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refuting the notion of the Tabula Rasa (Steven Pinker's The Blank Slate, Nicolas Wade's A Troublesome Inheritance, and Edward O. Wilson's On Human Nature, for example), Moalem's Inheritance continues this idea with an important twist: she shows not only how genes shape how we respond to the environment but also explores how the environment shapes the gene. Cutting edge and well written. An important read.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful
What disappointed you about Inheritance?
Having recently listened to The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert, I was ready for another fresh look at concepts studied years ago. Epigenetics fascinate me, so I was excited to start the drive during which I planned to listen to this book. Much to my chagrin, it somehow managed to be at once too pandering and too technical, with writing that was cringe-worthy (comparing phenotypic expression of genetic disorders to Louis Vuitton branding) used to make the multiple genetic disorders delivered rapid fire somehow more accessible. The passage about the dinner party made me realize what was bothering me so much. This author is too fixated on his own skill to have any concept of his audience. I neither need to be told I'm going to be taken on a trip into the unknown (I read the cover), not do I care about genetic disorders for which I have been given no context. I'm sure the author is a brilliant physician and geneticist, but the book was bad enough to make me abandon my curiosity. Wikipedia and journal articles are far more digestible.
What could Sharon Moalem, MD, PhD have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?
He could have hired an author/ghost writer or a better editor with more invested.
Would you be willing to try another one of Sharon Moalem, MD, PhD’s performances?
If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Inheritance?
I think a fundamental shift in tone was needed.
Any additional comments?
I would really like to read the book I thought this was going to be. I believe the author has the knowledge to make that book possible. I hope that book becomes a reality.
11 of 14 people found this review helpful