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for The Secret Life of Lobsters

by Trevor Corson

“Like the first man who decided lobster was edible, the reader of this book is in for a surprise: It’s fantastic! Trevor Corson has done something wonderful: he’s revealed heretofore unsuspected depths of intrigue and mystery in the sex life of lobsters. It’s hard to tell which is more remarkable, though, the secret life of the lobsters or the lives of the lobstermen. You’ll never look at a lobster the same way again, but be assured that these lobstermen are doing it right, and not endangering the species they catch. This is the way natural history is supposed to be written; engaging, fascinating, brilliant.”

—Richard Ellis

author of The Empty Ocean and No Turning Back

“I believe that cooking is not only a craft but also a sacred art. When we choose to kill and cook a lobster, it can be a way of paying homage to the animal’s life. In The Secret Life of Lobsters, Trevor Corson teaches us that the lobster has its own mysterious habits, sensitivity, and sensibilities, and that it deserves our respect when we bring it to our table.”

Eric Ripert

executive chef and co-owner of Le Bernardin;

author of A Return to Cooking and Le Bernardin Cookbook: Four-Star Simplicity

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More reviews:

“A fascinating story, blending science, politics and history . . . the writing is vivid.”

—USA Today

“Corson knows the lobster’s secrets, and he’ll tell. . . . The chapters are knitted together with rich stories about the people who catch lobsters, their families, the dangers they face.”

—New York Times

“Lobster is served three ways in this fascinating book: by fisherman, scientist and the crustaceans themselves. . . . Corson, who worked aboard commercial lobster boats for two years, weaves together these three worlds. The human worlds are surely interesting; but they can’t top the lobster life on the ocean floor.”

—Washington Post

“[Corson] immediately captures and holds the reader’s attention as he explains how lobsters live in their coastal environment —as learned by scientists, as seen by himself.”

—Boston Globe

“An affectionate account of the relationship between Homarus americanus, its rocky habitat, and the men and women who brave long days on temperamental seas to earn a livelihood. This is a love story.”

—Christian Science Monitor

“In passages befitting a beach scene in a steamy romance novel, Corson writes about the rough-and-tumble affair [of lobster mating]. . . . Who would have thought lobsters were such passionate lovers?”

—Associated Press

“For hot stuff, you can pick up the latest Harlequin Romance, all fiction. Or you can read The Secret Life of Lobsters—all fact!”

—CBS Sunday Morning

“Corson’s sense of humor and ability to breathe a human sensibility into his crustacean characters enliven even the most esoteric details of how lobsters hunt, hide, fight, and mate in their natural habitat.”

—The Atlantic

“[In] the tradition of John McPhee . . . [Corson] seamlessly interweaves tales of lobster biology and ecology with ocean geology ocean geology and geography, alternating these with sketches of lobstermen and scientists whose livelihoods and careers depend on understanding Homarus americanus.”


“It is almost impossible to stop reading until one runs out of pages. . . . I can highly recommend this book as one of the best things you can enjoy without melted butter.”

Natural History magazine

“Corson serves up a savory blend of history and science along with a satisfying course of lobster and human behavior.”

—Boston Herald

“Corson’s readable portrait braids scientific history with a fisherman’s view of a lobstering town, keeping one foot in the lab, one on the deck, and the other eight in the mysterious deep.”

Boston magazine

“This investigation into society, science and sustainability leaves a complex, satisfying taste in your mouth”

—Time Out New York

“Corson has fun with his material. The species has been well-served by his efforts.”

—New York Newsday

“Charmingly written, full of fascinating detail: a delight.”

—Kirkus Reviews

“[An] intriguing and entertaining book. ... Fascinating, especially when [Corson] juxtaposes human behavior and descriptions of the social life of lobsters.”

—Publishers Weekly

“Corson has skillfully interwoven the biological and personal aspects of these much loved, tasty creatures into an informative and fascinating book.”

—Library Journal

“Upbeat, witty, filled with dialogue, written in the style of a detective novel. . . . It’s a fun read, and delivers, painlessly and with good humor, more information about lobsters than you thought existed.”

—Down East

“What a great book! This is a charming, funny, warm and informative look at Maine lobsters. . . . Treat yourself to this one —you won’t be sorry.”

—Kingston Observer

The Secret Life of Lobsters is a real competitor for the best book on fishing I’ve ever read.”

—Jerry Fraser

editor-in-chief, National Fisherman

“A wonderfully addictive and page-turning book. . . . The little buggers are randy, and Corson gets into it in hilarious yet fascinating detail.”

—Ottawa Citizen

“Corson skillfully intersperses among the science discussion keen insights into the lives and livelihoods of the men and women who make a living along Maine’s coast.”

—Ellsworth American

“Peppered with new and interesting facts, colorful descriptions of life on the cobbled bottom of the sea, exciting episodes in the day of a local fisherman or marine researcher, [and] intriguing political controversy. . . . Corson [is] an accessible, entertaining writer.”

—Bar Harbor Times

“The writing in The Secret Life of Lobsters is crisp, with the narrative flowing smoothly between episodes at sea and scenes in labs ashore or aboard a flotilla of research ships at sea. The book never bogs down; the fascinating tidbits and observations just keep on coming.”

—Mount Desert Islander

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From the blogosphere:

The Secret Life of Lobsters, by Trevor Corson, is quite simply the best biological book I have ever read. ... I was so impressed by the book I couldn’t stop talking about it or lobsters, much to everyone’s amusement because usually I pay no heed to the talk of fish. Eventually I had to haul it out of my bag to show them what was pushing my buttons. Turned out every guy in the room had read the book when it came out first.

It is a great book. Even if you have no interest in lobsters, fishermen, the sea, crustaceans, ocean currents, the Atlantic, North Eastern USA/ Canada, or whatever, you will still love this book. It is such a labour of love. It is beautifully written. It is painstakingly researched. It understands that a lobster is just one example of the beauty, uniqueness, humour and genius of evolution. In fact, in the dying days of the Empire of Creationism (which is when I read it), it really was a refreshing reminder that the USA can do so much better than Bush and his cronies.

Did you know that lobsters urinate on each others heads when they’re horny? Lobster sex is the most interesting animal sex I have ever read about.

But even more interesting than the description of lobster sex is the description of how US scientists figured out every aspect of lobster sex.

And that’s what I love about this book; it’s celebration of inquiry.”

Essays from East Lawrencetown

The Secret Life of Lobsters might remind you of The Discovery Channel’s series, Deadliest Catch. Each job has a player and all the players together put on quite a marine show.”

The Hob-bee Hive

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Please visit the “Customer Reviews” page on for The Secret Life of Lobsters for additional reviews from readers like you.

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