Top positive review
Shapes, nature's tapestry, an outstandingly beautifully written book book
Reviewed in the United States on October 12, 2012
I had always considered D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson's book 'On Growth and Form' On Growth and Form the best book of its kind, but Philip Ball's 1st book of his trilogy on nature's tapestry made clear that so much scientific advances have been made since Thompson's book was written. All these advances are clearly expounded in this book, and we profit greatly from a newer and more accurate understanding of mechanisms behind nature's wonderful display of forms. Nonetheless, 'Shapes' is still very much in the tradition of Thompson's book pointing us to the fact that the wonders of nature can be explained by reductive and empirical principles, not needing any magical or supernatural forces.
The book is clear, the topics covered are extensive, the explanations and arguments clear and easy to understand, the evidence incontrovertible, and the illustrations plentiful and to the point. The colour plates are well reproduced, but the black and white photographs are not very sharp. It's a great book to read and to follow up with the other 2 books of the trilogy - 'Flow' and "Branches'.