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Alan Rauch

Reaktion Books, £9.99

Ranging from the obvious – bottlenose and common dolphins – to the orca, Rauch engages with one of our best loved marine mammals with a detail and depth not usually found in a popular science book.

With a wealth of information presented in six chapters – ranging from zoology and physiology to dolphins and popular culture – the book has something for everyone. Rauch manages to gather together in one volume and in an informative way not only scientific information from research, which is referenced for further reading, but also the social and cultural history of the dolphin.

Sometimes the structure of his dialogue is a little wandering, but he seems to always come back to the topic under discussion, weaving the facts together in a story-like manner. Subheadings within each chapter split up the content into bite-size chunks, enabling the reader to delve into their favourite areas with ease.

The text is supplemented with a number of illustrations, images and photographs, the majority of which are in colour and enhance the quality of this enchanting subject matter.

Dolphin is a small and inexpensive gem of a book that packs a punch above its weight, and would be an ideal introductory read for undergraduate and layperson alike. Brimming with information accessible to all, Rauch has used his experience with the subject matter to bring to life one of the most likeable and loved creatures on the planet.

Janet Preece

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