Customer Reviews for

The Canon: A Whirligig Tour of the Beautiful Basics of Science

Average Rating 3.5
( 14 )
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(5)

4 Star

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(3)

2 Star

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  • Posted April 19, 2009

    Science made readable for non-scientists

    Though married to a chemist, I never quite grasped the big scientific picture. Angier's use of analogy to household objects and children's toys (i.e., lego blocks and Gumby) made the abstract concepts of science understandable. A bonus is her sparkling wit and her broad knowledge of the arts and literature, spicing the text for this English teacher. I've given several copies as gifts.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2011

    Delightful and informative

    While I understand that this book might be too general for some readers, for those whose high school days are far behind us and who enjoy science and wordplay, this is a well-written, fun and interesting book.

    I liked science classes in school, but most of the teachers seemed to have little interest in the subject other than drilling it into unreceptive students. Natalie Angier obviously loves the subject, and her enthusiasm shows. As I read the book, I smiled all the way through. Since I read the chapter on cells, every time I crack an egg I think "...that yolk is all one cell - wow!" It's an excellent, entertaining way to reconnect with the wonder of looking at something that's in front of you all the time, but outside of the day-to-day grind.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 3, 2014

    Useful. Expansive. Wow . Over the top. Way Over. Angier has wri

    Useful. Expansive. Wow . Over the top. Way Over.

    Angier has written a useful and expansive book that just does not carry me. I don’t argue – much – with the content: she aptly explains the foundations of modern science from math to physics to biology and things in between. She offers a broad view with a thousand rabbit trails to explore. But as much as I enjoyed the book, her writing simply wears me out. One reviewer calls the book ‘exuberant’: that’s an understatement. She writes with almost religious wonder. Her wide eyed descriptions lead to some choppy prose: “And this! And this! And this too!” Her over the top writing leads to all manner of over the top descriptions: DNA urges. Probabilities argue. Anthropomorphisms abound.

    I’m not sure who her anticipated audience is. Experienced science wonks will tire of the presentation – her enthusiasm sometimes overcomes clarity and adherence to strict definitions. But had someone handed me this when I was about fifteen? I would have devoured it.

    I give three stars. Lots of good content. And if anyone gets as excited about science as Angier is that’s no bad thing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2012

    The Joys of Science

    If you ever want to show someone jus thow it feels to find things out - to see the structure of things beneath the surface, and truly feel the rush of wonderment at a world utterly fantastic and indescribably complex - then you would not go wrong by pointing them at this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2011

    Not very objective

    A very narrow minded, biased "tour" of the sciences

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2009

    Not my cup of tea

    I generally like science books. This one was a little too general for me. Reading it is like going back through high school. Also, the book is broken into sections by subject. Chapter one is Probability. Chapter two is Causality. Each section is not divided up. Thus each section is 20-40 pages long. With the dryness of the narration, it makes it difficult to make any real progress. <BR/>If you're looking to discover the basic foundation of all realms of the scientific world from probability to molecular biology, this book is for you. Otherwise, you might look for something less general and basic.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted July 23, 2010

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