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Darwin Slept Here: Discovery, Adventure, and…

Darwin Slept Here: Discovery, Adventure, and Swimming Iguanas in Charles…

by Eric Simons

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Eric Simons -- apparently for no other reason that than he was young and bored and thought Charles Darwin was interesting -- set out to travel through the various parts of South America that Darwin visited during his journey on the Beagle.

The resulting travelogue is... okay. Simons' adventures aren't really all that adventurous, and while he writes with real enthusiasm about Darwin's scientific curiosity and his appreciation for the places he passed through, he doesn't exactly manage to bring Darwin's adventures vividly and compellingly to life. I did learn a few interesting tidbits about Darwin, and about South America, but none of it felt particularly deep. Maybe that's enough for a fairly short, quick-reading book like this one, but I think I was hoping for something just a little bit more. ( )
  bragan | Dec 10, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I really enjoyed this book! I'm not too much of a non-fiction reader, but this book sounded interesting so I requested it. I'm happy to report that it was very entertaining! It was fun and funny, as well as being informative. I think this book would be a good jumping-off point to get people interested in Darwin and his works, and to encourage them to seek more information on the subject and to dig deeper. It's also a good, fun and entertaining read even if you don't decide to dig deeper into Darwin. ( )
  bluehwys | Jun 10, 2011 |
The publisher (Overlook Press) allowed this book to go to press with many typesetting errors. I found that quite distracting.
  nmulvany | Apr 7, 2011 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This book is an account of the author's adventures retracing Charles Darwin's momentous expedition on the HMS Beagle, and a biographical essay on a scientific figure whose humanity, the author believes, has been obscured by the significance and controversy of his theory of evolution. Each chapter focuses on an important stop on Darwin's journey, comparing the author's experience today with Darwin's account of his voyage in the 1830s. Ultimately the book is refection on the lively sense of adventure that the author believes animates both travel and the exploration of the natural world.

Simons account of hist travels are fun, and the glimpses he gives us of Darwin are interesting but shallow. His main point seems to be that Darwin wasn't the stuffed shirt history has made of him, but a fun dude that we'd have a blast with if we could travel with him today. Well, maybe. But Darwin's journey and the ides he forged from it were part of a much larger history. Looking back on Darwin's journey through the experience of a journey through contemporary South American would have been a golden opportunity to examine the complex social and cultural history of scientific knowledge in the European exploration and colonization of the New World. It's as though the author unearthed a great treasure but took only the few coins needed to have a good time. ( )
  JFBallenger | Jul 13, 2010 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This is something that one at first thinks of as an academic read, then laughingly discovers that this is not your father's darwin!. Eric Simons retraces Darwins path of his famous voyage in 1831, attempting to live the daily life that Darwin WOULD have led...except that we are given the nitty gritty of what was going on behind the scenes AFTER a day spent studying, sketching and classifying species...a real eye opener...an evolutionary page turner, if you don't mind a bit of literary liscense.... ( )
  oldmanriver1951 | Aug 4, 2009 |
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The author documents his travels in South America as he followed in the footsteps of Charles Darwin.

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