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Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite
It’s not every day that I get the privilege of reviewing a book about a mushroom. Considering that it’s such a niche interest, I enjoyed reading every page. Most of us, unfortunately, remain ignorant and even fearfully stay away from these fungal wonders. Compiled and edited by Kevin M. Feeney, Fly Agaric: A Compendium of History, Pharmacology, Mythology, & Exploration is well-researched and multi-layered literature on an exceptional fungus known as the fly agaric (amanita muscaria), easily recognized by its snow-speckled crimson cap. It is the stuff of fairy tales, pharmacology, and psychedelics. The book does a great job of shedding light on the common misconceptions surrounding this miniature cosmopolitan species. It is divided into five parts where each addresses an informative and exciting aspect about the fly agaric. From its identification to its role in popular culture and medicine, it is high time you get to know the mushroom that belongs to everyone.
Another of the pleasures of reading Fly Agaric is that it is written with keen attention to detail. The book delivers vital information to dispel many mushroom fears, especially for those with mycophobia, and it is a volume that many will come to regard as the fly agaric manifesto. Kevin M. Feeney and his contributors have a knack for extracting the essence from what may appear to be an unfavorable subject matter at first. This five-sectioned book about a mushroom brilliantly tracks the amanita muscaria’s origins and uses, and they alone can make it compelling. Fly Agaric is a devotion to extolling the virtues of a misunderstood fungus and a determination to reveal its nobility. For students, hobbyists, botanists, pharmacologists, and even hippies, this is a book that deserves your reading time.