Inspirational and magical, the story of boy who grows up determined to save the world from its most savage ecological predator: Man himself.
If Wilson's skills as a teller of human tales seem nascent at best, his role as nature's litterateur is unique and necessary. For the realms of insects and other creatures offer untapped possibilities for literary exploration. Some populations of the Globe Skimmer dragonfly, for instance, migrate up to 11,000 miles back and forth across the Indian Ocean. It takes four generations to make the trip -- a sweeping epic in the making. Wilson has long championed the concept of biophilia -- the love of life in all its forms -- as a quality necessary to achieving balance and sustainability in our relation with the natural world. Perhaps biophilia's promise will only be realized when we can inhabit nature with the full resources of our imagination, resources which literature marshals like no other mode of thought. Anthill's main plot is sketchy, its characters and their motives are fuzzily drawn, and its denouement unlikely. But the entomological epic at this flawed novel's heart leaves me with a wild and hopeful question: has the time come for the dragonflies to have their Tolstoy?