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The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

fantastic!

The Botany of Desire is a fantastic book about the co-evolution between us and the plant world. The book is written in four chapters, each chapter being an example of a plant and it's relationship with us. Pollan writes about the apple, the tulip, marijuana and the pota...
The Botany of Desire is a fantastic book about the co-evolution between us and the plant world. The book is written in four chapters, each chapter being an example of a plant and it's relationship with us. Pollan writes about the apple, the tulip, marijuana and the potato. He starts with the apple and writes about John Chapman (better known as Johnny Appleseed) and his love of "wildness". He planted apples not in the rows we see now at apple orchards. He appreciated the more disorderly nature of wilderness. Pollan talks about the tulip and the desire for beauty in chapter two. Chapter three is marijuana and the almost universal desire for intoxication....not only of humans but animals as well. By the end of the book Pollan writes about the potato. We see the opposite end of the spectrum from Chapman's "wildness". We see men in lab coats genetically modifying the potato, taking control of it's genes and having their way with them. Pollan's writing is very passionate. His anecdotes along the way (especially his attempt at growing marijuana) are laughable. His love of gardening is saturated in these pages and by the end I was thinking seriously about starting my own garden!

posted by songcatchers on October 25, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Not what the title implies

The author brings up a very interesting concept, but relies solely on history to back his points up rather than incorporating scientific data. This would be fine if the title implied that it was a historical account, but botany is a science. He is also very redundant in...
The author brings up a very interesting concept, but relies solely on history to back his points up rather than incorporating scientific data. This would be fine if the title implied that it was a historical account, but botany is a science. He is also very redundant in his historical accounts, reitterating the same points with slightly different examples. This would be a much easier and interesting read if the points weren't so drawn out.

posted by Anonymous on March 14, 2007

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