Thursday, 15 July 2010

How We Live and Why We Die: the secret lives of cells by Lewis Wolpert


This bloke doesn't mess around.

Here he serves up a huge amount of information in a confined space and manages to make it feel like a walk in the park.

I am studying a second year biology degree course and this book covers the same material that my textbooks take 600 plus pages to introduce and he does it in just over 200.  Obviously you don't get all the fine detail but he certainly doesn't skimp too much.

The subject matter should fascinate you because it is you.  We are used to popular science tackling broad concepts like evolution or relativity.  Sometimes we get a narrower theme such as stars or atoms.  Wolpert must think that all these folks are just softies, he goes for a huge subject and covers practically all of it.  Cell biology and the nature of life plus not a bad stab at the meaning of life (ok I'm reading between the lines a little there).

Entertaining and enlightening, two of my favourite words.  Go buy it.

4 out of 5 stars

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