A Best Nature Book of the Year
USA Today & Discover

A Best Book of the Year
Time Out New York

Discover Great New Writers Selection
—Barnes & Noble

Worldwide pop-science bestseller

“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’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
“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

About the Book


Photo courtesy of NOAA

In this intimate portrait of an island lobstering community and an eccentric band of renegade biologists, Trevor Corson escorts the reader onto the slippery decks of fishing boats, through danger-filled scuba dives, and deep into the churning currents of the Gulf of Maine, to learn about the secret undersea lives of lobsters. In revelations from the laboratory and the sea, the lobster proves itself to be not only a delicious meal and a sustainable resource, but also an amorous master of the boudoir, a lethal boxer, and a snoopy socializer. The Secret Life of Lobsters is a rollicking oceanic odyssey punctuated by salt spray, melted butter, and predators lurking in the murky depths.

More about The Secret Life of Lobsters

Consider the humble lobster: an unsightly creature from the sea that tastes awfully good with melted butter. But it turns out that this aesthetically-challenged crustacean is so much more—a charming lover, a belligerent fighter, and a snoopy socializer with a nose that lets it track prey and paramour alike with the skill of a bloodhound. And, perhaps most important, these astonishing animals are a sustainable resource that has provided a livelihood for generations of Maine fisherman. In his entertaining and edifying book, Corson takes us on a lively sea-sprayed voyage inside a world where fishermen and scientists have joined forces to uncover the mysteries—and preserve the future—of these clawed predators.

Author Trevor Corson working with Maine lobsterman Bruce Fernald, one of the main characters in the book.

Author Trevor Corson (right) working with Maine lobsterman Bruce Fernald, one of the main characters in the book

Corson worked for two years as a sternman aboard a lobster boat out of Little Cranberry Island, Maine. From the slippery deck of the F/V Double Trouble, he witnessed firsthand the lives and work of a crusty band of lifelong lobstermen and a new breed of ecologists whose unconventional methods include underwater vacuum cleaners, robots, lasers, scent electrodes—and superglue. Combing science, history, and folk wisdom, he explores the confounding reasons behind the fact that Maine’s lobster catch has tripled over the past fifteen years despite the general decimation of New England waters by overfishing. Part popular science, part social history, The Secret Life of Lobsters provides a glimpse into the quirkiness of scientific endeavors and fosters an awareness of how our oceans can be harvested sustainably despite questionable big-government solutions to environmental problems. It also offers an intimate portrait of an island lobstering community bound by tradition but confronting change.

Published by HarperCollins