This is an amazing book. What am I basing that on? For one thing, I don’t like mushrooms. I don’t like mushrooms but you don’t need to like mushrooms or hunting for mushrooms to really enjoy The Mushroom Hunters.
My girlfriend likes mushrooms so we went to this gathering of mycologists here in Portland. The air was permeated with the smell of musty anoraks and the earthy scent of the mushrooms that had been put out on display. Langdon Cook was the guest speaker. He was engaging and I thought to myself “If he can write as well as he can talk I should check out his book.” I did. I was concerned about slogging through chapter after chapter of mushrooms and musty anoraks but I got into The Mushroom Hunters. Why? Because this book isn’t just about mushrooms. The story is about fungi and the business that surrounds it but it’s also about people. There was this one hard luck case named Doug that I can’t get out of my head because Mr. Cook did such a great job “capturing” him. People you care about and excellent writing are feats in their own right, but making it so a guy who can’t stand mushrooms is unable to put down a book about mushrooms is another thing entirely. I highly recommend The Mushroom Hunters as I also recommend Mr. Cook’s first book, Fat of the Land.