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REVIEW: Evolution by Stephen Baxter

REVIEW SUMMARY: Non-traditional story that is still interesting and worth reading.


BRIEF SYNOPSIS: The narrative surveys the most important steps of primate evolution from the earliest primates at the time of the dinosaur extinction through the current day (and then beyond.) There is a short story along with each one that helps describe the type of life they may have lead. The book finally ends with the destruction of Earth due to the demise of the sun.

PROS: Very interesting and realistic look at primate evolution.
CONS: Not a true story with a single set of characters and plot – more a series of vignettes. The ending seems over the top.
BOTTOM LINE: I enjoyed it overall and appreciated the science and fiction present in the story. The speculation on evolution in a post-holocaust Earth at the end of the book just seems too fantastic, but Baxter is unapologetic about it, stating upfront that he’s being a bit crazy.

2 Comments on REVIEW: Evolution by Stephen Baxter

  1. Yep, I’m having difficulty finishing this one pretty much for the reasons you point to. I found the lack of overall story to be the weakest point, I figured that we’d keep flashing between the various past narratives and hooking them into the present narrative. Not one of my favorites by him.

  2. Not to mention that this book is long – I don’t know how many words it has to be one of the longest novels I’ve read recently.

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