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Peggy H. (North East, PA)
Fascinating, But Dry
This book was jam-packed with interesting information about the Victorian era and the four men that it highlights. I was not familiar with three of the four, and the details were well-researched. The style, however, was a bit dry and pedantic. I would have loved to read this as historical research, but as a pick up and read book...it drags a bit.
Valerie C. (Chico, CA)
The reading is a little dry in places, but overall well worth the effort to read!
Beth T. (Savannah, GA)
Enjoyable and Informative
I am SO not a nonfiction reader, but enjoyed this book nevertheless. It's an easy read, most of the time, and the details about the different characters and the time period keep it pretty lively. I think that people who have an interest in science and history will particularly enjoy this book.
Mary Ann B. (Louisville, KY)
Science in the Making
If you have ever thought about how scientists think, read this book. Much of the process was put into practice by members of the Philosphical Breakfast Club. Of course in the 19th century, philosphical had a somewhat different meaning than today, but these gentlemen shaped how we have come to look at rational thinking in the area of proving theory. One caveat, it does get bogged down with other information, so it takes a while for the meat of the story to emerge.
Suri F. (Durham, NC)
Dense and Fascinating
This biography of a friendship among four men at the birth of modern science is fully researched and well written. The author is skilled at conveying the breadth of curiosity and engagement with the world that her subjects had. Their cumulative impact on Twenty-First Century life is astounding. While hardly a "page-turner," this book held my interest throughout. I have been hunting down others to share this book.
Susan R. (Dublin, NH)
Connecting the Dots
The Philosphic Breakfast Club helped shape the modern world in which science plays a starring role. The PBC was four Cambridge students in the early 1820's who had long Sunday breakfasts together and discussed the role and methods of "natural philosophy", as science was then called.
Rebecca C. (Opelika, AL)
Interesting history both in time and place
This is a group biography--warts and all--of the life-long friends and occasional rivals who coined the term "scientist" as a parallel of "artist" and were the movers and shakers of science as it devleoped into something we recognise today. They were polymaths and prolific writers.
This is a very good book that connects the dots for anyone interested in history or science or the history of science.
I had so much fun reading this book. I am not a history buff usually, but this book describes both a time and place that I had little knowledge of. So, I really enjoyed learning about the 4 friends, their lives and loves, and the different parts of society they changed and cared about. Even if you are not in to history, this is one to pick up. The writing is detailed and intense and the subject extremely interesting.
Barbara K. (Brooklyn, NY)
The Philosophical Breakfast Club
This book is well written, researched and documented but it is not a 'quick read'. The author gives much background information about these 4 men of science, their families, parents, circumstances and environments in which they grew up. He shows how all this helped to shape their lives, become 'intellectual soul mates' and so change the world of science that impacts so greatly on our world today.
It might appeal to someone who has the inclination and time to delve into the abundant details presented.