[Yong's] new book aims to open our eyes to another unseen world...From ultraviolet vision to echolocation, by way of those singing mice, it examines the world of animal senses that extend beyond the limits of our own...It is a delight...Some nonhuman senses are outlandish — a little scary, even...Catfish have taste buds all over their body; if you licked one, Yong observes, 'you’d taste each other'...Rattlesnakes 'see' thermal radiation given off by animals...Seals can hunt down a fish 200 yards away, following its wake through the water with their whiskers...Dolphins use clicks for echolocation, like bats, and can perform an ultrasound examination of their prey so fine-grained that they can differentiate between otherwise identical canisters of water and alcohol...Yong makes heroic efforts to try to understand how any of this might feel...Yong calls his book a 'call for humility,' and it did fill me with a certain awe...But it goes further...Subtly — Yong is never heavy-handed — it prompts a radical rethink about the limits of what we know — what the world is, even...It is quite a book...And, I felt, putting it down, quite a world.
That I found myself surprised at so many moments while reading An Immense World, Ed Yong’s new book about animal senses, speaks to his exceptional gifts as a storyteller — though perhaps it also says something regrettable about me. I was marveling at those details because I found them weird; but it turns out, if I try to expand my perspective just a bit, they aren’t so weird after all ... Yong offers these facts in a generous spirit, clearly aware that part of what will enthrall readers is discovering just how few of these facts many of us have known ... Yong’s book is funny and elegantly written, mercifully restrained when it comes to jargon ... If there is a benefit to trying to imagine ourselves into the experiences of others, maybe it lies in the enormous difficulty of doing so; the limits of every species’ sensory bubble should serve as a reminder that each one of us has purchase on only a sliver of reality.
... sumptuous ... One doesn't pick up this book so much as fall into it ... [Yong] leans into the mysteries but follows a clear through line, amplifying the science ... From bat sonar to dog noses to piscine electric fields, Yong's reporting is layered, seasoned with vivid scenes from laboratories and in the field, interviews with researchers across a spectrum of disciplines ... swells into philosophy and politics, underscoring the urgency of climate change. Yong's book melds epic journeys with intimate reckonings, one of this year's finest journalistic achievements.