Parasites: Tales of Humanity’s Most Unwelcome Guests

Parasites: Tales of Humanity’s Most Unwelcome Guests sorts 
out the human race’s motley crew of parasitic companions (2010, 
University of California Press). This social and natural history 
explores their earthly haunts: prehistoric kingdoms, tropical jungles,
insect guts, water treatment plants etc. and examines the socially 
and historically important things they are doing there. The reader 
also visits their bodily haunts – their usual turf in intestines, bladders,
skin, muscle, blood, and brains. The two lines of inquiry come together 
to reveal what parasites are really doing in our world. 


“[Drisdelle] digs deep (sorry about that) into the complex and sometimes even beneficial relationships between parasites and their hosts, which have induced numerous positive developments in agriculture, infrastructure, 
and even law enforcement (CSI, eat your heart out—oops). So for all those who skip over John Hurt’s big dinner scene in Alien, sink your teeth into this book, and some well-cured beef jerky, if you dare.” 
~The Big Dogs: Wordplay by Adam Dunn. Nov 27, 2011.

“…the anecdotes used to demonstrate the essential properties of parasites and their impact on humans are both illustrative and entertaining. …those not familiar with parasites and the diseases they cause will certainly gain insight into these organisms and how they have influenced our lives.” 
~Thomas B. Nutman, Nature Medicine, Nov 2011

“Drisdelle has written one of those rare books that is fun to read but does not skimp on scholarly rigor… . Some of those [unwelcome guests] whose visits we have endured might have been more welcome were they half as interesting as the guests we meet in Parasites: Tales of Humanity’s Most Unwelcome Guests.” 
~Janice Moore, Bioscience Nov 2011.

Parasites is a wonderful introduction to one of biology’s most fascinating lifestyles.” 
~Mark Greener, Fortean Times: The Journal of Strange Phenomena Nov 2011.

“Drisdelle is not only an experienced parasitologist and scientific author, but a creative genius… . Drisdelle challenges the reader to reevaluate how parasites may have had a role in changing human history and possibly affecting human behaviors… . Her writing style and narrative is so entertaining that one will want to keep turning this book’s pages.” 
~P. M. Watt, Choice Apr 2011.

“In this natural and social history of the organisms that can infect humans, parasitologist and author Drisdelle has created an irresistibly readable account of how parasites affect us and in turn affect human history… An infectious read (pun intended)!” 
~Nancy Bent, Booklist, 2010.

“One of the signs of a truly interesting book is that when you put it down, you just want to sit and think. Rosemary Drisdelle’s new book is a variation… a fascinating read, but when you put it down, you just want to sit and scratch. And shower…” 
~Quirks and Quarks, CBC Books Dec 20, 2010.

“Drisdelle treats her subject objectively. We can’t help but respect these unpleasant but marvellously well-adapted organisms… Anyone interested in a wide-ranging, informative and interesting tour of the parasite world will certainly get it in Parasites. ” Philip McIntosh, “Parasites by Rosemary Drisdelle,”

“Drisdelle has in her recent book Parasites: Tales of Humanity’s Most Unwelcome Guests provided a superb introduction to and overview of parasites in some of their many fascinating and historically significant forms. 
~The Natural History Book Review Oct 26, 2010.

“Hookworm, roundworm, bed bugs, lice, trichinosis, sleeping sickness, scabies: these are some of the parasites and diseases that Drisdelle ably describes with mirth, occasional poetry, and an infectious scientific fascination, where the human story is an essential element of the natural history.” 
~SciTech Book News, September 2010

“An interesting guide to what’s eating you, literally! Not for the squeamish!” Ian Paulsen, The Guardian (UK). 
~The Birdbooker Report Sept 27, 2010.

“Drisdelle describes biological processes lovingly and beautifully. . . Her description of the human body as a suitcase, “a packer and shipper of parasite relocation’, is wonderfully apt . . . read Drisdelle for an education.” 
~Anne Hardy, Times Literary Supplement (TLS) July 2, 2010.

“Drisdelle has made one of societies most dreaded and often ignored entities accessible as well as enjoyable, while unearthing an exciting part of our history as well as our future.” 
~Richard Saffern, May 5, 2010.​

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