Bring Back the King Helen Pilcher, Bloomsbury Sigma, $35
What if we could recreate extinct animals in labs? In Bring Back the
King we learn this is not a fanciful question. It’s something scientists all over the globe are trying to do. Helen Pilcher explores the deextinction of a variety of animals, from resurrecting dinosaurs and dodos all the way up to cloning Elvis Presley. Tasmanian tigers and the bizarre Queensland gastricbrooding frog also get a nod. Pilcher doesn’t just want to know if this is feasible — she also asks whether it’s ethical. A lot of this research has the potential to be controversial, so she is careful to set out the pros and cons of each project and leave space for the reader to make up their own mind. The idea of de-extinction alone is fascinating, but it’s the funny and engaging prose that makes this book a delightful read. Verdict: fascinating.