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Book Review: The Little Book of Slugs

  • Subject: [cg] Book Review: The Little Book of Slugs
  • From: Alliums garlicgrower@earthlink.net
  • Date: Fri, 02 Jan 2004 15:56:40 -0500

Hi, Folks!

Here's a new book review for the new year.  I retain copyright, so let me know if you want to publish it anywhere.


Dorene Pasekoff, Coordinator
St. John's United Church of Christ Organic Community Garden

A mission of
St. John's United Church of Christ, 315 Gay Street, Phoenixville, PA  19460


The Little Book of Slugs Edited by Allan Shepherd and Suzanne Galant, CAT Publications: The Centre for Alternative Technology Charity, Ltd., 2002.  ISBN:  1-90217-513-1 $7.95
An irresistible book on an icky subject, The Little Book of Slugs (3.94” x 5.18”, 120 pages) is just too cute not to buy by the handful to place in the gift bag of every gardener you know.  With its flat black cover featuring the word “Slugs” in graytone and the eerie iridescent mucus trails topped by black slugs slithering down from the lower left corner, it was the only book this Christmas that everyone, gardener or not, picked up, then proceeded to read.
Moist, damp Great Britain appears to breed both slugs and gardeners in fanatical proportions.  After studies showed that 85% of British gardeners used chemical slug pellets to kill slugs (which also kill pets and wildlife), but most would happily switch to other methods if they knew what would work, the Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales launched its “Bug-the-Slug” campaign to find out what organic solutions really work.  The book provides 75 different organic solutions distilled from 300 professional and hobby gardeners, organized with British efficiency by method and utility, then topped off with serious Shakespearian quotations and rueful expressions of outrage and desperation from live British gardeners.
Like any good organic manual, The Little Book of Slugs also contains useful details about slugs’ preferred habitat, feeding patterns, species, mating details (which are so gross that I won’t include the source URL which includes pictures – if such scenes aren’t what the Internet anti-porn laws were meant to protect children from, they should be!) and how to get slug slime off your hands.
The only caveat is that the Centre for Alternative Technology’s URLs are more unstable than the book implies.  If you want to learn more about the “Bug-the-Slug” campaign and slugs in general, go to http://www.cat.org.uk/  and click on the “I hate slugs” button on the right hand side, rather than entering directly from the URL listed in the book.
Otherwise, buy the book and leave it out where visitors can find it, preferably on top of a two very heavy books that aren’t read often.  The flip-book feature, which shows a lovely group of greens that are soon overrun by six slugs who devour the entire bed, then slink off the page to find something else to eat, is too much fun for any visitor, so you’ll want to have the never-read books on hand to straighten out the pages after your company leaves.   Who ever thought that organic pest control could be so enjoyable?
Reviewed by Dorene Pasekoff, Coordinator
St. John’s United Church of Christ Organic Community Garden
Phoenixville, PA

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