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Posted July 6, 2014
What the world may become: a unique, visual, disconcerting introduction. 5 stars for a perfect treatment of an imperfectly understandable future. Despite the importance of this topic to me, my family and my species, my knowledge is woefully lacking. I have been meaning to understand climate change for many years. Forays into understanding through popular science magazines and other journalistic venues have felt incomplete. I read this hefty tomb of visual non-fiction to correct that. It turns out the author wrote the book to remedy his own lack of knowledge.
Though written by an author living in France, and translated into English, nothing is lost in the translation, and of course the visual nature of the material transcends written language. The material blends opinions, facts and the author's reflections in a format that is compelling. The changes in the nature of the narrative keep the material flowing smoothly.
Expert opinions are communicated succinctly with the words (and visual representations) of the experts in what seems to be a documentary format. Accepted scientific fact is supported by endnotes. The author's own reflections of his life and work, during the time of his creating the book, add both character and a sense of the author's state-of-mind in a way a reader seldom gets to experience with non-fiction. The reader can literally picture the author in the act of research and creation, with vignettes of his interactions and life events with his significant other Camille -- interspersed and intertwined with the science facts and opinions. The subtitle "A personal journey through the science" is very descriptive of the content. The author allows the reader to see the world as he sees it...and that is a gift of perspective.
The desire for truth and objectivity on the part of the author is apparent -- which leads to an unsatisfying, indefinite conclusion...but thoroughly appropriate given the nature of the content. The book offers an understanding of both the subject matter and the author, in a manner that is engaging and honest.
The book is well-referenced, with a full bibliography, index and background section on the experts quoted.
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