||Bryce W. Anderson
||June 12, 2008
Barnes & Noble.com
He's the most intelligent man I ever met. His friendship meant everything to me. So logically he had to die.
|An ant has two stomachs. I know this because my neighbor told me. He’s incredibly intelligent and we’ve talked every evening on his porch for—has it only been two months? He’s taught me to look at everything differently, and I’ve learned so much: the nature of time, the value of inquiry, and an understanding that even the impossible can sometimes be true. He’s become my mentor, guide and best friend. So you see, I had no other choice but to see if I could kill him.
"Funny yet thought provoking...This book has left me doing a lot of thinking, and I am not sure how I feel about the whole story, other than I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it." — Zvakec (UT)
"This book delves into the mind of 2 intellectuals. Both question life. Both for different reasons. Book of Knowledge had me thinking with each and every turn of the page. It is a great read with light hearted quips and deep questions. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and yes, like many others I am reading it again. Definitely a book I would recommend." — William Dougherty (PA)
"I found it to be intriguing, thought provoking and entertaining. This book is good for all intellectual levels, everyone will enjoy it. It was hard to put down. Enjoyable from cover to cover. I am looking forward to the next one. " — D. Bingham (NM)
It started one Friday afternoon in the early summer of 1991. I gazed out my front window at the home across the street that had stood there vacant for over five months. When it was occupied, it blended well with all the other ranch-style houses on the block. But since the former occupants had left, the lawn had gone to seed and it looked very much like what it was; a vacant home. I kept reminding myself to get over and clean up the yard so I wouldn’t have to look at it; but that wasn’t going to happen and I knew it:
I’m too lazy.
Today the house looked different, though; instead of a vacant lot with a ‘For Sale’ sign poking up through the three-foot tall weeds, a U-Haul trailer sat jackknifed in the driveway, angled toward the front door. It was the tiniest U-Haul I’d ever seen, and I wondered how anyone who could afford to buy that house could pack all their belongings into such a small space.
Normally, I would have ducked down under the window and slithered to the back of the house so as not to be seen, and thereby suckered into lending a hand, but what I was witnessing kept me captivated. First of all, the man was wearing clothes I hadn’t seen since the last time I browsed the clearance rack at the local Goodwill store. Secondly, he was squatting down on his haunches like he was trying to control a terrible bowel ache. He just squatted there, staring at the driveway beneath him, not moving a muscle. Because he faced the other direction, I made the decision to stay and view the outcome, expecting him to bolt for the bathroom at any moment. That didn’t happen. I must have stood there for a full two minutes; and he didn’t move once. There was definitely something wrong with this guy.
I shook my head as I made my way to the front door, knowing that I was being duped into helping this Bozo lug a three-ton refrigerator up a flight of stairs, but it didn’t seem to make any difference to me at the time. I needed to see what was going on with this guy who could squat and stare at the sidewalk without moving for a whole three minutes.
I made a quick glance up and down the cul-de-sac to see if someone was out mowing their lawn or working on their car, but it was still fairly early in the afternoon, and there was no one in sight. I was going to have to fly solo on this mission.
As I made my way across the street I kept expecting him to glance in my direction with a look of complete confidence on his face that suggested ‘Gotcha’. As I made
my final approach, I craned my neck to the side as if he might jump up at any moment and slash my throat. That didn’t happen either. Instead, I cleared my throat and
muttered, “You need a hand with something?”
Without so much as looking up or even acknowledging my existence, almost as if he had known me for years, he said, to no one in particular, “Did you know an ant has two stomachs?”
“I beg your pardon?” I replied, assuming that I was having problems with my hearing.
“An ant has two stomachs,” he said. “It has a smaller one in the front of his abdomen, called a crop, and the larger, real stomach, attached behind it. When a friend brushes the ant’s mandible with its antenna, the ant regurgitates honey into the mouth of its friend. That way ants can store food for sharing, while at the same time digesting the food they need to survive.”
Interesting, intriguing and clever
I read this story in a evening, so it's not a hard or indeed challenging read. What it is though is a thoroughly enjoyable story. Initially I was a little put off by the introduction which consists of a detailed description of how truth tables work. I didn't find this relevant to what followed. Ignore the introduction and dive right in is my advice. I'm already looking forward to the next one!
No need for a book mark...
"Body of Knowledge", by Bryce W. Anderson, opened my mind to several possibilities I may never have considered, or even comprehended, previous to reading this thought provoking story.
Anyone, while reading Mr. Anderson's incredible literary art, could imagine themselves contemplating points of view from varying angles. The story opened doors to a world of "Could this be?" for me. Having read this fantastic book twice, and undoubtedly not the last, it answers questions we uncommonly ask and it left me frothing for more from the author.
I recommend "Body of Knowledge" to everyone and to keep a copy handy. It's one of the better books in my library.
Terrific intellectual treat
Writing a book which is both entertaining and thought-provoking is a great challenge. A challenge, however, to which Bryce Anderson is clearly equal. What a thoroughly satisfying book. Without giving the plot away, which would be terribly unfair, I'd describe Body of Knowledge as equal parts philosophical speculation, meditation on love and friendship, and page-turning fiction. And may I say, very difficult to put down - I couldn't wait to see what each new chapter would bring. If Mr. Anderson is anything like his narrator, it would be a privilege to know him. I recommend the book with enthusiasm and look forward to this talented author's next work.
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