Customer Reviews for

Evolution

Average Rating 4
( 32 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Not with a bang, but with a whimper

This was a great read. There were a few graphic descriptions that might have been better had they been less so, but overall it was a spectacularly depressing book and you would certainly hope that we, as a species, don't go down the road envisioned here.

posted by Anonymous on June 17, 2004

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

This book had me until the end

I was really enjoying this book until I reached the end. The idea of devolution is nothing new, but it was a disappointment. Baxter's writing is sometimes stilted (in my opinion) as well. It was a worthwhile read, though, but not in the top 10 books I've read lately. I'...
I was really enjoying this book until I reached the end. The idea of devolution is nothing new, but it was a disappointment. Baxter's writing is sometimes stilted (in my opinion) as well. It was a worthwhile read, though, but not in the top 10 books I've read lately. I'd recommend Robert Sawyer's 'Hominids' and 'Humans' over this book.

posted by Anonymous on July 2, 2003

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2004

    Not with a bang, but with a whimper

    This was a great read. There were a few graphic descriptions that might have been better had they been less so, but overall it was a spectacularly depressing book and you would certainly hope that we, as a species, don't go down the road envisioned here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2003

    This book had me until the end

    I was really enjoying this book until I reached the end. The idea of devolution is nothing new, but it was a disappointment. Baxter's writing is sometimes stilted (in my opinion) as well. It was a worthwhile read, though, but not in the top 10 books I've read lately. I'd recommend Robert Sawyer's 'Hominids' and 'Humans' over this book.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2014

    Interesting idea

    Not your usual story line. On evolutionary time scales, human intelligence has only been around a split second.

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  • Posted March 29, 2014

    This book stayed with me a long time after I read it... As a ro

    This book stayed with me a long time after I read it...

    As a rollicking science fiction tale, this book may leave the reader scratching their head. It is more a series of interrelated short stories and vignettes given from the viewpoint of creatures stretching back in time from the first tiny mammals to survive the impact which took out the dinosaurs, to the present, to the distant future when our planet is trashed and our sun has expanded to re-absorb the Earth.

    What this story -does- do more clearly than all the snoozer science textbooks we were forced to read in high school and college is take the various critical turning points of evolution, when some new adaptation or trait emerged to help our species evolve into the species we know of as homo sapiens today. And each of those vignettes is interesting, fully explained, and will leave the lay-reader with a thorough understanding of how we ended up where we are today.

    And then Baxter journeys into our future...

    With the same thoroughness, Baxter takes us through various plausibilities, extrapolating the choices we are making as a species today to ignore environmental degradation, civil unrest, aggression, and carries our species forward into the distant future, building upon the framework he built in the first half of the book to get us where we are evolutionarily speaking today, to show us where we are headed in the future ... and it is not pretty.

    4 Evolutionary Monkeys

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2012

    Recommended for those who have ever wondered about the past, present and future of human kind.

    The author weaves threads of palentological science into a story that is fun to read and interesting to think about. One will be surprised at how Baxter has portrayed the future of the human species. As a lover of science fiction it is must read if only for a lesson on how science has pieced together the evolution of humans from the fossil record.

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  • Posted February 15, 2012

    My fave SB book!

    This is my fave Baxter book! Starts with end of dinosaurs, proceeds up the evolutionary ladder until the end of the Earth. He's become my fave SF author in the past year. :)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2008

    Great entertainment

    This book is one of my top 10 favorite books. Pure entertainment with historical and scientific fact.Great characterization of this book's heroes and heroines. Couldn't put it down.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2007

    Captivating

    What a splendid page-turner! I had not thought that I wanted to start a book that begins with dinosaurs. Baxter begins with them because that enables him to write about the comet's crashing into our planet 65 million years ago. That lets him imagine the animals that survived. His imaginings are based on solid science. Who would have thought that a book covering millions of years could be so captivating? His pace does not let the reader slow or bog down. You can skip the Greek and Latin names because they are written about quickly and then left behind. Throughout the book I was saddened that creationists would not allow God to have had this much fun. Magnificent events went in to God's creation. Baxter even gets suspense in to a story that we know ends with us.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2004

    Thought Provoking

    After continuous reading (for I could not put it down) I finished the novel, able only to think and rethink in my mind what I had just absorbed. Evolution is indeed an imaginative piece in which logic and reason are abundantly evident. Despite the numerous characters, and the short amount of time spent on each, I was compelled to care deeply for every one as they experienced their unique lives. And although the end was somewhat depressing and pessimistic, it left me pondering the events which unfolded in this novel for days afterward.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2004

    Filled with characters you care about

    Filled with a rich description of humans battling for their own humanity and future, these are characters that you will care about and remember through each time period, and although it is fictional, the narrative is fulfilling without resorting to trite conversations between the characters (as some authors resort to)even from the smallest rodentlike being through our own prsent time and beyond carrying us into a possible but cautionary future.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2004

    Is Intelligence really maladaptive?

    Stephen Baxter does succeed in painting a number of fascinating portraits of proto-humans and 'posthumans,' and his stark protrayal ecological disaster successfully forces one to pause to contemplate the current destruction of our ecosphere. Unfortunately, the premise of the novel -- that intelligence is a maladaptive trait -- presents some serious difficulties. The author would have us believe that that the brains of human beings are prepared to slide instantaneously (in evolutionary terms) back into to the state of our primitive forebears. Furthermore, we are supposed to believe that no niche for intelligent creatures arises across five hundred million years of posthuman life on earth. This rather difficult proposition leads a bleak world in which what we are today is the pinnacle of all that will ever be...a few brief flickers of intelligence sandwiched between eons of furry, ignorant beasts. This dark premise undermines the author's intent of conveying a sense of awe and wonder at the workings of life, and it mocks Baxter's concluding, oft-repeated quote of Darwin that 'There is grandeur in this view of life....' There are interesting ideas to be found in 'Evolution,' but if this is the best that popularizers of evolutionary theory can come up with in terms of Grandeur, well, 'Creationism' will continue to be popular.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2003

    Read Evolution

    I have read several other Baxter novels and this one really stands out. Here is more of Baxter's usual hard SF, but with the evolutionary pressures that confront species taking center stage. The pace of the novel is as relentless as time itself. In jumps across the millennia Baxter takes the reader up the evolutionary ladder that leads to humanity and beyond. There is plenty here that will likely surprise and move you. I highly recommend Stephen Baxter's EVOLUTION.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    deep epic look at evolution and devolution

    In 2031, the latest save the earth ecology conference is ironically being held in Darwin, Australia. The global climatic destruction threatens Homo Sapiens¿ domination of the planet and the nearby orbs. While forests burn out of control and pollution holds sway, the enormous Rabaul Volcano erupts. Mankind¿s reign seems nearly through while the Martian robots have now replicated themselves. Terrorists attack the conference as attendees discuss the battles for supremacy through the ages with the victors goes the spoils until primates evolve during the Tertiary Period. Ultimately apes leave the trees for life on the ground until they build high rises. Now in the year 2031, Earth is on the brink with the volcano being the final straw to end humanity¿s dominion. Mars appears as the next evolutionary step as machines that replicate establish colonies throughout the galaxy. This book reads more like short story vignettes than a novel, but fans of Stephen Baxter and anyone who relishes a deep look at evolution and devolution will want to read this epic. Mr. Baxter is at his best when he describes prehistorical winners and losers and speculates on the future devolution of the primate on earth. Though another form of evolutionary supremacy, the robot revolution seems to belong in a more science fiction realm than the speculative fiction employed throughout EVOLUTION. Another triumph for Mr. Baxter who has evolved into best-selling specie that Darwin would have enjoyed reading the author¿s works. Harriet Klausner

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    Posted October 27, 2008

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    Posted November 10, 2011

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    Posted December 31, 2010

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