“A jaunty, instructive and charmingly graphic look at nature’s born phlebotomists – creatures from wildly different twigs of the phylogenetic tree that all happen to share a fondness for blood.”
—The New York Times
“[P]rofiles some of the animal kingdom’s dedicated bloodsuckers, from vampire bats and the dreaded candiru catfish to the not-so-dreaded vampire finch….Schutt is an engaging writer.”
—Washington Post Book World
"Zoologist Bill Schutt, through witty, informed writing, transforms bloodsuckers into enticing creatures."
“With great scientific accuracy (backed up by extensive notes and a bibliography), text couched in layman’s terms, and a sense of breathless discovery, Schutt will make blood feeding just another choice on the culinary spectrum.”
“Dr. Schutt’s voyage through the world of blood-feeders is alive with humor and the sheer fun of scientific exploration. He may become the literary heir to Stephen Jay Gould–if you can imagine Gould writing after downing twelve cups of coffee sweetened with nitrous oxide.”
"What starts out as a horror movie of a book morphs into an entrancing exploration of the living world. Bill Schutt turns whatever fear and disgust you may feel towards nature’s vampires into a healthy respect for evolution’s power to fill every conceivable niche. And once you’re done, you’ll be spoiling one dinner party after another retelling Schutt’s tales of bats, leeches, and bed bugs."
—Carl Zimmer, author of Parasite Rex and Microcosm: E. coli and the New Science of Life
“Having donated some of myself to most kinds of bloodsuckers during my field research around the world, mercifully with the exception of vampire bats and candiru catfish, I was totally absorbed by this thoroughly charming and scientifically accurate account.”
—Edward O. Wilson
“The combination of Bill Schutt’s marvelous writing and Patricia J. Wynne’s elegant illustrations makes Dark Banquet–the definitive account of blood feeding in nature– an unstoppable, exhilarating read. Schutt brings both wisdom and wit to his coverage of fascinating facts about the biology of various creatures and the historical interplay of humans as victims, beneficiaries, and scientists. The book has the perfect balance of enlightenment, humor, an irreverence that is so true to a dedicated field biologist with a keen sense of subjects ranging from Leonardo Da Vinci’s fascination with leech locomotion to New York’s bed bug problem. Dark Banquet is engrossing without being gross at all!”
—Michael Novacek, Provost and Curator, American Museum of Natural History
From the Hardcover edition.