Theresa's Reviews > The Beauty of the Beastly

The Beauty of the Beastly by Natalie Angier
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's review
Aug 02, 2011

did not like it

Although I read this book from the vantage point of 15+ years in the future I have a hard time overcoming the sheer hubris with which the author wrote these vignettes. Understandably, the 90's were an era when science was really coming into its own as a discipline whose outputs could be made potable to the masses but it is still very difficult to get past the "look at how much we now understand about everything" attitude plastered over every page.

Despite this, I do think the author contributed greatly to the mainstreaming of complex ideas and, again, it is only with the advantage of knowing, for instance, that the human genome project really hasn't yielded the miraculous medical breakthroughs we were all so confident would be here by now, that I can comment on the annoying sureness of the author's belief in science.

What was perhaps most annoying was how interspersed between biological factoids were random biographies and, worse, personal essays on matters unrelated to seemingly anything science.

Maybe I would have enjoyed this book more 15 years ago when I was younger, more naive, more forgiving of poor writing.

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