Dunn, a biologist at North Carolina State University, does an admirable job of exploring the human drive to find and understand the manifold forms of life that surround them. With his light and enjoyable style, he also provides fascinating character sketches of some of the scientists (often obsessive, usually brilliant, occasionally half-mad) who made the most important discoveries, with enough scientific context for readers to understand their significance. Dunn ranges from Antoine van Leeuwenhoek's amazing microscopic discoveries in the scientific backwater of 17th-century Delft to a major 20th-century undertaking to explore life near deep sea vents where the ocean floor is expanding. But Dunn has a deeper message: life is more diverse and less like us than we had imagined. Indeed, he says, humans are far from central in the story of life's evolution on Earth; most life is microscopic, living in and deeply below the soil and likely comprising at least half of the planet's biomass. Finally, Dunn writes about scientific hubris: virtually every scientific prediction about conditions limiting life have been proven incorrect. (Jan.)
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“If you have any interest in life beyond your own, you should read this book...Between the covers of EVERY LIVING THING you’ll learn both about life’s amazing diversity and that process of their discovery. Savor this fascinating volume and then help to preserve life’s wonders.” (Paul R. Ehrlich, author of THE DOMINANT ANIMAL: HUMAN EVOLUTION AND THE ENVIRONMENT)
“His writing is concise and entertaining. So entertaining that I found myself laughing out loud and following my husband around saying, “Listen to this!” over and over again as I read.” (Internet Review of Books)
One of the best books I've read recently. It sent me on a search for Dunn's other writings. Dunn is not an "up-and-coming" popularizer, but an accomplished popularizer, a... Read morePublished 5 months ago by J. Carpenter
Great stories about how little we know and how fun it is to make new discoveries!Published 5 months ago by Cormorant Calling
Wonderful survey of the search of the full monty of the Earth's biota!Published 5 months ago by mark
This book is everything! Dr. Dunn masterfully brings you into the world that are the biological sciences. I can't say enough about this book. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Claude Jordan
I'm not a scientist and don't usually read non-fiction, but I really liked this book. Dunn describes our need to know and name things in an entertaining style as he leads us on a... Read morePublished on May 24, 2013 by Sandra M. Bruney
I'm a professional evolutionary biologist, a systematist and entomologist, so the general subject matter of this book was familiar to me. Read morePublished on January 26, 2011 by benthos
This is a book that does what great science writing is supposed to do - explain the universe while enthralling the reader. Read morePublished on September 19, 2009 by Matthew A. Bille
Depending on who you are Dunn's book is either about biology or psychology or consciousness. As a book about biology, "Every Living Thing: Man's Obsessive Quest to Catalog Life"... Read morePublished on June 9, 2009 by Pavel Somov, Ph.D., author of "Lotus Effect," "Present Perfect," & "Eating the Moment"