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DNF @ Chapter 4

The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements - Sam Kean

I think it's fair to say that if I prefer doing office admin chores and listening to a(n albeit truly fascinating) memoir about growing up in and getting out of North Korea to reading this book, that's a pretty good indication I won't be getting back to this.

 

Chapter 4 started readable, but within 2 pages we had the next bit of arrogant nose-snubbing, at the scientist authors of one of the most groundbreaking papers in all of 20th century science writing no less, with a casual misinterpretation of two lines by Shakespeare tagged on in another asterisked footnote -- and I decided I just couldn't take it any longer.

 

Writerly tone aside: if I find that I can't trust an author's pronouncements on the bits of his book that I can instantly verify based on my own knowledge, experience and interests (e.g., European history and Shakespeare's writing) ... how can I possibly trust him on the bits that I cannot verify quite as easily and quickly?

 

So Huggins must regretfully record that I'm outta here as well.  I think we may seriously need to review our book selection procedure ...