Woolly
Science fiction becomes reality in this Jurassic Park-like story of the genetic resurrection of an extinct species—the woolly mammoth—by the bestselling author of The Accidental Billionaires and The 37th Parallel.“With his knack for turning narrative nonfiction into stories worthy of the best thriller fiction” (Omnivoracious), Ben Mezrich takes us on an exhilarating true adventure story from the icy terrain of Siberia to the cutting-edge genetic labs of Harvard University. A group of young scientists, under the guidance of Dr. George Church, the most brilliant geneticist of our time, works to make fantasy reality by sequencing the DNA of a frozen woolly mammoth harvested from above the Arctic circle, and splicing elements of that sequence into the DNA of a modern elephant. Will they be able to turn the hybrid cells into a functional embryo and bring the extinct creatures to life in our modern world?Along with Church and his team of Harvard scientists, a world-famous conservationist and a genius Russian scientist plan to turn a tract of the Siberian tundra into Pleistocene Park, populating the permafrost with ancient herbivores as a hedge against an environmental ticking time bomb. More than a story of genetics, this is a thriller illuminating the race against global warming, the incredible power of modern technology, the brave fossil hunters who battle polar bears and extreme weather conditions, and the ethical quandary of cloning extinct animals. Can we right the wrongs of our ancestors who hunted the woolly mammoth to extinction—and at what cost?

Woolly Details

TitleWoolly
Author
ReleaseJul 4th, 2017
PublisherAtria Books
ISBN-139781501135552
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Science, History, Animals

Woolly Review

  • Trish
    January 1, 1970
    Mezrich picks interesting topics, I will concede that. Readers may already have heard some years ago that a Harvard lab was working on de-extinction of the Woolly Mammoth. Mezrich brings us up to date on this project; indeed, the first and last chapters in this “nonfiction” are set in the future.If you are familiar with Mezrich’s writing, the author weights the concept narrative nonfiction heavily on the narrative and fiction sides, ostensibly to stoke momentum and get folks interested. The only Mezrich picks interesting topics, I will concede that. Readers may already have heard some years ago that a Harvard lab was working on de-extinction of the Woolly Mammoth. Mezrich brings us up to date on this project; indeed, the first and last chapters in this “nonfiction” are set in the future.If you are familiar with Mezrich’s writing, the author weights the concept narrative nonfiction heavily on the narrative and fiction sides, ostensibly to stoke momentum and get folks interested. The only problem is that his very good instincts about what is intrinsically an interesting story fights with his method. Sometimes the reader has to thrash through pages of invented dialogue to reach a critical conclusion, a real buzz killer if there ever was one.But this story works on many levels, and while we are following his careful step-by-step thrust with one eye, our mind is busy on the operations of a lab and the implications of the study for medicine, for wildlife, for every aspect of our visible and invisible world. Mezrich eventually addresses many of these key issues in the text, usually making the science sound responsible and considered. I started to grow more uncomfortable towards the end of the book, when we are reminded that the science has progressed so far so fast that genomic modifications have escaped the lab environment and can be undertaken in a made-over garage for relatively small costs, and that billionaires of every stripe are lining up to make their money count for something big. The real excitement of this story is in our imaginations, and what the skills and knowledge of present-day scientists can allow us to imagine. Mezrich places us in fund-raising meetings with billionaires, allowing the most humble among us to enjoy the same stories and sense of excitement that fuels movers and shakers. If the glamour of the whole thing begins to seem suspect at some point, I think you’ve caught my sense of unease.Mezrich shares the history of the project, including the work by Nikita Zimov in Northern Siberia, determining that wooly mammoths seemed to have played a role in preserving the permafrost levels of the tundra, by upturning the soil and exposing lower layers to the freezing temperatures. His father, Sergey Zimov, apparently theorized that reestablishing animal herds that roamed Siberia earlier in human history might play a role in keeping escaping carbon and methane, now sequestered in permafrost, from accelerating the speed at which the earth warms. The fact that woolly mammoth remains are discovered regularly now in thawing and melting ice and snow of the north is something I had not known. The ancient ivory from the tusks is not protected and is therefore an important source of income for hunters, sold in lieu of protected elephant tusks, for the same reasons, to the same buyers. The scientists involved in the story at one of the Church labs at Harvard are fascinating individuals in their own right, each with a backstory that only fuels our interest. The project has been going on long enough now that the twenty-something personnel involved at the beginning of the project are turning it over to others, younger ones still, to ensure continuity of skills on such a forward-looking project. The whole concept and execution of the mammoth idea is sufficiently…mammoth…and complex enough to make readers feel as though they have been subtly changed by the experience.(view spoiler)[The real life story ends with woolly mammoth DNA implanted in an elephant cell. Dr. Frank Church, the originator of this project, to his credit, decides not to use elephants to gestate the beast that might develop, but to construct a synthetic uterus. That is currently underway. Stay tuned. (hide spoiler)]
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  • Joseph
    January 1, 1970
    Woolly: The True Story of the De-Extinction of One of History’s Most Iconic Creatures by Ben Mezrich is the story of Dr. Church and his colleague's advancements in genome engineering. Mezrich graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Social Studies from Harvard University in 1991. Some of his books have been written under the pseudonym, Holden Scott. He is best known for Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six MIT Students Who Took Vegas for Millions and The Accidental Billionaires: Th Woolly: The True Story of the De-Extinction of One of History’s Most Iconic Creatures by Ben Mezrich is the story of Dr. Church and his colleague's advancements in genome engineering. Mezrich graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Social Studies from Harvard University in 1991. Some of his books have been written under the pseudonym, Holden Scott. He is best known for Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six MIT Students Who Took Vegas for Millions and The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding Of Facebook, A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius, and Betrayal.I probably would not have picked this book up if I had known it was narrative fiction. The book is written in novel form and the reader is left to believe or not believe what is written. There is a small section of cited works but nothing is footnoted. Optionally there the reader could look up each bit of questionable information and fact check on their own. That is what I did and what I looked up did check out. This was mostly limited to events and people in the book and not conversation and smaller details. George M. Church is the leader of the project that is working on brings back the wooly mammoth. The book traces his life from childhood to the present with all the ups and downs of a normal life. Both his accomplishments and his failures make him the person who he is today and a person willing to take a chance on projects and people. He is also very well respected in the scientific community. Instead of operating in secret, Church chooses to share information. This also allows him to collect on favors. Several of his students are also portrayed in the book and details of their varied backgrounds. One of the more interesting aspects of the book is work being done in Siberia on permafrost. A part of northern Russia (and Canada) contain a permanently frozen layer of earth. It was once thought that if the permafrost thawed it would be suitable for farming. The current findings, however, seem to show the opposite. If the earth warms up enough to thaw the permafrost, the release of methane from the thawing permafrost would be catastrophic. The permafrost would release up to twice as much carbon dioxide and methane that is currently in the atmosphere. This ties into the Wooly Mammoth's planned de-extinction. Mezrich writes an interesting thriller which would fit in well with the much mentioned Michael Creighton or another novelist of that genre. It would seem hard to make DNA and genome engineering exciting for the non-scientific reader but Woolly reads like a thriller. There is even two chapter that takes place in the future that lends to the thought this is a work of fiction. With that exception of the previous point, all the information appears to be legitimate. An interesting and thought provoking read on the advancement of science. Available July 4, 2017
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  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    The story told in this book was fascinating, but I found the creative nonfiction method employed in telling it waaaay too creative. I actually spent the first thirty pages or so trying to make sure the book was actually nonfiction at all. Some Googling proved that, yes, these people are real and are actually doing what the book purports- attempting to de-extinct the woolly mammoth through cutting edge genetic engineering. Fascinating. But the book seemed in such a rush to be fascinating and to s The story told in this book was fascinating, but I found the creative nonfiction method employed in telling it waaaay too creative. I actually spent the first thirty pages or so trying to make sure the book was actually nonfiction at all. Some Googling proved that, yes, these people are real and are actually doing what the book purports- attempting to de-extinct the woolly mammoth through cutting edge genetic engineering. Fascinating. But the book seemed in such a rush to be fascinating and to set up scenes for the already-optioned movie that it failed to come across as serious. There were even scenes set in the future, after a woolly mammoth has supposedly been created and born. I wanted a bit less creativity and narrative and a few more facts, maybe a footnote or a reference. Intriguing but ultimately too superficial to be satisfying.
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  • Andrea
    January 1, 1970
    A great overview of what's been happening in the mammoth restoration project. Is there a satisfying conclusion? Or course not, unless I missed that mammoth herd from the latest Discovery Channel documentary. This is a work in progress - a tediously complicated task of figuring out how to bring back an animal that's been extinct for thousands of years, and whose DNA is not readily available to the science to play with. This is not a cloning project per se, but a reconstruction effort - a reverse A great overview of what's been happening in the mammoth restoration project. Is there a satisfying conclusion? Or course not, unless I missed that mammoth herd from the latest Discovery Channel documentary. This is a work in progress - a tediously complicated task of figuring out how to bring back an animal that's been extinct for thousands of years, and whose DNA is not readily available to the science to play with. This is not a cloning project per se, but a reconstruction effort - a reverse engineering, an invention of the wheel lost to time. It's truly fascinating. If you are considering picking up this book for yourself, please consider what your expectations are. More than anything Woolly is true to it's tagline: "the Quest to Revive". Therefore you will learn more about the scientists involved and hurdles they go through every day, instead of getting to the nitty-gritty descriptions of genetic manipulations. Woolly is a story of humans working on mammoths, not a biology class on the extinct animal. You will not learn a lot of actual science, but you will understand what challenges are being faced and what creative solutions are being used. The author uses quite a literary style for his nonfiction, which might throw some people off, but I enjoyed seeing the relatable side of the top scientists that might come off unapproachable otherwise. And just for fun, perhaps we are getting closer to getting that pesky DNA: Controversial T. Rex Soft Tissue Find Finally Explained [Live Science]
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  • Zachary
    January 1, 1970
    The topic of the book is an interesting story of science, and the central figure, George Church, truly is brilliant and awesome. I actually use some of the techniques mentioned in the book in my own work. However, the story is told in such an over-dramatic, hyperbolic style as to be nearly unreadable. Mezrich has really done his subject a disservice. It doesn't help that his depiction of science is of the same ilk as CSI. I'm sorry, but it's not as whiz bang as all that. All in all, a major miss The topic of the book is an interesting story of science, and the central figure, George Church, truly is brilliant and awesome. I actually use some of the techniques mentioned in the book in my own work. However, the story is told in such an over-dramatic, hyperbolic style as to be nearly unreadable. Mezrich has really done his subject a disservice. It doesn't help that his depiction of science is of the same ilk as CSI. I'm sorry, but it's not as whiz bang as all that. All in all, a major miss.
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    Literally this was my fantasy while ignoring the teachers in AP bio. I have wanted a woolly mammoth since I was a little girl, and I am 100% on board for this.#thedreamlives
  • Jo
    January 1, 1970
    I don't think I'm going to keep reading this book, barely even nonfiction. I was very uncomfortable with the novelistic invented dialogue and scene setting, all of which is unnecessary if the source material is interesting.
  • J.M.
    January 1, 1970
    Fascinating look at the science of genetics and a project that may one day bring the Woolly Mammoth back to life.
  • Dixie
    January 1, 1970
    I was hoping for something different. perhaps that colored my opinion. not that good. as I said, hoped it would be different
  • Robert Cox
    January 1, 1970
    The juice wasn’t worth the squeeze on this one.... not his best topic. Highlight was learning a little more about the cloning vs DNA alteration options when it comes to bringing back the extinct. #hardpass
  • Faith
    January 1, 1970
    It's impossible to fight your way through the filler in this book in order to get to any science. This is not what I wanted.
  • Robin
    January 1, 1970
    Creative nonfiction chronicling the work of geneticists on current research about the woolly mammoth. Unfortunately, the book is light on facts and only superficially addresses questions of ethics, funding, scientific philosophies, etc. Not awful, but not stimulating either.
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  • Christina
    January 1, 1970
    Super weird style mixing fact with fiction, just too many liberties taken with this. Made it 80 pages before moving on to something else.
  • Edward Fenner
    January 1, 1970
    This is creative non-fiction, not straight-up non-fiction. I knew that going in but this book goes way beyond the boundaries of CNF and is mostly entirely a fictional novel based on real info. More like speculative fiction. I couldn't get past the first 50 pages. I skimmed around further ahead and wasn't seeing much different so I bailed - and I rarely bail on a book.
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  • Melissa Embry
    January 1, 1970
    As a fan of all things Pleistocene, Ben Mezrich’s book jumped out at me from a display table at Dallas’ newest independent bookstore, Interabang Books. How could I resist a title like Woolly: The True Story of the Quest to Revive One of History’s Most Iconic Extinct Creatures? True, even fans of woolly mammoths (you didn’t think the book was about sheep, did you?) know only too well that the great Ice Age beasts no longer walk the earth. But until – if – living mammoths can be cloned or otherwis As a fan of all things Pleistocene, Ben Mezrich’s book jumped out at me from a display table at Dallas’ newest independent bookstore, Interabang Books. How could I resist a title like Woolly: The True Story of the Quest to Revive One of History’s Most Iconic Extinct Creatures? True, even fans of woolly mammoths (you didn’t think the book was about sheep, did you?) know only too well that the great Ice Age beasts no longer walk the earth. But until – if – living mammoths can be cloned or otherwise brought to life, we can feed our hopes with the possible ways that might happen.The book’s cover notes, soon to be a major motion picture, and Mezrich’s mosaic of opening scenes consciously mirror those of that other major motion picture about extinct monstrous animals, Jurassic Park. Mezrich’s technique can, however, be disconcerting in book form, with readers forced to jump from the viewpoint of the very last living woolly mammoths 3,000 years ago to a hypothetical scene of the future of the 21st century; from the early childhood in steamy Florida of American geneticist George M. Church to a truck drive across the icy Siberian wilderness; and on and on.Scientifically minded readers should be warned that Mezrich (or his editors) can have a cavalier way with words. Elk antlers are blithely referred to as “horns,” small herbivores as “omnivorous,” and musk oxen as hybrids of an ox, goat and sheep. (Or possibly as hybridizing with all three of these species. I can’t quite make out which Mezrich has in mind.) Less mammoth-infatuated readers may also wonder why anyone would spend the time (and money) to resurrect a long-extinct species when so many modern ones are in danger of extinction. Woolly tries to answer these skeptics, and in doing so skims through a host of stories as fascinating in their own right as any thriller.There’s the eccentric and dyslexic scientist Church, zoologist turned geneticist intent on re-engineering the genomes of creatures from rodents to humans to mammoths. Church, Mezrich writes, decided after visiting the 1964-1965 World’s Fair that he was a time traveler from the future, desperate to find his way back. And his wife, Chao-ting Wu (Ting to her friends), a Chinese immigrant whose race, sex, and yes, marriage blocked her scientific career path for years.Or Stewart Brand, founder of the iconoclastic bible, Whole Earth Catalogue, and his wife, biotech entrepreneur Ryan Phelan, have dedicated themselves to resurrecting extinct species. (In an afterword to Woolly, Brand reports that the first proxy passenger pigeons may be alive as early as 2022.) Other leading candidates for revival, he writes, include the Tasmanian tiger, New Zealand moas, and ivory-billed woodpecker. Most intriguing to me are Russians Nikita Zimov and his father Sergey, who for decades have worked to restore moss and lichen Arctic tundras to their Pleistocene lushness, which once supported vast herds of giant herbivores. Including woolly mammoths. The Zimovs’ dream doesn’t involve resurrecting extinct species for their own sake, but using restored Arctic grasslands to halt global warming. (The Zimovs believe the tread of large herbivore hoofs makes the upper permafrost area of soil more amenable to the growth of grass.)So, even without living woolly mammoths, there would be plenty to report. Woolly, however, fails to deliver adequately on these promises. Near the beginning, and again near the end, Mezrich tempts readers with possible views of mammoths four years from today. . . and three years from today. Maybe he hopes that by the time of the cover’s promised “major motion picture” materializes, there will be more to show.
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  • Judith
    January 1, 1970
    I was tempted to shelve this under fiction, for the way M. writes, with dates, flash backs, flash forwards, reconstructed thoughts and conversations, resembles one style of science fiction writing. However, the events and scientific experiments and results are true. And given that just recently artificial wombs for lamb fetus have been made successfully, the implantation of an Asian elephant fertilized egg, with some reconstituted (or inserted) mammoth DNA, into such a womb has become closer to I was tempted to shelve this under fiction, for the way M. writes, with dates, flash backs, flash forwards, reconstructed thoughts and conversations, resembles one style of science fiction writing. However, the events and scientific experiments and results are true. And given that just recently artificial wombs for lamb fetus have been made successfully, the implantation of an Asian elephant fertilized egg, with some reconstituted (or inserted) mammoth DNA, into such a womb has become closer to reality. Some ten genes of the mammoth have been reconstituted, for the red hair, blood adaption to cold, etc. and also the mammoth tail (why this is important to have is not explained in the book--was it hairy? long, short, or what, nor of course how the mammoth used it--for signaling inter alia?). And of course the use of CRISPR here in the mammoth reconstruction has already been used to change at the aides mosquito such that males, though able to mate, have their offspring die before reaching maturity, thus enabling communities to decrease the population without using dangerous chemical sprays and thus decrease the spread of dengue. So the reconstitution of the mammoth is becoming more of a possibility.BTW I now understand much better how CRISPR works and found that it is a natural process in bacteria that we can now apply extremely interesting.M. also explains clearly why the mammoth is the focus of reconstitution. For arctic ecology. The Netherlands is not the only place where someone is trying to rebuild the paleo climate and terrain. There is a place in the Russian Arctic, now over 20 years into the process, that intends to dampen, if not end, the danger of release of carbon dioxide from melting permafrost by reintroducing paleo creatures such as the moose---and as a result that territory is ecologically quite different from "untreated" territory. It is not so much that the mammoth is so iconic--it is--but that its ability to terraform the land in a way that smaller animals (such as the moose!) cannot.A good read, popularized science, but well researched--even if it does read like a novel!
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  • CoCo Massengale
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars really. This is a tough one to review. It was utterly engaging HOWEVER, as other folks have mentioned, the creative nonfiction took a few too many liberties for my liking--including two chapters that take place three to four years in the future. I would have preferred endnotes and more sourcing, and I caught a few errors that may have been typos but ended up being factually incorrect. For example, Bill Gates is married to Melinda Gates, not Melissa. This lack of attention to detail bug 3.5 stars really. This is a tough one to review. It was utterly engaging HOWEVER, as other folks have mentioned, the creative nonfiction took a few too many liberties for my liking--including two chapters that take place three to four years in the future. I would have preferred endnotes and more sourcing, and I caught a few errors that may have been typos but ended up being factually incorrect. For example, Bill Gates is married to Melinda Gates, not Melissa. This lack of attention to detail bugs me a lot, especially in a nonfiction book.That said, the science itself was fascinating and my favorite chapter was the afterword, written by a conservationist that summarized all the near-future de-extinctions that may be possible through genetic engineering. This was a cheerful book for someone who has recently read Elizabeth Kolbert's The Sixth Extinction, as it mentioned some potential solutions to the terrifying threat of climate change and other human-caused extinctions. It was a fun read, if a little questionable, and I'll definitely watch the forthcoming film adaption.
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  • James
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsI have to say that I enjoyed this book. It is a kind of fictionalized non-fiction that I don't like in concept but it worked. It was short and easy to read. The science was light but informative - enough to make you both excited about the potential of genetic manipulation and afraid of the potential for abuse. Maybe it was because I had just finished reading All Our Wrong Todays, but I couldn't help thinking of the concept from that book, that when you invent a new technology, you also 3.5 starsI have to say that I enjoyed this book. It is a kind of fictionalized non-fiction that I don't like in concept but it worked. It was short and easy to read. The science was light but informative - enough to make you both excited about the potential of genetic manipulation and afraid of the potential for abuse. Maybe it was because I had just finished reading All Our Wrong Todays, but I couldn't help thinking of the concept from that book, that when you invent a new technology, you also invent the accident of that technology. The work of these scientists and naturalists is fascinating. Their hopes and plans for the future are important and inspiring, but with a rate of progress of 4 times Moore's Law, how long will it be before gene hackers can set up shop in their basements. Before brilliant, bullied and alienated young men find a new way to unleash their fury on the world.
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  • Debbie Jacob
    January 1, 1970
    Wow! I don't know whether to be fascinated or frightened by the genetic engineering possibilities that are out there. Equally interesting is the story of each and every person featured in the book. They give a better understanding of why scientists are so fascinated by bioengineering. There are both ethical and environmental issues to ponder. Scientists seem to feel that re-introducing the woolly mammoth could prevent further destruction of permafrost and thus prevent the emission of greenhouse Wow! I don't know whether to be fascinated or frightened by the genetic engineering possibilities that are out there. Equally interesting is the story of each and every person featured in the book. They give a better understanding of why scientists are so fascinated by bioengineering. There are both ethical and environmental issues to ponder. Scientists seem to feel that re-introducing the woolly mammoth could prevent further destruction of permafrost and thus prevent the emission of greenhouse gases that will be overwhelming if we lose the permafrost. There is much to ponder; much to be excited about and much to fear. I also enjoyed hearing the scientists' voices presenting some important points in the end of the book. This is an audio book not to be missed. You don't have to be into science or science fiction to enjoy this book that outlines our future.
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  • D.R. Oestreicher
    January 1, 1970
    Reading and writing. The three-billion-dollar Human Genome Project established the technology to read DNA. While the first human gene sequence cost the aforementioned $3,000,000,000 in 2003, the same feat can now be completed for under $1,000. Woolly by Ben Mezrich explores the possibilities for writing DNA, also known as synthetic biology.If you were fascinated by Jurassic Park, you'll love this book which hypothesizes ways to return extinct animals without the terror of Michael Crichton's imag Reading and writing. The three-billion-dollar Human Genome Project established the technology to read DNA. While the first human gene sequence cost the aforementioned $3,000,000,000 in 2003, the same feat can now be completed for under $1,000. Woolly by Ben Mezrich explores the possibilities for writing DNA, also known as synthetic biology.If you were fascinated by Jurassic Park, you'll love this book which hypothesizes ways to return extinct animals without the terror of Michael Crichton's imagination, but with the benefits of forestalling climate change and improving human health.For more: checkout http://1book42day.blogspot.com/2017/1...
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  • Eliot Peper
    January 1, 1970
    Woolly tells the incredible true story of the race currently underway among leading scientists around the world to revive the woolly mammoth. To track this de-extinction movement, Mezrich takes us on a fast-paced, highly readable tour through South Korean cloning facilities, bustling Harvard genetics labs, and desolate Siberian tundra. Mezrich's distinctive style of narrative nonfiction brings the characters to life, from legendary biologist George Church to iconoclastic thinker Stewart Brand. I Woolly tells the incredible true story of the race currently underway among leading scientists around the world to revive the woolly mammoth. To track this de-extinction movement, Mezrich takes us on a fast-paced, highly readable tour through South Korean cloning facilities, bustling Harvard genetics labs, and desolate Siberian tundra. Mezrich's distinctive style of narrative nonfiction brings the characters to life, from legendary biologist George Church to iconoclastic thinker Stewart Brand. It's a fascinating peek into the sausage factory of cutting edge scientific research and the personalities that drive it forward.
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  • Daniel
    January 1, 1970
    This is the best book I've read in a while. It deals with the work Sergey and Nikita Zimov are doing to convert the arctic back to pasture land as it was in the Pleistocene and avert the global methane disaster from the melting of the permafrost. Their work dovetails with the work done by Allan Savory and echos the Permaculture Movement. It is controversial because it reverses the conceived cause and effect of climate change and desertification. Perhaps land use is the cause of desertification. This is the best book I've read in a while. It deals with the work Sergey and Nikita Zimov are doing to convert the arctic back to pasture land as it was in the Pleistocene and avert the global methane disaster from the melting of the permafrost. Their work dovetails with the work done by Allan Savory and echos the Permaculture Movement. It is controversial because it reverses the conceived cause and effect of climate change and desertification. Perhaps land use is the cause of desertification. I once read an article which claimed that septuagenarians that continued competitive running lived longer. Well Duh!
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  • Gretchen
    January 1, 1970
    The first chapter almost lost me, as it was a little too inventive. The book quickly moved on, however, to real life events that I found completely fascinating. I found myself reading this book with my iPod nearby so that I google visuals as I read. Personally, I felt the dialogue and human stories behind the scientists kept the book readable and less like a text book. It's not clear if these brilliant and devoted scientists will save the world or destroy it, but it's eye opening to look at how The first chapter almost lost me, as it was a little too inventive. The book quickly moved on, however, to real life events that I found completely fascinating. I found myself reading this book with my iPod nearby so that I google visuals as I read. Personally, I felt the dialogue and human stories behind the scientists kept the book readable and less like a text book. It's not clear if these brilliant and devoted scientists will save the world or destroy it, but it's eye opening to look at how much passion and money is involved in the process.
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  • Emily
    January 1, 1970
    I won't be finishing this one. Non-Fiction is REALLY hard for me to get into and I thought that perhaps because this is creative non-fiction I'd like it more, but I don't. It was confusing with the jumps in the timeline (which were not marked very well). For this topic, I would have liked something a bit more focused on the facts rather than the telling of the story. Like I said, I'm picky about non-fiction so my feelings probably don't make sense, but that is why I'm leaving this rating blank r I won't be finishing this one. Non-Fiction is REALLY hard for me to get into and I thought that perhaps because this is creative non-fiction I'd like it more, but I don't. It was confusing with the jumps in the timeline (which were not marked very well). For this topic, I would have liked something a bit more focused on the facts rather than the telling of the story. Like I said, I'm picky about non-fiction so my feelings probably don't make sense, but that is why I'm leaving this rating blank rather than giving it a one star.
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  • Alycia
    January 1, 1970
    Fascinating subject but I really can't stand Ben Mezrich's writing. I think he was told to write it so it could be turned into a movie and that never leads to anything good. I do hope we get Woolly Mammoths back again but I hope I don't have to read about it from this guy again. Big mistake letting George Church write the epilogue; he should have wrote the whole book and it would have been a much better read.
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  • Mia
    January 1, 1970
    Neat science story about the process (and rationale) of reviving the mammoth and other extinct species, and the characters involved in recent attempts. I hope to see a mammoth in my lifetime, and of course I am one of those annoying persons discussed in the book who'd appreciate a miniature version to keep as pets, as well!
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  • Nancy Scott
    January 1, 1970
    Fascinating look at technology, dreamers, science, and possibility. While the lines were sometimes blurred between fact and fiction, I loved personally knowing some of the players involved and am excited about the possibilities of a GMO mammoth; the end of diseases like malaria, EEHV, and Lyme; and who knows what else scientists can come up with - in MY lifetime!
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  • Nic
    January 1, 1970
    I read 92 out of 275 pages. I would be down for a cool narrative nonfiction book about the scientific possibilities of recreating extinct species, or for a Jurassic Park-style thriller about woolly mammoths, but this book seems to kind of want to be both, and it's very non-linear. So, not quite my thing. Next book!
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  • Melissa
    January 1, 1970
    DNFI thought this was suppose to be a nonfiction book. Instead I found myself confused on why a nonfiction book was reading like a fictional story. The topic is one I would love to know more about but without the fictional element included.
  • Kurtis Bouwman
    January 1, 1970
    Just like my last Ben Mezrich book, interesting topic, but feels minimally researched in favor of storytelling.
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