The Violinist's Thumb: Book summary and reviews of The Violinist's Thumb by Sam Kean

The Violinist's Thumb

And Other Lost Tales of Love, War, and Genius, as Written by Our Genetic Code

by Sam Kean

The Violinist's Thumb by Sam Kean X
The Violinist's Thumb by Sam Kean
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Book Summary

In The Disappearing Spoon, bestselling author Sam Kean unlocked the mysteries of the periodic table. In The Violinist's Thumb, he explores the wonders of the magical building block of life: DNA.

There are genes to explain crazy cat ladies, why other people have no fingerprints, and why some people survive nuclear bombs. Genes illuminate everything from JFK's bronze skin (it wasn't a tan) to Einstein's genius. They prove that Neanderthals and humans bred thousands of years more recently than any of us would feel comfortable thinking. They can even allow some people, because of the exceptional flexibility of their thumbs and fingers, to become truly singular violinists.

Kean's vibrant storytelling once again makes science entertaining, explaining human history and whimsy while showing how DNA will influence our species' future.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Kean's thoughtful, humorous book is a joy to read." - Publishers Weekly

"Light and witty if rambling at times, this book is recommended for all general readers." - Library Journal

"In an impressive narrative, the author renders esoteric DNA concepts accessible to lay readers." - Kirkus Reviews

This information about The Violinist's Thumb was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Sam Kean

Sam Kean is a writer in Washington, D.C. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Disappearing Spoon and his work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Mental Floss, Slate, The New York Post, and New Scientist. In 2009 he was a runner-up for the National Association of Science Writers' Evert Clark/Seth Payne Award for best science writer under the age of thirty, and he was a Middlebury Environmental Journalism fellow. Find him online at www.samkean.com.

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