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Ice: The Nature, the History, and the Uses of an Astonishing Substance Paperback – June 1, 2007
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Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Neal Karlen , December 26, 2005, Books of The Times
The writing ranges from lyrical and evocative to mundane, with the author analyzing the structure, formation and peculiar behavior of ice crystals, then recounting well-known anecdotes about Roger Bacon, the Titanic and Scott's attempt to reach the South Pole. I have to say it kept me interested but sometimes I felt as though she was just compiling facts and stories without tying them to a central theme. Her research is exhaustive, her writing skillful, but this could have been a shorter, more concise book.
1) It is thick.
2) It doesn't have any diagrams to help explain any concepts. It has a few black and white photos clustered in the middle, though these seem disconnected from the text.
A science- and nature-related book such as this simply begs for helpful diagrams and photos to complement the text. They are not here. And at times the explanations the author gives for phenomenon such as ground freezing seem contradictory; and without a diagram, I wondered if the author understood the things she was trying to explain.
The book is quite extensive though, particularly on the history and the uses of ice. If you are interested in the uses of ice, this may be a helpful book.
However, I completely agree with the Publisher's Weekly review above when it wrote
"But this book is an often mystifying precipitate of facts, curious words and anecdotes that could be slashed in half with no ill effect. The book also suffers from an overdose of distracting literary quotations on nearly every page."
To this, I would add that the quotations she selected from scientists are terrible, seemingly picked out to impress the reader with unexpected words rather than to help illuminate.
You will find interesting things here about ice, but might find such aspects of the book frustrating.
It is well-written but I can't imagine the average reader really getting into the esoterica of how frozen lakes form or the difference between a frozen lake and a frozen river. The book even gets into how a frozen lake breaks up.
The historical notes are interesting but again, not for everyone. In short, this is the kind of book only a nerd such as myself would love.
I purchased it from the Amazon Kindle store, and have had a great time reading it so far.
I don't know if "scientific journal" is the right word for this book, but it illustrates and explains, over the course of several hundred pages, many different properties of ice, and different scenarios and forms that it occurs on the earth. Very interesting read for anyone who loves science.
Water has always fascinated me and this book just confirms the wonder that is water in all of its forms. It is a truism that without water life simply would not exist on the planet. DNA may be the molecule that determines life, but water is the molecule that allows it, at least in a form that we know. If you think the subject boring, read "Ice" and be surprised! I recommend it highly.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Gives a comprehensive review of ice in all its guises, covering science to cultural usesPublished 3 months ago by surfdoggi
everything you ever wanted to know about solid water is here in this book. there is a lot of stuff to know about icePublished on June 20, 2013 by sean flint
"Ice" is an wonderful book. It is well written and should be interesting to almost anyone of intelligence, regardless of their field of normal interest. Read morePublished on March 20, 2011 by John McRaney
Living in the Northeast I can attest as could anyone living in the northern expanse of North America that this past winter was one heck of a polar punch in the gut. Read morePublished on March 5, 2011 by Richard Dicanio
Frozen water. What else is there to say about it? It's H2O that's lost so much energy it turns from a liquid to a solid. Big deal, right? Read morePublished on July 30, 2010 by My Fake Name
If you liked Kurlansky's COD and SALT then ICE is for you, excellent work and intelligently written... Highly recommended.Published on July 24, 2009 by Peter N. Gill
Ice is a necessity for terrestrial life. Without it - all land formations would be submerged.
Beyond this obvious fact - "ICE" takes us into the chemical and behavioral... Read more
Ignore the PW print review: This is a wonderful treasure chest of science, stories, lore and quotes about ice in all its many, many forms. Read morePublished on March 24, 2007 by The Sanity Inspector