The Red Hourglass: Lives of the Predators

The Red Hourglass is a memoir of my adventures with the most fascinating predators I know. It received favorable reviews in the New York Times and more than thirty other newspapers and magazines, and was named on best-of-the-year lists by the New York Public Library, the Los Angeles Times, and PEN Center West. I read from The Red Hourglass on National Public Radio's All Things Considered.

"This is first-rate, unsentimental writing about nature and about the ways that human beings try to cope with the most terrible cruelties that nature offers up."--The New York Times

"An absolutely spellbinding book."--Elle

"Gordon Grice is one hell of a writer. I was originally disturbed by some of the killing he depicts, but his descriptions are so compelling that I had to read on. I'm glad I did. Grice pays close attention to the creatures he writes about, and it really pays off. The Red Hourglass is an absolutely first-rate book." --Jeffrey Masson, author of When Elephants Weep

"The most interesting collection of essays I've read in years."--Arkansas Democrat Gazette

"Gordon Grice's essays hold the reader in their spell, and then carry him beyond the usual romance of the insect and animal world to something darker and far more interesting: Nature's Gothic. The Red Hourglass marks the debut of a fresh, strange, and wonderful new voice in American nature writing."--Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore's Dilemma

"Elegant, and wryly funny."--Esquire

"A precise and savage blow aimed at our predatory supremacy--I wolfed it down."--Will Self, author of Great Apes

"First-rate. . . Feisty, felicitous prose."--Publishers Weekly

"Grice's fusion of scientific and literary gifts converts dangerous and ugly predators--including tarantulas, rattlesnakes, black widow spiders, and jungle pigs--into objects of fascination. . . He weaves an expert's knowledge of biology into an engrossing tapestry of personal narrative and philosophical reflection. . . . Inviting comparisons with Lewis Thomas and Peter Medawar, this book will delight those interested in either animals or literature."--Booklist

"Chilling. . . fascinating."--Houston Chronicle

"The stories can be gruesome, but they grip you because Grice never blinks . . . . The quality of his attention to the facts of life and his willingness to look the awful and the repellent straight in the eyes will earn your admiration."--Men's Journal

"A superb book. . . . Grice possesses the combination of a 9-year-old's fascination and an adult's common sense. . . . His reactions are enchantingly lyrical."--Los Angeles Times

"Eye-popping. . . . Grice combines homespun observations with biological facts, flavoring his findings with just the right measure of philosophical spice."--Entertainment Weekly

1. Black Widow

Read excerpts from this chapter online:

“There in the darkness I see something round as a flensed human skull, glinting like chipped obsidian, scarred with a pair of crimson triangles.”

"I do not recall having seen more abject pain manifested in any other medical or surgical condition."

2. Mantid

(Or "praying mantis," if you prefer.) Read a short excerpt here:

“The fight went on for another five minutes or so, the black cat eating, the green mantid still waving his limbs in protest.”

3. Rattlesnake

Read an excerpt here:
"It lies half-coiled in a stand of dusty green weeds, its jaw against the ground to catch the vibrations of any moving thing. Its forked black tongue slips out of its closed mouth, slashes in several directions, and slips back in. It is licking up particles of airborne scent and brushing them against the mass of olfactory nerves in the roof of its mouth."

4. Tarantula
5. Pig
6. Canid
7. Recluse

The Red Hourglass: Lives of the Predators on Amazon

The Red Hourglass on Barnes & Noble

The Red Hourglass at an independent bookstore

The Red Hourglass at Borders

Red Hourglass : Lives of the Predators (99 Edition) on



Show more