43 of 49 people found the following review helpful
A brief history of life,
By A Customer
This review is from: Life: an Unauthorised Biography (Paperback)This book is about the history of living things on earth, how it all started, and how they diversified. Fossils and other data are used as hints to tell such a story and an important point that Fortey keeps repeating is that such data is minimal given that the story of life takes more than 4 million years, and therefore much has to be guessed or is still unknown. The book reads very well; I'm no paleonthologist and I learned some really interesting stuff while reading this book.
"Life" tries to be non-scientific, and Fortey keeps on quoting poetry and history, which some readers may enjoy. However, I prefer to see more diagrams, tables, graphs, maps, etc to visualise some quantitative data. This book is also pretty much useless as a reference book. If you forgot when the Jurassic started and ended, then you'll have a hard time using this book to find it out.
So, this book is well written and very fun to read, but does not answer a fraction of the scientific/factual questions it stimulates. An apetizer to the history of life, and a very interesting read for the non-scientists.