The Map That Changed The World by Simon Winchester
18 March 2003

 

A long and rather dull read. I'm not sure whether it was Winchester's narrative or my own lack of interest in geology. He is clearly not a science writer. I enjoyed his The Surgeon of Crowethorne, but he just fails to convey the wonder and excitement of the birth of a new science. William Smith, "the father of English geology", does not come to life under Winchester's pen any more than the science does. The story was interesting but it's a stuggle to stay with it.

It seems that in quantum theory I reached some kind of apex. No science has since delighted me as much, no truth awed me, no tale enthralled me. However, now that I have finally (hallelujah) finished my "year 2000" reading list, perhaps I can go back to fiction for a time. I've been so long away that I may have been spoiled for all except sci-fi.

 

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