Illustrates, simplifies, and humor-coats the important principles of classical and modern genetics and their experimental bases, with amusing anecdotes about how the ancients tried to explain inheritance and sex determination.
This book is a solid introduction to understanding genetics: the basics of the science, the history of humanity's knowledge of it, how it relates to other fields (ie evolution) - all explained well, in both word and the highly helpful illustrations. As always, Gonick tosses in some humor with his cartoons, but don't be fooled into thinking this is kid stuff. He delves into serious science. (And I noted with great amusement that one reviewer who hated the book was a big fan of the "for dummies" series. Irony much?)
I liked this book a lot - not quite as good as The Cartoon Guide to Physics, and bear in mind that current advances in genetics may well render parts of the book outdated soon... but it's still well worth reading.
Cartoon-based, this book is more properly called cartoonish. It explains genetics poorly, if at all, and makes over-generalizations, too simplistic analogies, and dull, plodding stabs at bringing this interesting field to light. Definitely a pass for any serious reader, dilettante, or the idly curious.
This book does not assume that the reader has any scientific background and everything is explained from the basics. It also does not get into real detail about anything, but that kind of detail isn't necessary for a broad understanding of genetics. Most of the comics aren't really that funny, but even so they bring levity to an often difficult topic. I happen to enjoy the picture of the human-strawberry hybrid. This is a great book for visual learners who like to see everything; the diagrams in this book make complicated systems simpler without leaving out too much. This is a good background resource for anyone who wants to understand the hot topic of genetics. Granted a lot has happened since this book was published, but the foundation is still the same.