Tim's Reviews > The Ancestor's Tale

The Ancestor's Tale by Richard Dawkins
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's review
Jul 28, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: history, science, reviewed, non-fiction, own
Read from March 30, 2011 to May 03, 2013

My first Dawkins book was The Greatest Show On Earth, which is one of the best books I've ever read. It was accessible, well-written (clear and explanatory) and it made you want more. So I decided to buy (and read) The Ancestor's Tale. That was in 2011. :P That book is a little thicker, yet also written in an accessible way...

...At least until, say, rendez-vous/chapter 20, when it's fish time. As Menno Schilthuizen writes in his review - see http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/... - "The level of the text is rather uneven. Some chapters are splendid science writing, while others are humdrum, dense, or even impossible to wade through." And so I skipped the rest of the chapters to read the ending, the conclusion. Yes, it all is interesting how every species is connected, how one led to the other, etc... how bacteria lead to us and other animals. From humans to apes and monkeys over amphibians, fish towards flies and worms and ending with bacteria.

All in all, The Ancestor's Tale is a very good book and a must-read if you want to find out about heritage and how old species lead to new. But you've got to keep your mind to it.

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Reading Progress

07/29/2011 page 178
12/18/2011 page 258
41.0% "Yeah, slow reading indeed. It's all interesting and RD tried to describe it all as clearly as possible, but there's also heavy use of terminology, so it's imperative to remain focused. Then again, if other things are demanding some of your time... progress is obviously slow then."
12/27/2012 page 346
50.0% "reading is going veeeery slow since many months. But I'm going to press on and hope to finish it before the summer of 2013. :P"
05/03/2013 marked as: read
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Tim (new)

Tim met 'easy accesible', bedoel je dan toegankelijk voor de echte leek of moet je wel een beetje kennis hebben van zaken? Ik heb A Short History of Nearly Everything van Bill Bryson. Is dit boek vergelijkbaar of ligt hier het niveau toch wat hoger?

message 2: by Tim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tim Wel, echt leek-leek ofte n00b, om het zo te zeggen, ben je natuurlijk best niet. Dan is dit boek niet het beste om Dawkins te leren kennen/lezen. Dan zou ik eerder opteren voor bijvoorbeeld z'n andere, The Greatest Show On Earth. Ofwel Why Evolution Is True van Jerry Coyne.

Met "accessible" bedoelde ik vooral de manier waarop Dawkins schrijft, uitlegt. Hij probeert het duidelijk voor te stellen. Wat niet betekent dat de wetenschappelijke uitleg erin gaat als zoete koek. Vandaar dat je er je hoofd moet bijhouden, m.i..
Gezien de omvang van de inhoud, van wat er allemaal aan bod komt, dienden er compromissen te worden gemaakt.

A Short History of Nearly Everything van Bill Bryson heb ik (nog) niet gelezen. Sorry. ;-)

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