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The Soul of an Octopus
A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness
Sy Montgomery
read on October 1, 2015

For a long time I expected that my review of this book would be similar to my earlier review of Montgomery's Birdology, with specific examples and quotes and reasons why I didn't like it, etc. But enough time has passed now since I've finished reading it that I've lost the enthusiasm to do so, and I've realized that it wouldn't be productive anyway.

The Soul of an Octopus is fraught with the same problems that plagued Birdology. Montgomery anthropomorphizes her subjects to such a degree that this book simply cannot be regarded as a work of science. The subtitle is the greatest offender here, as there is no rigorous attempt to describe or understand consciousness whatsoever. I won't be reading Montgomery again.

Author Bio:

Sy writes for adults and children, for print and broadcast, in America and overseas in an effort to reach as wide an audience as possible at what she considers a critical turning point in human history. “We are on the cusp of either destroying this sweet, green Earth—or revolutionizing the way we understand the rest of animate creation,” she says. “It’s an important time to be writing about the connections we share with our fellow creatures. It’s a great time to be alive.” She speaks frequently at schools and museums, libraries and universities. She is a 1979 graduate of Syracuse University, a triple major with dual degrees in Magazine Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and in French Language and Literature and in Psychology from the College of Arts and Sciences. She was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Keene State College in 2004, and an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Franklin Pierce University and also from Southern New Hampshire University in 2011.