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I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life Hardcover – 1 Sep 2016

4.6 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Bodley Head (1 Sept. 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847923283
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847923288
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3.5 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,477 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

"Super-interesting... He just keeps imparting one surprising, fascinating insight after the next. I Contain Multitudes is science journalism at its best" (Bill Gates)

"[A] marvellous, thrilling and richly annotated book… I call it marvellous: everything about the microbial world is to be marvelled at. And it is a page-turner in a very old-fashioned sense. All life is here, and death too, and sex and violence, including deviations of which you had never dreamed ... We have an inner life, in every sense, and are the richer for it: richer still for this witty and compelling book." (Tim Radford Guardian)

"Beyond fascinating. An amazing book. It'll change the way you think about the world. It'll change who you think you are." (Helen Macdonald, author of H is for Hawk)

"Momentous ... an essential read" (Bryan Appleyard Sunday Times)

"I Contain Multitudes makes the importance of popularising science…sparklingly clear... From his vibrant introduction to his witty endnotes, Yong’s expertise and narration hold no less wonder than a sacred text." (Kate Womersley Spectator)

"Masterful ... smart, canny, and often quite beautiful ... In the realm of the life sciences there is a noble tradition of popular books that ... have reshaped our view of the world ... In my own reading I think of Schrödinger’s What is Life, Dawkins’ The Selfish Gene and, more recently, Nick Lane’s The Vital Question. Among such company, I Contain Multitudes can hold its head high." (Guardian)

"I Contain Multitudes has a terrific story to tell … Ed Yong is a talented British science writer … his first book covers a huge amount of microscopic territory in clear, strong, often epigrammatic prose … He is infectiously enthusiastic about microbes and he describes them with verve … Even the book’s endnotes are rich with interesting asides, swarming with interesting sidelights, a teeming microbial world." (Jonathan Weiner New York Times)

"I also very much enjoyed and admired I Contain Multitudes." (Bill Bryson Observer, Book of the Year)

"An account that is far, far more entertaining than an exploration of microbes should be." (Tom Whipple The Times, Book of the Year)

"[An] utterly absorbing and hugely important book… [Yong] is an extraordinary adept guide. Writing with lightness and panache, he has a knack of explain complex science in terms that are both easy to understand and totally enthralling… I Contain Multitudes is popular science writing at its best. Reading this book will make you view the world differently." (Wendy Moore Literary Review)

"[A] densely fascinating and elegant book… Yong’s book is vividly enjoyable." (Daily Telegraph)

"[Yong is] one of our best and brightest popularisers of science. Yong’s boundless curiosity and infectious enthusiasm make him the perfect guide to complex scientific ideas, while the clarity and concision of his writing ensure that the lay reader is not made to fell unduly daunted… Excellent book’" (Simon Griffith Mail on Sunday)

"Ed Yong has done something beautiful, and unlikely: he’s rendered the unseen world of bacteria thrilling, captivating and highly entertaining. This is a much-needed guide to the hidden kingdom that dominates life on Earth. It cuts through all the buzzwordy hooey and flakey hype of microbiomes with a scientifically steady hand, but told with an infectious sense of awe." (Adam Rutherford, broadcaster and author of Creation)

"Yong vividly describes the intricate alliances forged by microbes with every other organism on the planet… The most delightful part of Yong’s book is that he does not just tell the stories of microbiomes, he also introduces readers to dozens of the scientists studying them… Their stories and conversations radiate the excitement of unlocking new secrets." (Susan Perkins Science)

"‘I Contain Multitudes is wonderful. Deeply strange, true, funny, beautifully written’" (William Gibson)

"[It] bowls along wonderfully... His hero, Sir David [Attenborough], would surely approve." (The Economist)

"Ed Yong’s magnificent revaluation of bacteriology, I Contain Multitudes, counsels humility for student doctors like me: modern medicine’s pathogens may be the future’s therapeutics." (Kate Womersley Spectator)

"A science journalist’s first book is an excellent, vivid introduction to the all-enveloping realm of our secret sharers." (Editor's Choice New York Time Book Review)

"[A] fascinating and lively study." (Michael Prodger The Times)

"Beautiful, smart, and sometimes shocking" (Wired)

Book Description

An exciting and genre-busting book on microbes, one of science’s hottest topics, by a debut writer with a huge following.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a very detailed and well written introduction to a rapidly evolving field of science. The author is an accomplished science writer, who tends towards the" Gee, wow !" reaction to his subject, and pulls us along through a number of journalistic set pieces. For me it s a little breathless, and I might have preferred a more critical understanding of the microbiome idea,which I was looking for, but I can't fault the inclusiveness or the clarity of the explanations of the applications of the science covered.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book which I understood as a call to rethink our perception of microbes....the reality being much more complex and our relationship much more nuanced than traditionally thought.
The book is written in a fairly conversational style, which while explaining concepts in a simple fashion, did make the book somewhat overlong and by the last couple of chapters I was probably glad to have the finish line in sight!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have thoroughly enjoyed this book! It has opened my eyes to the world of microbes and I can't stop telling it's stories- fantastic analogies, accessible to all readers, but also very appealing to people with scientific backgrounds. From a scientific perspective and with an interest in biomedical science, I'm really impressed by how interesting the book is and how well communicated the topic of microbes is (a growing research field!) - I'm so pleased to have found it to read so I could learn more about this topic!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
What an incredible book. I learned so much but none of it felt difficult or forced. Ed manages to make each piece of new information a story you want to read.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A brilliant read and slightly disturbing when you consider what's actually going on at a microscopic level. Not to be read at the dinner table.
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Fascinating​ book all very well backed up with evidence.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Simply awesome! Excellent writing and documentation! A must-read book for all readers interested in microorganisms and their interactions with all other living beings.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Brilliant book, arrived on time for a birthday present.
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