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Growth: From Microorganisms to Megacities (Mit Press) Paperback – December 8, 2020
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At times, entire pages read like a rambling lecture from one of your college elective classes. There are sprinkles of interesting facts and observations with a huge number of citations, but the author almost comes across as a drunk fool. He doesn't write with a purpose. I found myself reading entire pages of rather dense material, where a single sentence goes on and on for at least 4 or more lines. There are many passages where there are no real "takeaways". There are sentences that could be ripped apart or stripped out entirely and the main idea explained in six or seven words without losing detail.
I don't want to accuse the author of anything, and I'll admit he excessively provides citations. But I gotta say – this book could be half its size if the author cut the bullshit. The complex writing is a delusion of grandeur. The reader is not better off by wasting time on these puzzles.
Top international reviews
But I must admit, I found it boring - and I gave up on it after some 100+ pages. And I very rarely give up on books.
If I find the energy to finish it, I will update my review.
I will give Smil another chance with some of the other books he has written on energy, based on recommendations by Bill Gates.
I wish Smil would invest in a good editor. The book is difficult to read not only because of its complexity but also due to poor editing. Maybe he’s used to his books not being read by many so he doesn’t bother to have them edited but that’s quite unfortunate.
Nevertheless, there’s a gem to be found in almost every page of this book and that makes it well worth the pain of slow reading.