... Kassinger will change your mind, taking an obscure topic that might seem boring, perhaps even gross, and making it fascinating and relevant ... As Kassinger finds unique nuggets within algae’s backstory and possible future, she unravels amazing, microscopic details of this vital resource ... where it gets really interesting is her detailed explanation of the large role algae played in the complicated, multistep process of human evolution ... Kassinger has penned a wondrous story of this multifaceted, often misunderstood microorganism whose existence is vital to our own. Algae’s numerous uses, benefits and even its potential harm provide a wake-up call for humanity to find more ecological solutions to reverse climate change and help support our growing population.
... a deep and enlightening dive into the world of algae ... through her penetrating questions and avid interest, readers will learn more about algae than they ever imagined (and relish every minute of it). Comparisons to Mary Roach and Susan Orlean are well-deserved, and Kassinger’s erudite and wide-ranging approach should entice readers with a wide range of interests, from food to fashion, bioengineering, marine biology, farming, and general fascination with the wonders of nature. Gardeners will welcome Kassinger’s latest, and everyone else will feel lucky to discover this winsome writer.
In spite of having studied algae for more than 30 years, I learnt much from Slime ... far from being a collection of interesting historical anecdotes, however. Contemporary topics are also covered, in a clear and balanced way ... I was distracted by the frequent description of the features of the people Kassinger met. And she tends to focus on US-based entrepreneurs, despite the wealth of work elsewhere. But these are small quibbles set against what the book achieves in communicating the beauty (there are some very attractive drawings), interest and importance of algae ... There is something for everyone, from committed phycologists to people who hitherto (but hopefully no longer) regarded algae as an inconvenience or worse. Blanket weed may never seem the same again.