Anthill

by Edward O. Wilson

Inspirational and magical, this is the story of a boy who grows up determined to save the world from its most savage ecological predator: manhimself.

  • Roughcut
  • Pages: 384 pages
  • Average Rating: 3.42 out of 5
  • Published April 5th 2010 by W. W. Norton & Company
  • Original Title: Anthill
  • ISBN: 0393071197 (ISBN13: 9780393071191)
  • Edition Language: English
  • Characters: Raff Cody
  • Literary Awards: Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize for Fiction (2010)

Inspirational and magical, this is the story of a boy who grows up determined to save the world from its most savage ecological predator: man himself. “What the hell do you want?” snarled Frogman at Raff Cody, as the boy stepped innocently on the reputed murderer’s property. Fifteen years old, Raff had only wanted to catch a glimpse of Frogman’s 1,000-pound alligator.Thus begins the epic story of Anthill, part thriller, part parable, which follows the adventures of Raff, a modern-day Huck Finn, whose improbable love of the “strange, beautiful, and elegant” world of ants ends up transforming his own life and the citizens of Nokobee County. Battling both snake bites and cynical relatives who just don’t understand his consuming fascination with the outdoors, Raff explores the pristine beauty of the Nokobee wildland. In doing so, he witnesses the remarkable creation and destruction of four separate ant colonies (“The Anthill Chronicles”)—whose histories are epics that unfold on picnic grounds—becoming a young naturalist in the process.An extraordinary undergraduate at Florida State University, Raff, despite his scientific promise, opts for Harvard Law School, believing that the environmental fight must be waged in the courtroom as well as the lab. Returning home a legal gladiator, Raff grows increasingly alarmed by the rapacious condo developers who are eager to pave and subdivide the wildlands surrounding the Chicobee River. But one last battle awaits him in his epic struggle. In a shattering ending that no reader will forget, Raff suddenly encounters the angry and corrupt ghosts of an old South he thought had all but disappeared, and he learns that “war is a genetic imperative,” not just for ants but for men as well.Part thriller, part parable, Anthill will not only transfix readers with its stunning twists and startling revelations but will also provide readers with new insights into the meaning of survival in our rapidly changing world.