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Showing 1-10 of 129 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 190 reviews
on May 31, 2014
I was surprised at how easy this is to read! I was particularly interested in Tierra del Fuego and the Falkland Islands, having just returned from a trip to that area. Also, I am reading another book about the area, "The Uttermost Part of the Earth", written by a man born there in the mid 1800s, son of a missionary. It has been interesting, reading teh books together, because both authors share many experiences, but with often differing opinions. Darwin's descriptions of the geography and the wildlife are wonderful. My one complaint (and it's a big one) is that this is supposed to be the "Illustrated Edition" and there is not one illustration in the e-book. Still, I have really enjoyed the book, and encourage others to try it.
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on May 30, 2017
This was a fascinating adventure story from way, way back. The fact that he stayed alive through all his travels on sea and land is a story in itself. I found it easier reading than some of his more serious scientific work. I kind of sets the stage for other work of his. It tells you who Darwin was and what motivated his life's work. Well worth the time to read slowly. I liked it a bit at a time.
Mel Cearley
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on May 20, 2017
When I bought this, I missed the part about it being an abridged version. I gave it away and ordered the real tbing
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VINE VOICEon November 8, 2006
I learned a lot about Darwin in this book that I simply didn't know beforehand. The most important is what an exceptional writer he was. If he had never published his Origin of Species and become famous by it, this book would still be a classic, if not of science, than certainly of literature. His prose, while necessarily more pedestrian, reminds me more than anything of the prose of another famous naturalist, Thoreau (who actually quotes the "Naturalist Darwin" in Walden from this book regarding the natives of Tierra Del Fuego).

The "scientific detail" cited by another reviewer did not bog down the prose at all, a remarkable feat....a talent also found in Thoreau. The famed passage on The Galapagos was indeed interesting. But the most scientifically intriguing passages, I found, had to do with barrier reefs and atolls and how they come to be...I almost said "evolve"....But perhaps that would be premature for this book. In any event, I've never read a scientific account so riveting and fascinating as Darwin's on this subject given herein.

But, as I say, I learned quite a bit about Darwin as a young man, ready for adventure, risks, and brimming with curiosity. He is almost as much a poet as scientist in some passages, quoting Shelley at one point, and he fortifies his narrative with a poignancy absent in most scientific accounts. This stylistic flavour is evident in many passages, but I'll just proffer one from the end of the narrative:

"In my walk I stopped again and again to gaze upon these beauties, and endevoured to fix in my mind and for ever, an impression which at the time I knew sooner or later must fail. The form of the orange-tree, the cocoa-nut, the palm, the mango, the tree-fern, the banana, will remain clear and separate; but the thousand beauties which unite these into one perfect scene must fade away: yet they will leave, like a tale heard in childhood, a picture full of indistinct, but most beautiful figures." (P.444, in my edition)

Whether as poetic or scientific, this work is virtuosic and unsurpassed in its seamless melding of the two. I'll leave the reader to decide which s/he enjoys the most.
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on January 9, 2017
This wonderful book is produced with beautiful and appropriate illustrations to accompany Darwin's text. The cover is sumptuous and the book is very large and heavy. It arrived in England amazingly quickly from its American seller. Nothing like this would appear to be available from an English seller so I am amazed at how well the the Amazon market place works
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on July 14, 2012
I was glad to find that the Kindle version contained both illustrations and footnotes, just as the bound book does. The tale, itself, makes one want to hie to a travel agency and book passage following the exact route of the Beagle. Darwin's ability to draw you into his fascination with the natural world is astounding, detailed, marvelous. It's beautiful.
While I'll always prefer bound books, I have come to love the Kindle versions of books. If nothing else, it's a somewhat less expensive way of finding out whether or not you want to pay full price for the bound book.
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on August 10, 2014
Although this journal is nearly 200 years old, it continues to be one of the most important pieces of world literature. I was particularly interested in Darwin's exploration of the Andes Mountains. He takes us with him as he observes the fossil deposits on the mountain pass between Chile and Argentina. He speculates about how former seas were uplifted thousands of feet above sea level.

In our era in which various groups debunk Darwin and much of modern science, it is marvelous to see how in the 1830s humble Darwin stretched his knowledge and imagination to understand the dramatic history of our planet.
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on May 16, 2007
Much as is the case with the Penguin edition of Darwin's "On the Origin of Species," this relatively inexpensive edition is packed with helpful features that add to the reader's understanding of what Darwin was about on his prolonged scientific voyage. First among these features is an excellent introduction by Janet Browne and Michael Neve, both of that wonderful Wellcome Institute in London. Dr. Browne is the author of what many consider to be the finest biography of Darwin ever written; Dr. Neve also has contributed to the Darwin literature. Although 26 pages in length, a bit shorter than that in the "Origin" edition by J.W. Burrow, this introduction nicely puts the "Journal of Researches" into context, while pointing out several areas that are of special interest to the reader. While the text is abridged about 1/3 in length, a Note carefully explains how and why the deletions were made. For example, nothing relating to the Galapagos has been cut. The editors have added a brief guide to the individuals and books mentioned in the text which is quite helpful. Also added as appendices are the Admiralty Instructions for the Beagle voyage and an essay by Captain Robert FitzRoy on "Remarks with reference to the Deluge," reflecting his reversion to traditional Christian thinking during the voyage. Several very helpful maps and a chronology are also included, which come in quite handy. Obviously, it is of immeasurable value to read the "Journal of Researches" in conjunction wit the "Origin." One comes away truly amazed at the dedication and professionalism of Darwin (who was only 22 when he commenced his five year excursion) as he collects his speciments and charts various geological dimensions. So, this book is to my way of thinking indispensable for getting a grasp on Darwin, and this skillfully edited edition makes the experience a most pleasing one.
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on October 29, 2016
This is a classic and worth the effort...didn't realize that Darwin was South America's first geologist...fascinating narrative for an historic work.
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on June 24, 2017
I am puzzled by the fact that it says it's annotated when it is not. It,nevertheless, is a good reading copy.
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