Customer Review

1.0 out of 5 stars Should be considered fiction!, Oct. 17 2001
This review is from: Barren Lands: An Epic Search for Diamonds in the North American Arctic (Hardcover)
In many ways this book is a fraud. The writer has recklessly exaggerated the history and the science of diamonds in such a manner that it would hardly be acceptable in fiction, but this is presented as a true tale. It is so loaded with distortions and errors, ever poor writing, that I find it amazing that the dust cover carries praise from what would, on first blush, appear to be reliable reviewers. On second blush, I am not so sure.
I am still plowing through this awful thing, but am flagging questionable passages on just about every other page. That is, only the things that I know are incorrect or shamelessly distorted. It is quite clear that Times Books/Henry Holt/ WH Freeman never vetted the text of this book before publishing it.
I was the former curator of the mineral and gem collection at the Smithsonian before retiring in 1991 so I know a little about the subject.
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