBridge Audio, unabridged, 8 CDs, 9 hrs. $29.99 ISBN 978-1-6816-8196-2

Cannibalism is more widespread than generally believed, argues zoologist Schutt in this thorough and oddly enticing study of the different ways species eat their own. Common practices among tadpoles, chimpanzees, sand tiger sharks, polar bears, and other animals are covered, but the book’s most fascinating sections deal with instances of cannibalism in human history. Schutt identifies 50 different types of human cannibalism, including more common but less obvious practices like eating one’s fingernails and placenta. Actor Perkins brings a breezy, confident style of reading to the audio edition. His pacing is just right for a text that is both informative and humorous, and he evinces no discomfort when reading the more explicit passages, making those parts of the book a whole lot easier to stomach. An Algonquin hardcover. (Feb.)