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The Lives of a Cell
More Notes of a Biology Watcher
By Lewis Thomas
Read by Edward Lewis

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The Lives of a Cell

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The Lives of a Cell
More Notes of a Biology Watcher
By Lewis Thomas
Read by Edward Lewis
Books on Tape, (1998)
An Unabridged Audio Recording
Book Number 5533 - 3 Cassettes
ISBN: 0-7366-8261-9
Genre: Science - Biology, Essays

Other editions:
Standard Print (Paperback) | Standard Print (Hardcover) | Audio Cassette



Reviewed by Rochelle Caviness - February 1, 2002

The Lives of a Cell: More Notes of a Biology Watcher is a delightful little book filled to the brim with 29 diverse essays by Lewis Thomas. These personal essays run the gamut from a discourse on the nature of death to thoughtful trysts through the realms of music, language, and germs. Other topics covered include biomythology, autonomy, computers, human relationships, insects, medicine, and yes, cells. These delightful essays are read by Edward Lewis, in this unabridged audio edition of The Lives of a Cell.

These essays are just as much about people as they are about science, and Thomas's observations are truly insightful. The essays can be read as a whole, or as individual forays into our world. With ease, Thomas shows the reader that everything in the world is interconnected, both on a cellular level and on a global level. He also shows that this interconnectivity is essential for our well being - a fact that is all too often overlooked as we, as humans, destroy our environment and caused the extinction of countless species. After reading these essays you will be convinced of the rashness of this thoughtless approach to environmental genocide!

I find it amazing that these essays were all, originally, published in The New England Journal of Medicine. They easily capture Thomas's veracious wonder of the world around him, and they are written with such a poetic flare that they can be read for the pure joy of his narrative. Consequently, I find it hard to imagine them sitting side by side with technical essays and articles in a peer reviewed medical journal. For me, peer reviewed journals always have, and always will be, associated with a just tinge of stuffiness.

Thomas, who died in 1993 was a respected medical doctor. He was also a prolific science writer who had an innate ability to translate the world of science into understandable and beautiful prose that made his deeply technical world accessible - and understandable - to everyone. I highly recommend these essays to anyone looking for an intelligent and invigorating book to read, and to anyone with an interest in life - in all its myriad forms.


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