2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A lot about supercontinents - among other things,
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This review is from: Supercontinent: 10 Billion Years in the Life of Our Planet (Paperback)
This book could have been written as a straight account of what is known about supercontinents, or alternatively as a historical account of how that knowledge was gradually built up. Ted Nield has gone for a more sophisticated approach, which may not please all readers. To put it positively, he drapes the bare and rather limited framework of the known facts with a fascinating variety of digressions - such as nutshell biographies of famous scientists who contributed to the subject and explanations of why continental drift was at first rejected as absurd, then accepted as natural and reasonable. The result is intriguing and perhaps less accessible than might be desired. If you want to learn about plate tectonics and supercontinents in a gradual, incremental, discursive way, this is the book for you. On the other hand, if you just want the facts and nothing else, you may find it tries your patience. Personally, I enjoyed it thoroughly but never found the book hard to put down for a day or two. On the other hand, I learned about a great deal more than supercontinents. And whereas I never could remember the names Pangaea, Laurasia and Gondwanaland all at the same time, I no longer have that problem. I even know about Ur, Rodinia, Pannotia - and the all-important difference between introversion and extroversion when applied to supercontinents rather than human personalities.