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The Darwin Conspiracy

3.21  ·  Rating Details ·  1,073 Ratings  ·  156 Reviews
From the author of the bestselling Neanderthal comes this novel of gripping suspense and scientific conquest–a page-turning historical mystery that brilliantly explores the intrigue behind Darwin and his theory of evolution.It’s 1831, and aboard HMS Beagle the young Charles Darwin sets off down the English Channel for South America. More than 150 years later, two ambitious ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published September 12th 2006 by Anchor (first published January 1st 2005)
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Apr 04, 2013 Matt rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
Darnton has done it again, presenting a great novel, full of scientific history and challenging the mainstream view. While past bookshave tackled medical and anthropological phenomena, the author pulls out all the stops and challenges the foundation of Darwin’s evolutionary discoveries. He also posits some theories as to why it took so long to present his findings to the public, and some biographical nuggets. Told in a three person narrative, the story flips from the present, to Darwin’s own ...more
Tiago Mata
Aug 30, 2014 Tiago Mata rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Este era um livro que teira de ler, pois sou um grande admirador de Charles Darwin, no entato, o livro enganou-me redondamente, por diversos factores.
Apesar de ler a sinopse, pensei que este seria um livro mais técnico contando a vida e obra de Charles Darwin, assim o foi, mas certamente, não como imaginaria.
Directamente não parece, mas, para uma melhor compreensão da obra, é bom ter assente algumas ideias da teoria da selecção natural e quem foi: Wallace, Lyell, Erasmus, Darwin ou Lamarck.

A obr
Clif Hostetler
Jan 30, 2008 Clif Hostetler rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This is a historical novel with a twist of alternative history. The conspiracy has nothing to do with the efficacy of natural selection, but why would Darwin not want to say where he got the idea in the first place. If I say anymore I'll ruin the plot.

Here's a review of the book from my PageADay Book Lover's calendar:

When two scientists locked in a rivalry over Charles Darwin come across some papers of Darwin’s daughter’s, they are forced to regard their hero in a different light. A
Jul 29, 2009 Jake rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Disclaimer: I listened to this book on audio while on a road trip. I love to take in books this way, but I admit it comes with distractions.

Still, I'm not sure I would have enjoyed this book much more in print. For one thing, I've been experiencing conspiracy fatigue. Deep down I think we all want there to be some big conspiracies out there. But as I look at our leaders, and how frantically they are just trying to keep up in the rat race, my heart tells me most conspiracy theories are just so mu
Apr 08, 2012 Charles rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
I was torn between two and three stars for this one, but I did enjoy it. It was a bit slow in places but was interesting. I was troubled by how easy the two protagonists were able to uncover the "conspiracy." It often seemed like things just fell into their laps due to coincidence. The final conclusion is highly unbelievable but still rather entertaining.
Marilyn Saul
I was real close to jettisoning this book, because I found Hugh, the researcher, to be a whiny, self-pitying irritant. However, I stuck with the book, and it became interesting after 100 pages or so. A well-fabricated plot (with just a little too much shoplifting historical documents from major archives to be believable), it ended up being enjoyable and rather hilarious when one finds out WHO really came up with the theory of survival of the fittest. The book doesn't bog down anywhere, so it's ...more
Elizabeth Marie
Nov 10, 2016 Elizabeth Marie rated it it was amazing
Awesome read, especially for those interested in science.
Πάνος Τουρλής
Ο Κάρολος Δαρβίνος (1809-1882) ήταν Άγγλος φυσιοδίφης και γεωλόγος, που έμεινε στην ιστορία ως ο θεμελιωτής της θεωρίας της εξέλιξης. Ήταν ο εισηγητής του μηχανισμού της φυσικής επιλογής μέσω του οποίου πρότεινε ότι συντελείται η εξέλιξη, όπου όλα τα είδη ζωής προέρχονται από κοινούς προγόνους και έχουν διαμορφωθεί με την πάροδο του χρόνου. Το πενταετές ταξίδι του με το πλοίο Beagle (Ιχνηλάτης) τον κατέστησε διάσημο ως γεωλόγο. Οι λεπτομερείς παρατηρήσεις του στη βιολογία και τα δείγματα άγριας ...more
Dec 30, 2012 Iceman rated it it was ok
O Pecado de Darwin é um título que tem tanto de ambicioso como de decepcionante. Um título que, ao contrário do original do livro, deixa logo antever um pecado de Darwin e foi precisamente com esse interesse que me propus a ler este livro.

Darwin é, inquestionavelmente, um dos Grandes Nomes da Ciência. Assim, quanto a mim, é necessário uma grande dose de coragem para se elaborar um trama cujo principal tema é algo que Darwin “fez” e que esteve por detrás da origem da célebre teoria da Selecção Na
Jason Golomb
Dec 21, 2011 Jason Golomb rated it liked it
My definition of historical fiction is a work that takes key pieces of a very real history while expanding and filling in the gaps of the unknown to create a more fully fleshed version of reality. John Darnton's "The Darwin Conspiracy" targets something a little different. Darnton takes the bones of history, specifically Charles Darwin's trip to South America on board 'The Beagle', and wraps around it a skin of his own creation, to display an alternate version of of how he came to develop his ...more
Tracey Dosch
Sep 18, 2016 Tracey Dosch rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2016
Slogged through this tedious book because my work best friend was so excited to share it with me - we are both biology professors so should be right up my alley. Of the three strands of the story, the modern characters were dull, the fictional diaries and letters of Darwin's daughter were even duller, and the made up portions of Darwin's voyage were preposterous.
Marisa Fernandes
May 05, 2016 Marisa Fernandes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sendo baseado em documentos históricos, "O Pecado de Darwin" é nos contado de três ângulos diferentes, o que confere um certo dinamismo à leitura: o percurso de Charles Darwin (1809-1882) até à sua viagem no Beagle, muito inspirado pela vida e obra do geógrafo alemão Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859), e a viagem propriamente dita, as cartas da sua filha Lizzie e ainda a viagem de descoberta de Hugh e de Beth à volta da vida de Darwin e das suas próprias vidas.

Inicialmente, a obra pareceu-me al
Jan 11, 2013 Olga rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

“Hugh and Beth slept late, then descended to an outdoor terrace overlooking the lake, where they treated themselves to an old-fashioned English breakfast: eggsa, sausage, bacon, tomatoes, and baked beans. Beth smiled, stretching in the sunlight – like a contented cat, thought Hugh. He had also slept well. He could not remember the last time he had felt as good as he did now, both completely alive and completely relaxed.“

Regresso à novela histórica, desta v
May 01, 2011 Noah rated it it was ok
Wow, this has been on my shelf for a very long time. I picked it up with a gift certificate for borders that I received for Christmas 2005. It seemed intriguing at the time. Now that I'm headed to the Galapagos this summer and will tread where Darwin tread, I thought I'd pick it up off the shelf.

Two pieces of fictionalized history in a row. The last was much better than this one, but I did enjoy this.

The plot consisted of a couple of modern day science historians digging into Darwin's past and
May 07, 2013 Sarah rated it liked it
I readily admit this was a strange read for me to pick me up. As someone who's grown up with (and still leans toward) a staunchly Creationist view, it's more likely a book I'd encounter with these two words in the title would be putting Darwin down. Actually, although not at all religious, that's not so far from the truth about this novel. In many ways it's a mystery, surrounding questions of Darwin's moral character, hypochondria, and the evolution of his theory. It was the mystery that got me ...more
May 31, 2013 Alger rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 13, 2011 Denise rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Me topé con éste libro en un puesto de libros viejos. Este estaba en muy buenas condiciones y en excelente precio así que me lo llevé a casa. El título no me decía gran cosa y honestamente la vida de Charles Darwin no me llamaba la atención en absoluto. El libro es ficción, aunque varios de los personajes y algunos de los datos históricos son reales. El personaje principal, Hugh, es un joven entusiasta en búsqueda de respuestas y de dirección en su vida. Después de varios meses de aislamiento en ...more
Sónia Rodrigues
Mar 22, 2011 Sónia Rodrigues rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
O Pecado de Darwin retrata não só o contexto biográfico de Charles Darwin, apresentando a sua vivência familiar e social, como dá a conhecer de um modo compreensível toda a teoria criada por Darwin – a teoria da evolução.

Toda a explicação científica é construída com base na viagem que o naturalista britânico realizou a bordo do HMS Beagle, mas tudo de um modo suave.

John Darnton foi sem dúvida merecedor do Pulitzer. Embora não tenha ganho o prémio com este livro, o leitor rapidamente capta o porq
Jun 11, 2013 Linda rated it liked it
To say Charles Darwin was controversial in his day is an understatement, but although close to two hundred years have passed, he's scarcely less controversial in our own day. There are many mysteries surrounding the way he conducted his life: he did not publish his theory for nearly twenty years, after his famous voyage, his health and nerves were poor, and he rarely traveled again. John Darnton has constructed a novel around these factors, with an eye toward explaining what could have caused ...more
Friends of  Linebaugh Library
This historical novel is an interesting conspiracy of Charles Darwin's life and a question of where creation and evolution really spawn from...a real "what if it happened like this" take on history. The novel jumps between two timelines. First, a fictionalized version of Charles Darwin's journey around South America on the Beagle. The second, a modern-day Darwin scholar who stumbles upon the journal of one of Darwin's daughters, and perhaps discovers a mystery when he stumbles upon several ...more
Apr 25, 2011 Alexandra rated it it was ok
I bought this book at a newspaper book sale because it was cheap and the title seemed interesting, so I wasn't expecting much. On that score, the book delivers. The separate threads it weaves together--(1) contemporary researcher haunted by the death of his brother starts looking into the life of Darwin and comes across the journal of one of his daughters; (2) the daughter's story,; and (3) Darwin's voyage to South America on HMS Beagle--all start out with promise, but the results are ...more
May 22, 2011 Raina rated it liked it
This historical novel is an interesting conspiracy of Charles Darwin's life and a question of where creation and evolution really spawn from...a real "what if it happened like this" take on history. The novel jumps between two timelines. First, a fictionalized version of Charles Darwin's journey around South America on the Beagle. The second, a modern-day Darwin scholar who stumbles upon the journal of one of Darwin's daughters, and perhaps discovers a mystery when he stumbles upon several ...more
Mar 01, 2013 Seek rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 11, 2008 Tony rated it liked it
Darnton, John. THE DARWIN CONSPIRACY. (2005). ***1/2. This is a clever work of historical fiction arranged much like a crime novel. It explores the life of Charles Darwin, through his journals (Voyage of the Beagle), discovered letters of his younger daughter, Lizzie, who is either fictional or of whom not much is known, and two modern-day researchers who stumble upon some inconsistancies in the records. Although well researched – much of the historical references are well-documented in known ...more
May 20, 2010 Renea rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 13, 2013 Les rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was surprising. I was expecting narration from only one perspective, but the point of view changed many a time. Some of the copies of the letters and messages written by characters were incredibly long (and unavoidably so) which detracted from the readability, but was necessary to the perspective changes. A twisting plot full of parallels and dark secrets, John Darnton invents a whole new story behind why Darwin took his famous voyage on the Beagle, and how it affected not only his ...more
Rebecca Hill
Aug 03, 2016 Rebecca Hill rated it really liked it
ighly enjoyable light reading material. Reinforces my view that all famous people are just everyday people like the rest of us. We all have our drama, tragedy, hopes, fears and joys in life. Even the most intelligent person can make mistakes in their personal lives. While most of the book is fiction, it is based off historical events, which shed a new light on Darwin and all of his adventures in life. It has left me with the impression that Darwin found his own gilded cage to be locked in and ...more
Mar 29, 2014 Helaine rated it liked it
Whenever I read a work of fiction with the central character a historical figure, I find myself running for the autobiography/biography of the figure to determine what of the story is true and what created. In this case, I was aided by the author's commentary at the end of the book indicating some of what came from his creative process with regard to Darwin and Darwin's daughter Lizzie.

I believe the less you know about Darwin, the more intriguing you will find this story that travels between th
Aug 31, 2009 Mazel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller

Charles Darwin embarque à bord du navire de recherche Beagle et découvre les Galapagos.

A son retour, cinq ans plus tard, il ébauche ses premières hypothèses sur la sélection naturelle.


Elizabeth Darwin, la benjamine du naturaliste, confie à son journal intime les soupçons qu'elle nourrit sur son père, quasi paralysé par une kyrielle de maux étranges.

Londres, de nos jours.

Deux jeunes chercheurs s'efforcent de faire la lumière sur la genèse de la théorie de l'évolution.

Pour quelle
May 06, 2010 Dave rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-read
This story left me ambivalent about it. Alternative history or understated science fantasy, the narrative weaves three main story lines into a single thread. The first thread features a contemporary biological researcher who has been trying to flee personal demons and guilt from his youth. The story begins at a field camp on the Galapagos Islands where the protagonist Hugh meets a beautiful and intelligent fellow researcher, Beth. The second string is a fictionalized account of Charles Darwin's ...more
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John Darnton has worked for The New York Times for forty years as a reporter, editor, and foreign correspondent. He is the recipient of two George Polk Awards and a Pulitzer Prize. He is also the author of five novels, including The Darwin Conspiracy and the best seller Neanderthal. He lives in New York.
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