I loved this book so much that I am scanning for and ordering everything else I can find that Barrett has written. Anyone who loved Lives Of a Cell, Notes Of a Biology Watcher would adore this book. The science is keenly drawn and explained, the historical fiction is richly imagined, and the blend is seamless.
A beautifully written collection of short stories, loosely tied together by the theme of heroic attempts - and failures- of science to create order out of the chaos that is the natural world. Some of the stories are definitely more riveting than others, but each in its own way quickly pulls you in and keeps your attention. A smartypants literary type read.
This is a beautifully written books of stories infused with science, nature and history. Intelligently done.
"In Barrett's hands, science is transformed from hard and known fact into malleable, strange, and thrilling fictional material."--Boston Globe
"Ranks with the best of the new wave of historical writing...Barrett courses back and forth over the history of science and the science of human relations in the nineteenth century, giving us the people behind the history--doctors, collectors, inventors, and women--a glory of passion, ambition, and love. This is just simply inspired writing." -- Douglas Glover
A collection of short stories mixing historical fiction with science. winner of the National Book Award.