Reaktion, £9.99, 198pp £9.49 from the Independent Bookshop: 08430 600 030
Donkey, By Jill Bough
Friday 02 September 2011
The latest addition to Reaktion's animal series – surely one of the most successful publishing ventures of recent years – reveals the donkey, "generally considered beneath notice", to be a creature of the utmost fascination.
Capable of carrying two-thirds its own body weight, it was the first pack animal to be domesticated. Upwards of 40 million still serve humanity. Only the camel has a lower water requirement and better control of temperature.
Ironically, this placid animal proved invaluable in warfare and is still serving in Afghanistan. However, Bough goes too far in asserting "semantic associations between the animal and human buttocks".
The American "ass" from "arse" is merely a homonym of "ass" meaning undomesticated donkey.
GlastonburyWI to make debut appearance at Somerset festival
TV reviewIt has taken seven episodes for Game of Thrones season five to hit its stride
FilmPalme d'Or goes to radical and astonishing film that turns conventional thinking about immigrants on its head
Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treattv
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 'Cheeky' Nando's under fire for apparently coming onto a customer on Twitter
- 2 Playboy model April Summers speaks out about being a victim of revenge porn
- 3 There is something wrong but very right about this Bible illustration
- 4 iPhone 'effective power' text: how to be safe from iOS bug that lets people crash your phone
- 5 Man jumps into bear pen at zoo, fights bear and loses
Jay Z's Tidal could be about to lose Beyonce's music in ultimate humiliation
Royal Academy of Arts' Tim Marlow: Bronze statue of lovers embracing at St Pancras station is a lesson in 'how not to do' public art
Britain's Hardest Grafter: Petition set up as Twitter reacts to BBC 'poverty porn' series pitting low-paid workers against each other
Britain's Got Talent 2015: Jamie Raven divides Twitter as fans expose mind-boggling magic trick
Big Brother contestant Aaron Frew removed from house for 'inappropriate behaviour' after flashing fellow contestants
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
Australian man punched in the face for defending Muslim women from abuse on train
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
EU referendum: David Cameron to deny EU migrants and under-18s the chance to vote