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4.1 out of 5 stars19
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 9 March 2004
I learnt a great deal from the Language of the Genes. Jones not only writes lucidly about some rather subtle technical issues, he also gives readers space to think about the subject for themselves, which is not at all easy to pull off. I reject the suggestion that the book is cliched or inaccurate and that non-expert readers will be mislead. Though not a molecular biologist myself, I had fairly good knowledge of the subject before coming to the Language of the Genes. I found no conflict with my existing understanding.
I have read a great many popular science books - I even wrote a PhD thesis on them - and the Language of Genes is one of the most finely crafted, well-balanced examples of the genre I have ever come across. It is a good read for experts and non-experts alike. I can not think of a better introduction to genetics for people starting from scratch. I continue to recommend it regularly. It is the book I gave to my granny when she became interested in the background of the GMO debate.
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on 12 November 2009
Great to read. Absolutely impossible to get bored. This is a beautiful no-nonsense story of our genetic history and particularly of how the language of DNA unites all of life. Jones does not shy away from ethical questions and the economics of genetic medicine so you get a grown-up look at the challenges facing wo/mankind over the next century(?). Jones: very lucidly debunks eugenics; explains DNA and man's evolutionary history; describes the constant evolving war between parasite diseases and hosts; humanises the plight of sufferers from genetic illnesses like cystic fibrosis; and addresses cloning and food biotechnology. All in just over 300 pages of instructive prose.
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on 24 November 2004
An amazing book, beautifully written and incredibly informative. Steve Jones writes in a witty, interesting and entertaining style and manages to educate the reader without the reader even being aware of it! There's no off-putting jargon, even complex ideas are explained clearly using excellent analogies, and the book is full of fascinating examples and stories which you will be quoting for many years to come. This is an essential read for anyone who is even vaguely interested in genetics - and an absolute must if, like me, you're sort of aware of what it's all about but not quite sure ...!
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This is a clear, yet thoroughly engaging, look at our genes and how they affect us and society. It is lucid and easy to understand and not at all bogged down by scientific jargon or obscure references. It is a pleasure to read such an informative book, put forward in a highly entertaining way. A must read for any popular science book fan, or anyone with a passing interest in genes/genetics.

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on 19 September 2000
I already had the 1994 edition of this book, well-thumbed. Every other page has a post-it note stuck to it, marking something fascinating, amazing, thought-provoking or just plain strange. I lent this book to everyone I know; and the last time I never got it back. My friend wants to keep it.
Steve Jones writes in a very accessible, chatty, informative style; backed up with years of training, experience, and scientific evidence. This guy knows what he is talking about. I haven't studied science since I was sixteen, but I understood everything. He covers topics from the sex life of mice to South American indians to why modern women find it hard to conceive. Whatever you are interested in, there will be something on it in this book! And if you liked this, which you will, try Steven Jay Gould's books on evolution. Any one of these will do as they are all fascinating. And a book called Why Things Bite Back, which explains how modern "civilisation" and advances in engineering and technology can sometimes cause more problems than they cure.
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on 13 May 2013
Having read Watson's excellent description of the discovery of the structure of DNA which readable by a non specialist I was expecting Steve Jones book to be more readable than I have so far found it. Maybe it gets better as I progress beyond the 25% mark which I have found uneccessarily wordy. A short introduction defining the structure and formation of genes would have been useful. I'm hoping for better in Darwin's Island and Science of the Bible.
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on 24 March 2013
This isn't a book for geneticists, its for people who enjoy reading upon the subject as a hobby, or just to learn more about genetics. I would liken it more to a popular science book which the majority of people would be able to understand without much effort.

Jones takes you on the trail genetics has left and reserves the last chapter for his ideas about where it may take us, he writes a captivating book and explains everything in easy to understand way. Having just gotten into the subject of genetics, i found this book to be a brilliant starting point for learning, and its definitely a great book to have on your shelf.
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on 11 August 2015
Superb book which helps the understanding of genetics spiced with humour and aids to a better understanding. So much to learn but I hope he writes another as things are moving so fast with more scientific advancement.
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on 8 February 2014
The other Dr Jones.. a primer for those interested in genetics, bu8t also interested in common sense and logic, well presented!
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on 5 March 2016
Hugely interesting book, I had the older print version when DNA was in its infancy, but this is updated with more on DNA.
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