A Biographical Novel of Charles Darwin
by Irving Stone
I am giving up on The Origin. For weeks it has been my put-to-sleep book, meaning I know if I read it in bed, I'll be nodding off within ten minutes. The last few times I tried to read it, my mind was wandering within just a few pages. I can tell the author did a staggering amount of research- it seems that every available scrap of diaries, letters and publications written by Darwin or his family or companions was utilized. But the material is all put together in very choppy, cut and paste fashion. I'd be reading an interesting bit of conversation and the next sentence he's standing on the deck of the boat the following morning. No transitions to speak of. Also, there was tons of information about the background of all the other people involved- the captain of the ship, crew members, other scientists, people he ran into on the voyage, etc- when what I really wanted to read about was his discoveries and speculations; there wasn't nearly enough detail about those things. I did learn a lot about Darwin- I didn't know before that he was going to be a clergyman, that his first interest was geology, that during the voyage he saw a lot of things that suggested evolution, before he ever reached the Galapagos Island -sadly, I did not reach those shores with him. I think it is just me- my interests don't quite match up with what this author is presenting, and I can't get through the heft of some seven hundred pages to glean what I want. So I'll leave this tome for another reader, someone more keen on historical fiction than I am. And now I have to find another long book to read for the 9 for '09 Challenge...
Abandoned........ 765 pages, 1980
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