Books For the Dumped

By Carl Zimmer | January 5, 2010 4:52 pm

Parasite Rex has made a very special list of books to read after you get dumped. To quote from Lemondrop over at the AOL collective:

Do you need something to so totally fill you with paranoia and fear that you can’t even think about the worm that just dumped you? How about a terrifying book about worms! AGH! You’ll never walk barefoot in the street again, plus you’ll be so full of disgusting factoids that you won’t even have time to mention what’s-his-name at a party — you’ll be too busy grossing people out. FTW!

I would suggest waiting to find a new special someone until the book has cleared your system.  I was still single while I was writing Parasite Rex, and the book made going out on dates very awkward.

So, what’s your next book about?

Parasites, and why they’re totally awesome. See, like, there’s this worm that crawls across your eye…

Check, please!

On the plus side, it’s a very quick test to see if your date shares your taste for the grotesque.


Comments (5)

  1. Michael Burkley


    I -loved- reading “Parasite Rex.” It was awesome. I tried to get my wife to read it, but she wasn’t as interested after a few pages. In your chapter, “The Two-Legged Host” you talk about Crohn’s Disease and Colitis and their possible connection to -decreased- incidence of various intestinal worm infections. I think that’s fascinating, and I’ve heard more and more about treatments for those diseases and others (ciliac disease for one) using intentional infections.


    I would have told you thanks for the book before now if I had realized that you had written it.

    I recommend it to you all!

    –Michael Burkley

  2. I agree with Michael — loved the book. It’s about nine years old now; any thoughts on an updated edition?

  3. Daniel J. Andrews

    I second that recommendation. I picked it up years ago at a book sale, read it, and was totally fascinated by it. It wasn’t until this past year that I realized Carl had written it. I remembered the title, the oodles of fascinating details, but forgot the author’s name (sorry, Carl). I started rereading parts of it this past summer, and it is as good as I remembered.

  4. andy.s

    I’ve always been amused by the notion that your body is basically a farm for little bitty creatures.

    I don’t remember if this is covered in PR, but what percentage of my body weight consists of parasites? And how many calories a day do they consume?

  5. Todd

    One of the most fascinating books. I read this a few years ago and have passed it to at least two or three people. Highly recommended.


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The Loom

A blog about life, past and future. Written by DISCOVER contributing editor and columnist Carl Zimmer.

About Carl Zimmer

Carl Zimmer writes about science regularly for The New York Times and magazines such as DISCOVER, which also hosts his blog, The LoomHe is the author of 12 books, the most recent of which is Science Ink: Tattoos of the Science Obsessed.


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