Customer Reviews for

The Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinctions

Average Rating 4.5
( 15 )
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  • Posted September 11, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A book that changed my life!

    I had never heard of Island Biogeography before reading this compelling and entertaining book. It opened my eyes to the incredible interconnectedness of all life on earth. The explanations of how colonization and subsequent speciation dictate the flora and fauna of an island was an epiphany. I've since read all the other books by David Quammen and have been enthralled by every one. Quammnen's style of writing is humorous but scientifically accurate. When I turned the last page of his book I exclaimed aloud "oh no!" I've since reread the book and found it just as riveting the second time around.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2006

    Read this darn book!

    By far, one of the most engaging books I have ever read. A must read for any one interested in nature, islands, or evolution. Would highly recommend this book to any student of life sciences.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2000

    An engaging read packed with easily understood information . . .

    Quammen's book reads like a novel but is packed with enough information to rival most ecology texts. The difference between 'Song of the Dodo' and standard textbooks is that Quammen's book could easily be understood even by those without strong science backgrounds. In addition, the book is so engaging that the anxiety some experience when trying to 'memorize' new terms is completely avoided as new terms fall easily into usage. There are parts at which readers with strong backgrounds in ecological theory may be left a bit disappointed as Quammen avoids what he calls 'burdensome' equations (which are essential in some cases) and may abandon a thorough scientific explanation to keep things moving and hold readers' interests. All things considered, though, the faults with this book are few. It's a fascinating and worthwhile read.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2013

    Splendid Review of Recent Work in Biogeography

    This is a well written, long and detailed, discussion of recent work in biogeography with special emphasis on the impact of humans on the future of other species. The occasional crude language seems unnecessary and the book would not have suffered had that been left out. This book is not an easy read as it requires the reader to think and consider the content carefully. The author gives a lot of attention (deserved) to the work and writings of Alfred Russel Wallace.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2000

    Earth's destruction

    This book will explain to you how we as humans are responsible for the destruction of Earth. It reads like a compelling novel; unfortunately its not a tale of fiction.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2013

    Incredibly interesting

    Great mix of history, biology and the stories and work of modern researchers. A real page-turner!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 5, 2012

    After reading 'The Flight of the Iguana' by David Quammen, I had

    After reading 'The Flight of the Iguana' by David Quammen, I had no qualms about undertaking another amazing journey, 'The Song of the Dodo' even though I had no clue at the time what island biogeography was, and only an elementary concept of extinction. This book could actually have had many titles that would have been equally mysterious to an environmental layman like me: 'The History of Biogeography and What That Actually Is' or 'Great Men With Controversial Theories of Biodiversity, and Other Such Stuff' or 'The Inevitable Spiral Toward Species Extinction - And That Includes All Species' or even 'How We Came to Value Modern Conservation Science or Something Like That.' But I began reading Quammen's story anyway because I knew from his earlier book that he was incredibly informative in a casual, "favorite professor" sort of way. Meaning that just when your comprehension starts to fail, he speaks directly to you from his narrative, and snaps you back onto a level playing field of enlightenment. I read it because I knew Quammen would teach me something important that I would remember, and that his topics always matter. I call this a story, because it reads like one. It begins simply, and ends the same way. In between, all the historical facts, scientific theories, and personality studies come to actually mean something in today's world, and will to anyone who reads this book. And I guarantee that you will cry because you've never heard the song of the dodo, and cry, too, because Quammen helped you hear those of the indri and the cenderawasih.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2005

    good intention but...

    despite some misguided and unsubstantiated 'facts' put forth to the readers, this book mandates so little use of brain cells that it actually hurts the brain - a way of entropy perhaps.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2010

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    Posted June 3, 2011

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    Posted May 16, 2011

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    Posted August 25, 2011

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    Posted January 23, 2013

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    Posted March 21, 2013

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    Posted February 21, 2012

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