In a series of short essays, psychoanalyst and animal-loving author Masson examines his 100 favorite animals - actually more than 100, as many accounts (pigeons, beetles) cover an entire group of animals. In taxonomically wide-ranging discourse, Masson looks at animals ranging from octopus to okapi, from spider to tuatara, from chicken to sturgeon.
Typically, each essay touches on the aspects of the animal in question that Masson finds most fascinating, leading to musings on emotions and ethics engendered by each species. An essay on jellyfish discusses the dangers of their venom and the wonders of their eyes, revealing that the more we know, the less anthropocentric we become.
Although Masson's emotional writing style is not for everyone, his breathless passion for the other lives that share our planet is infectious, and the short-essay format makes for interesting, bite-size reading.