It was some years ago that I read the author's "Omnivore's Dilemma" and watched the documentary series based on his book "Cooked". I have been impressed by both these works. It is, therefore, with great expectation that I picked up his "Botany of Desire". I am fascinated by the idea that plants are in effect subjects in attracting us (objects) to help them propagate, when we may think that we are taking the initiative to domesticate them.
Taking apples, tulips, marijuana, and potatoes, the author looks at how these plants pander to our desires for sweetness, beauty, intoxication, and control. In doing so, he takes the reader on an interesting journey through history, civilisation, capitalism, and technological advancement.
There are, nevertheless, a few aspects in the author's style of writing that I feel are not reader friendly. The book consists of very long chapters which are not organised under any subheadings that would help the reader to follow his train of thought. Indeed he often jumps from one idea to another in a rather disorganised manner. There is a theme that he comes back to throughout his book--that of Apollonian order vs Dionysian diversity. However, he harps on this theme so often that the idea quickly loses its initial freshness to the reader.
In all, interesting stuff though rather disorganised.
- Paperback: 271 pages
- Publisher: Random House Inc; 1 edition (1 June 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0375760393
- ISBN-13: 978-0375760396
- Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 1.6 x 20.3 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 227 g
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- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 42,324 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)