Top positive review
12 people found this helpful
Complex subject, but a page turner - wonderful
on 8 November 2011
This book asks more questions than it answers, because the science discussed here is so very young. Lone Frank does not try to over simplify or produce easy certainties. The world she describes is uncertain, full of contradictions, and not yet coherent. By interviewing many different researchers, we get an overview of various current schools of thought, rather than one narrow viewpoint.
Her stroke of genius is in the way she presents the material. She uses herself as a human guinea pig. Because of the way she gradually uncovers more of her own genome, the book operates on one level as kind of auto biography. That's what makes it such a page turner - as you get more and more hooked on Lone Frank's biographical story you really can't wait to find out what type of BRCA gene she has. And by making the subject so personal, she converts what could be a dry and dusty academic discussion of some quite complex science into a joyful read.
While much has yet to be worked out, several interesting and somewhat controversial conclusions come out along the way. Like the finding that different races of humans really are qualitatively different. That our society currently practices a form of eugenics, and most of us approve of it. That the genome is not completely stable, and can be influenced by its environment (epigenetics). That our free will is limited, but ironically we can maximise what free will we have by acknowledging the features that are pre determined by our genes.