Book Review: Bring Back the King: The New Science of De-extinction by Helen Pilcher


Bringing Back the King by Helen Pilcher – Available Here

A well-meaning book with and overbearing authorial voice. It reads like a series of separate essays that have been piled together and called a book. Constant callbacks met with (see Chapter ~) seems to have this point to an almost single dimension. There is also an entire chapter dedicated the author’s obsession with Elvis as a self-indulgent way of explaining genetics and the problems it’s so rife with try-hard one liners and a myriad of other attempts at comedy that I was left beginning for the chapter to be over, or for her to rewrite it with something a little less obviously absurdist.

Additionally, the entire chapter Pilcher offers on bringing back Neanderthals is so filled with pathos that I could hardly keep from screaming at book itself.

That is not to say that there isn’t a perfect respect for the topic she is discussing, there is, you can tell through everything that she cares about the topic and hand and the careful considerations that must be made in resurrecting the extinct but with so many bad jokes and an abrasive authorial voice. I can’t honestly say I would recommend this book to anyone but the most reluctant science readers.

“A de-extinct animal will never be the same as the original. These will be twenty-first-century creations, not finely sculpted products of millions of years of evolution. Just like all of the Elvis impersonators in the world, they will be proxies, not replicas.” — Helen Pilcher, Bring Back the King: The New Science of De-extinction


About Tietsu

Someday the words that fill my brain will fill cheap paperback books. Until then, I will collect them here.
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