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Stone Irving : Origin Paperback – Sep 1982


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Paperback, Sep 1982
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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd (September 1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451117611
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451117618
  • Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 10.9 x 3.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 386 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,207,559 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Owen Hughes on April 1 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Irving Stone is no stranger to the art of lively historical biography. Indeed, he has made it his own particular area of expertise and developed his craft to a thoroughly respectable level. Coming to Darwin after Van Gogh, I knew I was going to be in safe hands. What I didn't know was how Darwin himself was going to affect me. Stone has us walking in his shoes. The very paths he trod, be it the lyme walks along the river near his birthplace or the lava-fields of Peru, are our paths. Such is the skill of the author. I cannot understand why this is not a popular book. It has just about everything going for it: a famous author with a competent pen; an even more famous naturalist as its centrepiece. Can it be that poor old Charles is out of fashion? I hope that these few crumbs may incite a further readership. You will not be disappointed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Cindy Margulis on Feb. 15 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Irving Stone gives us a beautiful depiction of the character of the real Charles Darwin, and how he came to his breakthrough scientific insights. Charles Darwin, it turns out, was an immensely likeable character, with an adventuresome spirit, immense energy, a genuine humility, and warm sense of humor. Stone's brilliant portrayal shows us how Darwin was always guided by really examining what he saw and experienced, and letting his questions guide him, through a lifetime of earnest questing for knowledge and understanding. Anyone who doubts that such a devoted scientist could also make such a fascinating literary figure, will be delighted by Irving Stone's illuminating storytelling. Now, we can esteem Darwin all the more for his humaneness, which serves to magnify his genius!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I hope to write a proper review after I've read the book again. I originally read it 2 years ago and although it has stuck with me all that time, I'm not able to say more than that the 2 other reviewers are spot on, and that I think this may be the greatest story ever told. Yes, my tongue is in my cheek about that line, but it is fitting too in many ways. This is a story about what science and reason and passion and democracy and empire and very human nature has brought us. This was a pivotal point in the history of mankind, in my humble opinion, and this book gives us a brief glimpse into that very close past and reminds us that we are only here for a short while but that our story goes on and on.

Note that I have also just read the freely available epub version of Darwin's autobiography on my free phone book reader (nokia symbian phone in this case so your experience may differ), and it is like dessert to this sumptious meal that Stone provides.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 17 reviews
36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
In Darwin's shoes April 1 2000
By Owen Hughes - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Irving Stone is no stranger to the art of lively historical biography. Indeed, he has made it his own particular area of expertise and developed his craft to a thoroughly respectable level. Coming to Darwin after Van Gogh, I knew I was going to be in safe hands. What I didn't know was how Darwin himself was going to affect me. Stone has us walking in his shoes. The very paths he trod, be it the lyme walks along the river near his birthplace or the lava-fields of Peru, are our paths. Such is the skill of the author. I cannot understand why this is not a popular book. It has just about everything going for it: a famous author with a competent pen; an even more famous naturalist as its centrepiece. Can it be that poor old Charles is out of fashion? I hope that these few crumbs may incite a further readership. You will not be disappointed.
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
STILL A GOOD READ AFTER ALL THESE YEARS Sept. 19 2004
By D. Blankenship - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I first read this one in the early 80s. I picked if off my shelf again, a few days ago, and enjoyed it all over again. Being a student of the life of Charles Darwin, I have read the majority of the major biographies over the past twenty years. While this work is a fictionalized version of Darwin's life, and is certainly overly simplistic at times, there, nevertheless, is no doubt the author did his homework on this one. For a good simple read, and an understanding of the man Darwin (not his work), I highly recommend this one. Mr. Stone is certainly a master of his craft.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Charles Darwin, the Human Being! Feb. 15 2001
By Cindy Margulis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Irving Stone gives us a beautiful depiction of the character of the real Charles Darwin, and how he came to his breakthrough scientific insights. Charles Darwin, it turns out, was an immensely likeable character, with an adventuresome spirit, immense energy, a genuine humility, and warm sense of humor. Stone's brilliant portrayal shows us how Darwin was always guided by really examining what he saw and experienced, and letting his questions guide him, through a lifetime of earnest questing for knowledge and understanding. Anyone who doubts that such a devoted scientist could also make such a fascinating literary figure, will be delighted by Irving Stone's illuminating storytelling. Now, we can esteem Darwin all the more for his humaneness, which serves to magnify his genius!
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Do the evolution Oct. 5 2004
By J R Zullo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Once again, writer Irving Stone provides his readers with a "biographical novel", like his masterpiece, "The agony and the ecstasy" (about Michelangelo). Stone is a very competent author, and takes time to do his researches, so the information you'll find in his books can be trusted to be true - he also provides a bibliography about his "subject" at the end of the story.

"The origin" is about Charles Darwin, the man who came up with the theory of the evolution of the species by natural selection. In fact, Darwin, living in a static, very religious society, was one of the first scientists to dissociate science from religion, even if at the time it was not his intention, and had many problems because of his theories. Darwin's life was very interesting, from his humble beginning as an observer aboard HMS Beagle to his late and prolific years, when he wrote about varied subjects, becoming one of the first "scientific bestsellers" in the world.

Darwin's life is very well depicted in "The origin", and the reading is not a hard one, even if it's kind of slow. But Stone only presents facts, and makes little effort to present his thoughts about the subject. This is not an insightful kind of biography, more like Darwin's diary written in a more pleasant way. Nevertheless, an excellent book, that provides very useful information about one of the greatest men of all times.

Grade 8.6/10
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Fascinating! Feb. 9 2009
By Nicole Del Sesto - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Not only was this a long book, it was an intense book requiring a ton of concentration. However, it was well worth the effort. Irving Stone brilliantly detailed the life of Charles Darwin and it was completely fascinating. Darwin's The Origin Of Species: 150th Anniversary Editionis 150 years old (give or take) and becoming immersed in the world of the 1830's - 1880's reminds you how much the world has changed.

In the 1830's these people were just learning about dinosaurs, and science wasn't even an accepted practice really and if they wanted to travel it was via long sea voyages. They didn't even have typewriters. Compared to what we know today and the technology we have today and the way we travel, you really have to admire these men like Darwin and his compatriots (one of them being Aldous Huxley's grandfather) for what they endured in the name of discovery.

It took extreme courage and conviction for Darwin to publish what he did in that time. To take on creation and thus the church.

What's most interesting (and my really long way of getting here) is that in spite of the vast differences in the world today and the world of Darwin's day, people remain polarized on the issue of creation. Very little on that has changed and when you put that in perspective, it sort of boggles the mind.

This book is out of print, but I highly recommend it. You can get it used from Amazon. Incidentally, I'm not a science person at all ... so this was a real departure for me, and I enjoyed it.

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