14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
a conversation of science old an present, 7 April 2001
I suppose the first thing people think is "why buy a school textbook? And if it is not a textbook why buy an in accurate account of the well-travelled ground of Evolutionary Biology. Well, for a start you would be unfair to call it a textbook, as well as you would be incorrect to call it inaccurate. Almost A Whale is accurate in terms of the commonly agreed beliefs of the scientific community, so you should not be disappointed in the content. This is a book that avoids controversy quite happily as it never intended to break the frontiers of science. Instead of surging to the future it keeps its feet firmly on the ground, in the present and supported by the past.
Almost A Whale should not be a mistaken as the rewriting of Darwin's "Origin of Species" as the author never intended it to be. It is a conversation almost between our understanding of the science with that of Darwin's and Huxley's. Both voices, past have present, have something to add to the conversation and it is hard not to be drawn in to it. And it is this style of writing that makes this a science book no heavier or harder to read than your average novel.
This is a fantastic book for anyone, whether your new to the subject or an experienced scientist who never did get round to reading Darwin the first time around. This is an educational book at one of its most effective - because you will read it because you want to and you will learn and understand without trying.