The Surgeon of Crowthorne: A Tale of Murder, Madness and the Love of Words by Simon Winchester (Viking, 1998) By focussing on the extensive amateur contributions of Doctor Minor (a bibliophile and former surgeon serving life imprisonment in the Broadmoor lunatic asylum), Simon Winchester captures something of the immense logistical difficulties faced in putting together the first ever true English…
42 Word Review: Last Chance to See – in the Footsteps of Douglas Adams by Mark Carwardine
Last Chance to See: in the Footsteps of Douglas Adams by Mark Carwardine (HarperCollins, 2009) This richly poignant, fabulously Adamsey rare species travelogue rather belies the assumption that Carwardine was a literary passenger on the original Last Chance to See, merely there to undercoat the book with dry facts prior to Adams layering on the funny bits.
42 Word Review: Superintelligence – Paths, Dangers, Strategies by Nick Bostrom
Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies by Nick Bostrom (Oxford University Press, 2014) Machine superintelligence has the potential to make or break our future, the outcome likely depending on our methodology and the precautions we take during its development. Highly speculative yet also highly technical, Bostrom’s work deserves serious consideration, albeit by a limited readership.
42 Word Review: The Doctor – His Lives and Times by James Goss & Steve Tribe
The Doctor: His Lives and Times by James Goss & Steve Tribe (BBC Books, 2013) This photograph-rich primer on Doctor Who comprises one-third a potpourri of reminiscences by cast and crew across fifty years (with crosspollination between classic and news series Who) padded unfortunately with an excruciating, nigh unreadable pastiche of ersatz news articles and faux memoire.