HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Big news! LibraryThing is now free to all! Read the blog post and discuss the change on Talk.
dismiss
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

Life: A Natural History of the First Four Billion Years of Life on Earth (1997)

by Richard A. Fortey

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,1341212,136 (3.99)36
"Richard Fortey guides us from the barren globe spinning in space, through the very earliest signs of life in the sulphurous hot springs and volcanic vents of the young planet, the appearance of cells, the slow creation of an atmosphere and the evolution of myriad forms of plants and animals that could then be sustained, including the magnificent era of the dinosaurs, and on to the last moment before the debut of Homo sapiens." "Fortey weaves this history out of the most delicate traceries left in rock, stone and earth. He also explains how, on each aspect of nature and life, scientists have reached the understanding we have today, who made the key discoveries, who their opponents were and why certain ideas won."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 36 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
Professor Fortey takes the reader on a chronological tour of the the biological history of earth. However, his story is not a boring slog through the strata, but an eclectic stroll among fascinating organisms. Fortey includes many asides in his narrative, including important aspects of geology, portraits of eccentric paleontologists and personal anecdotes about fossil hunting is unusual locations. This book manages to summarise paleontological controversies in a fair manner without bogging down the story. I found the author's descriptive writing style to be rich and lyrical. ( )
  ElentarriLT | Mar 24, 2020 |
Another really excellent piece of natural history writing by Fortey, this a clear, readable account of life on Earth from the beginning. ( )
  JBD1 | Aug 17, 2019 |
My impatience with this book was rarely the book's fault, but more often just friction coming from the fact that this is an evolution story for the lay reader, and I've already heard all the basic outlines so many times before. I'd bought this so many years ago, when the information would have been fresher, and I might have liked it better then. But, that's what it is.

There were some magical descriptive moments, and I appreciated some of the discussions on how scientific controversies were/are resolved. But a lot of familiar information plus some odd asides made large chunks of the book a slog.

Not sure exactly who I would recommend this to. In general, I think most readers would be better off reading a more recently written book. ( )
  greeniezona | Dec 6, 2017 |
Fortey's enthusiasm and humor kept things going when the text got a little too dense for me. It did seem to linger on the early life forms and then rush through the emergence of mammals and humans but I guess that's true of the actual time-line of life on earth itself. I liked that it included some background and anecdotes about the paleontologists and biologists who discovered and shaped so much of what we know about natural history today. ( )
  wandaly | Jun 30, 2016 |
Encyclopedic overview of a truly overwhelming topic. The author is clearly passionate about his topic, and communicates it wonderfully. ( )
1 vote HadriantheBlind | Mar 29, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
For Jackie, with my love
First words
Salterella dodged between the icebergs.
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Later subtitle: A natural history of the first four billion years of life on earth.
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

No library descriptions found.

Book description
The senior paleontologist at London's Natural History Museum presents an account of life on Earth from the Big Bang to the advent of humankind, based entirely on the evidence of fossils, stones, and other natural artifacts.
Haiku summary

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.99)
0.5
1
1.5
2 5
2.5 2
3 19
3.5 9
4 61
4.5 9
5 30

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 147,976,597 books! | Top bar: Always visible