RaveThe New York Times Book Review... elegant, deeply researched ... Zimmer sprinkles his book with stories that both dazzle and edify the reader ... his analysis of virology is succinct but allows for complexity: He acknowledges the debates in the field, and allows the reader an inner glimpse into how scientists are learning to think about these \'borderlands\' — microbes that are not alive, but can parasitize the biology of living beings ... Zimmer is an astute, engaging writer — inserting the atmospheric anecdote where applicable, drawing out a scientific story and bringing laboratory experiments to life. This book is not just about life, but about discovery itself. It is about error and hubris, but also about wonder and the reach of science. And it is bookended with the ultimate question: How do we define the thing that defines us?
Yuval Noah Harari
PositiveThe New York Times Book ReviewHarari has, for my taste, a tendency to overstate the reach of such technological 'fixes.' Editing every disease-linked gene in the human genome is not as easy, or as technically feasible, as Harari might wish it — in part, because many diseases, we now know, are the consequences of dozens of gene variants, and of gene-environment and gene-chance interactions. But the writing in this section is lively and enables Harari to raise the most provocative question of this book: If humans succeeded by virtue of their 'algorithm,' then why couldn’t another such algorithm topple us in turn? ... Harari is not the first to describe this progression of the human species, but his account may well be one of the most chilling to date. Yet even Harari, a master of the catchy story and historical vignette, fails to convince me entirely ... Such concerns aside, Harari’s book still remains essential reading for those who think about the future.
RaveThe New York Times Book Review...[a] compact, captivating new novel ... The writing is lean and muscular, often relentlessly gorgeous ... But McEwan, aside from being one of the most accomplished craftsmen of plot and prose, also happens to be a deeply provocative writer about science.