Mark Benecke studied biology, zoology, and psychology and wrote his doctoral thesis on genetic fingerprinting. An internationally sought-after criminal biologist, he trained with the FBI and has been involved in investigating many international criminal cases. With his latest coup, ILLUSTRATED LIFE OF ANIMALS (Kiepenheuer & Witsch 2020), he delivers an hommage to the animals closest to his heart. No surprise, these aren’t cat, dog, and rabbit.
- beautifully illustrated by the great Kat Menschik !
- a SPIEGEL bestseller
- among the top 10 on the bestseller list since November
- rights sold to NEW: Norway (Pantagruel)
- raving press:
»If Corona has brought anything good with it it is this book. (…) Overabundance in text and images!« – Deutschlandfunk Kultur Lesart
»Mark Benecke, who relies on the help of insects and maggots to solve crimes, has a weakness for strange animals and their surprising properties. Kat Menschik illustrated his stories with humor and great attention to detail. Whoever reads their book will then look at the animal world from a different perspective.«- WDR Westart
»Any animal in this lovely book would make a fantastic tattoo. The rockabilly aesthetic contrasts excellently with the claim of scientific venerability that this title calls for.« – Süddeutsche Zeitung
»A real fave book not only for animal lovers!« – radio eins Die Literaturagenten
»The book keeps what the cover promises: the stories are as quirky as their author, Menschik’s drawings as imaginative as they are colorful.« – Greenpeace Magazine
»This wonderfully eccentric, witty and wonderfully ILLUSTRATED LIFE OF ANIMALS keeps every single promise.« – Flux FM, December
»A book as a loosely written foray through the animal world, a compilation of sometimes amusing, sometimes impressive, sometimes unfathomable facts about unique beings.« – Mitteldeutsche Zeitung
»ILLUSTRATED LIFE OF ANIMALS is the most glorious pandemonium of the pandemic year.« – welt.de
»A work designed with a lot of affection.« – rbb zibb
»A great homage.« – stern
Dr. Mark Benecke is a member of the Ig Nobel Prize Committee for Improbable Research, chairman of the Transylvanian Society of Dracula, and the most famous forensic biologist in the world. He loves animals of all kinds – with possibly a slight predilection for insects since he can’t imagine a better collaborator than the red-legged ham beetle when it comes to gathering clues to get to the bottom of an obscure death. He’s even the godfather of the St. Mark’s fly. And, when it comes to low-maintenance pets, the hissing cockroach is pretty high up on his list.
For Mark Benecke, there is no doubt that animals are on a par with humans. They have many impressive, endearing, and amusing characteristics. As a result, for years, every Saturday on his science podcast, he has been drawing attention to the uniqueness of animals, among many other topics. Here, he portrays his personal selection of different types of animals in short essays. Take the octopus, for example: exceptionally intelligent, it prefers things laid back and often goofs around. Or bees, which aren’t just good at flying but also reasonably good surfers! Or the cichlid, which gets depressed if you pair it off with the wrong partner.