Mark Everard - Fantastic Fishes

Medlar Press £20
ISBN 978-1-907110-35-1

The prolific Everard strikes again in what would make a rather nice companion volume to The Little Book of Little Fishes, if you are thinking of splashing out on a bit of fireside reading. Fantastic Fishes is a compendium of piscatorial facts, factoids and outright myths, covering everything from the biggest fish to the smallest, the highest to the deepest and the most prosaic to the most peculiar. Given the author’s background as an aquatic biologist, this amusing and absorbing book is written from a position of authority, but it remains readable throughout, even when Mark is discussing otherwise obscure details of breeding relationships (read the section about bitterling and freshwater mussels and you will never look at bitterling in the same light ever again). The further into this book you reach the more bizarre things get, as the author introduces us to fish that change sex and the section on fish navigation, but I won’t spoil the surprise by spilling the beans on the entire book - you are just going to have to buy a copy and find out for yourself.

Review 7.10.2012