Review – The Human Age

Posted 26 September, 2014 by in Reviews / 0 Comments

Cover of The Human Age by Diane AckermanThe Human Age, Diane Ackerman

I got a proof copy of this from Bookbridgr, so I’m not sure how many of the issues are going to be dealt with before the completed book is rolled out. There were still a lot of errors at this stage — a bit where some words were struck out, problems with punctuation, etc. I think the purple prose will be there to stay, though; the writing isn’t terrible, but it’s rather overloaded, and I’m not keen on Ackerman’s flights of imagination. It’s one thing to imagine the trace we’re leaving on the earth for future archaeologists, it’s another to imagine those future archaeologists. That’s science fiction, which I don’t have any argument with, but I don’t tend to like it when that crosses over into my supposed non-fiction.

Ackerman picked an interesting topic, though, and aside from the blizzard of adjectives, this book is an easy read. It’s not a pessimistic humans-are-destroying-the-world sort of book; at one point she mentions the idea of (some) industrial landscapes being beautiful, which is apparently a growing tourist thing in some parts of the world.

Her chapters are short, though her sentences are long, and all in all it’s a quick one. I’m not impressed by her writing style, but I would like to read more on the same topic with a similar outlook.

Rating: 2/5

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