creative [kree-ey-tiv]: adjective. Synonyms: clever, cool, innovative, inspired, prolific, stimulating.

criticism [krit-uh-siz-uhm]: noun. The act of passing judgment as to the merits of anything.

30 Sep 2010

Dinosaur in a Haystack - Stephen Jay Gould

Reflections in natural history!
The dinosaur on the cover makes me laugh every time; its arms are so puny that it must try to scratch its hanging neck-skin with its toes! And its face - oh MAN have you seen its face?!
So this book is a compilation of 34 essays, divided into 8 sections. Now, I only got up to essay #26, but I think I can safely assert that it's just an okay book.
Honestly, I'm not convinced that Stephen Jay Gould is the best essayist ever - or even the best science essayist ever. I found his style to be acceptably flowy, but a bit too clunky; he inserts a lot of literary references in the opening and closing paragraphs of his essays, and since I wasn't very familiar with the quotations in question (or their context), I didn't really appreciate them and found that they slowed down the essays too much.
I'm not all complaints and no compliments, though: there's an essay on Jurassic Park, which I found very interesting indeed. But that was probably because Jurassic Park is one of my favorite books/movies ever. So that was nice.
Eh, that's it really... Except for one funny little fact: according to the Dewey decimal system, this book (at code 575) is a book about science! - more specifically, about the life sciences. And to be really precise, it's about... the physiological systems of plants? Random, but that's the decimal classification for you.

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