Synopsis: Set against the backdrop of the nineteenth century, the elegant short fictions gathered here take their impulse from the wold of science. Interweaving historical and fictional characters, they illuminate the secret passions of those driven by a devotion to, and an intimate acquaintance with, the natural world.
Review: The common thread between these stories is the explosion of natural science during the 1700-1800s. Some of the stories take place in the modern era, but have their roots in the past. The characters were complex, twisted, flawed and round. I was impressed with Barrett's ability to draw complete characters in a such short words. I did not enjoy the stories - there were no warm fuzzies or smiles - but the stories lodged in one's mind, the prose, the characters. I consider this a good book, even if it made me sad to read.
Bookmarks: 7 of 10
Awards: National Book Award, 1996
Date Finished: 1-11-2012