The Immense JourneyBook - 1962
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This review is from: The Immense Journey: An Imaginative Naturalist Explores the Mysteries of Man and Nature (Mass Market Paperback)
This is a very unusual book. It is ostensibly about the "Immense Journey" of man along his long evolutionary trail. But, in the same way that "The Odyssey" is not just an historical travel tale, Eiseley's book is much more. This is a work about the wonders of life, the joys of curiosity, the rewards from solitary time spent in the natural world and the transitory nature of all existence.
This one must have been just fantastic when it was published in 1957. It's still very good in 2003 despite the passage of time, which has exposed several of Eiseley's scientific beliefs and musings to be erroneous. Keep in mind the tremendous advancements in archeology, molecular biology and all other fields of science over the last 46 years and don't get hung up on these anachronisms. Instead, revel in the beautiful language Eiseley uses and the imagery he evokes: "Some lands are flat and grass-covered, and smile so evenly up at the sun that they seem forever youthful, untouched by man or time." Or another favorite: "Tyrannosaurs, enormous bipedal caricatures of men, would stalk mindlessly across the sites of future cities and go their slow way down into the dark of geologic time."
Read this book and you'll want to dig up fossils, listen to the wind, watch other animals and soak up life. And you will probably want to read it again.
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