Jen's Reviews > The Ancestor's Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Evolution

The Ancestor's Tale by Richard Dawkins
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's review
Mar 14, 2008

it was amazing
Recommended for: anyone interested in science, evolution, biology... life.
Read in January, 2008

Poor Dawkins - he gets a bad reputation. People think he's mean and nasty and heartless and elitist.

Okay, I might have to grant people the "elitist" bit, because, well, I'm a bit of an elitist myself. But I dare you all to read this book and then tell me that Dawkins isn't a total squishy.

Let's just say this - he stops in the middle of the book to talk about how much he misses Douglas Adams, who was a dear friend of his. He waxes poetic about evolution and how much he wishes he could meet our ancestors. He refers to Olivia Judson's "Doctor Tatiana's Sex Guide for All Creation," makes a brief homage to it, and then sweetly states that he could never do the style justice (making clear along the way that he's read the darned thing, which delights me for reasons that can only be understood by someone else who's read the book, because it's Just That Fabulous).

And he puts his wife in the index, even though the references to her are miniscule (and, in fact, much less frequent than in any other book). He credits his research assistant as his co-author. In general, he's a sweetheart.

I will stop fangirling the man, now, and simply tell you that the science in this book? Is brilliant, wondrous, and awe-inspiring in its breadth. Fantastic book.
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02/27/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-5)

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Robert Did you make up the word "fangirling"? Twenty years ago Dawkins changed the whole way I look at the world. "Unweaving the Rainbow" addresses how evolutionary science increases our sense of joy and wonder with the world, not diminishes it.

message 4: by RH (new)

RH Walters I love that phrase 'total squishy.'

message 3: by Uyen (new)

Uyen I'm a total Richard Dawkins fangirl too. I just bought this and can't wait to read it now! Thanks for your adorable review.

Silver Teinbas ...and I was almost moved to tears how Dawkins described the (poor) bird Dodo's Tale! I'd say that Dawkins is full of compassion, care and joy for our past, present and - of course - our future.
And this book shows that we are all pilgrims of the same 'story' in the same universe... on the same planet...
and what a wonderful reason to consider the joyous fact that we are now here!:)

Auberginefab Glad to see I'm not the only Dawkins fangirl! This book is definitely one I will read in the near future. :)

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