... a survey of life’s building blocks that’s intelligent, accessible and just sheer fun ... Levitt has the ability to present abstruse subject matter in a form that’s easily digestible by lay readers. He’s scrupulous about giving equal time to warring scientific combatants and is especially sensitive to the biases... that have dogged even the most brilliant scientists ... Extensive endnotes and a bibliography that stretches to 20 pages reveal that Levitt has done his homework.
... an epic atomic odyssey ... He pays sharp attention to the history of science and how cognitive biases routinely sabotaged scientific discoveries. Chapters on plant life and photosynthesis are particularly captivating.