Katya Epstein's Reviews > The Voyage of the Beagle, with eBook

The Voyage of the Beagle, with eBook by Charles Darwin
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Jul 26, 11

I really enjoyed this book a lot. It was a delight for me to discover that Charles Darwin was a real geek, brimming with an enthusiasm for all things geological or entomological (or zoological) that shines through in spite of the incredibly dry and haughty reading by David Case (I was listening to the audiobook). Darwin went on an unimaginably wild five-year adventure all the way around the world, but he refers only in passing to any of the danger or drama encountered: To him the fossils and geological strata are far more exciting. He seems to have lost his enthusiasm after crossing the Pacific, and his descriptions of New Zealand and Australia are peremptory and scathing compared to what came before, but he does regain some of his fervent curiousity upon theorizing about the origin of atolls (Edit: I recently read that the section on coral formations, while appearing in the book after their exploration of the Keeling/Cocos Islands, was actually written while they were crossing the Pacific. So it would appear that he lost his enthusiasm after Tahiti). I do wish I could have read an annotated and illustrated edition, because it can be hard to imagine the various animals described or the route taken, and Darwin provides no context for the Beagle's trip.
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