3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars
It was ok but it was lacking, 2 Nov 2013
I've read 3 of Dawkins' books. The God delusion which became interesting from chapter 6, The greatest show on earth, which was good and this one which, although he talks about interesting subjects is missing a lot.
Yes it's well written and I did learn a few things but you know the saying, a picture is worth 1000 words, well this book is in dire need of pictures.
Not even a proper physics book tries to explain light refraction without pictures, or tries to explain the orbit of an electron around a nucleus of an atom without diagrams but there isn't a single picture in this book.
In an interview, he says this book is aimed at 12 year olds...however, had I not studied most of the subjects in this book before, I would have felt pretty stupid trying to understand rainbows, earthquakes, summer/winter and it would have taken me 3 times as long to read.
So it made me wonder... who is this book aimed at?
Not children...because although the actual level is simple enough for 12 year olds to understand, the concepts are not easy for complete beginners to grasp without pictures.
Not people who have studied these things already... so who?
The only groups I can think of are:
-Highly literate late teens/adults who have forgotten all these things from school.
-People (like me) who were intrigued by a couple of the chapters so bought the book.
-Die hard fans who would give Dawkins 5 stars even if he peed his name in the snow.
Some chapters are on very interesting subjects but a couple of them, I think, are pointless, namely the last 2 chapters. They really don't add anything to the book... if anything, they are just fillers.
Why do bad things happen? - He spends 15 pages (excluding the myth parts at the start) writing and to paraphrase his conclusion.... "They just do"
What is a miracle? - Which was completely unnecessary as a chapter.
It wasn't all doom and gloom. I did learn some new and interesting things and am pleased about that but another edition with pictures should be on the cards.
Also - his explanations are, in general, far too long. This exact book could have been written in only about half the pages.
A bit of a vanity project to be honest.