Monday, 6 September 2010

Flamingo's Smile: Reflections in Natural History by STEPHEN JAY GOULD

This is another collection of essays loosely based around evolutionary biology (with some inevitable baseball references).

This is what the author is best at.  He like language and uses it in his own verbose and slightly pompous manner but once again we can see that he doesn't seem to have a nasty bone in his body.

Having now seen him talk on you tube I can picture him reading the book to me, slightly out of breath, fiddling with his glasses dramatically and pausing for effect quite often.  This only helps the enjoyment all the more.

Some of the material covered is getting old now (1987) so bear that in mind, but I particularly enjoyed some of the "period" references e.g. the dino-killing impact theory.

If you haven't read Gould then this might be a decent place to start - if you have read him then this is a cracking example of him in the medium he does best.

Three and a half out of five stars.

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