Andy's Reviews > Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder

Unweaving the Rainbow by Richard Dawkins
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's review
Dec 23, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: nonfiction, science
Read in December, 2012

Like all of Dawkins, this is good, although this is the fifth book of his that I've read, and having moved roughly from greatest to least renown (The Selfish Gene, The Extended Phenotype, The Blind Watchmaker, The God Delusion, and now this), I may be at the point where I'd gain more by re-reading what I've already read than tackling his other writing. This is a decent book for people new to Dawkins, and it's gentler on scientific detail than usual, for those worried about getting lost in the material. It is expressly targeted at a non-scientific audience and has the stated goal of communicating the wonder and beauty of scientific discovery.

Consequently it's the lowest-content book of his that I've read; many of the ideas and examples from nature can be found in his other books. Towards the end I thought there was a bit of a loss of focus as well; Dawkins starts writing about a subject that interests him (memes, cognition, the reflection of environment in our genes and brains, and parallels between the gene pool and the brain) without specific concern to beauty as revealed by the scientific method. The prose is clean and elegant as his prose always is, and reading this book was a pleasant way to spend time, but I'd point most readers to his other stuff.

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