Books

Book Review: The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee

I hated this book at first. The first half of the book dragged on, and the recount of the history of genes was too detailed (getting tangled with days, times, and giftshop bunnies), making the book heavy to read. I kept averting the book and hoping there was something else to read, but I persisted. It was a good thing. The book gets better towards the end. It gets more animated and more passionate about genes and the science behind it, asking questions how does this affect humanity, is this right, and can we even say anything at this point as while we know so much we know so little. I especially enjoyed the chapters about gender and sexuality from the perspective of genetics. It was well written, informative, and a subject that should be raised in our media again and again, so we would understand our biology and genders better.

Siddharta Mukherjee raises important questions in his book about normalcy and how should we screen diseases (mental or physiological) and how should we react to them. He writes that: “Normalcy is the antithesis of evolution.” Meaning that if we tamper with the aberrations, thinking we are doing good removing things like (possible) schizophrenia from our gene pool, it might not be as advantageous as we think (to note here, while we know some genes which affect schizophrenia we don’t know how things play with each other and if there are connections we don’t know and understand.) We need diversity as homogeneity has its dangers. He also warns that our imagination is narrow with the desired effects, and I would add on that those imaginations are cultural and time-sensitive. What we think desired outcomes now, might not be so in the future or across the bond. Beauty, intelligence, and proper behavior aren’t as rigid as we think.

How should I conclude? The Gene: An Intimate History is a great book, and I recommend it. But take the name seriously at least for the first half of the book, it truly is an intimate history of genetics.

0 comments on “Book Review: The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Ailish Sinclair

Stories and photos from Scotland

Learning to write

Just your average PhD student using the internet to enhance their CV

The Weatherwax Report

HUMANS NEED FANTASY TO BE HUMAN. TO BE THE PLACE WHERE THE FALLING ANGEL MEETS THE RISING APE.

unbolt me

the literary asylum

Life of Chaz

Welcome to My Life

Dirty Sci-Fi Buddha

Musings and books from a grunty overthinker

the Little Red Reviewer

Book Reviews: Scifi, Fantasy, and the stuff in between

The Fantasy Inn

Fantasy book reviews, recs, raves and rants. Mostly.

Fantasy-Faction

Writing for peace of mind

Fantasy Book Critic

Writing for peace of mind

%d bloggers like this: