Author: Svante Pääbo
Rating: 3 Stars
Review By: Shana
Reader beware, this was not the book I expected when I picked it up. On the one hand, if you are in search of a fairly approachable, detailed explanation of the long and winding path (and the scientific and technical intricacies involved) that led to the sequencing of the Neanderthal genome, this is the book for you. However, if (like I was) you are in search of a discussion of Neanderthals, their characteristics, and what their genome can tell us about both them and ourselves (homo sapiens), then this book will likely not deliver.
The book is 70% technical recounting of the processes that allowed the genome to be sequenced, 15% general memoir, and 15% discussion of what we learned from the genome. It is well-written, but not a page-turner and disappointing because of my own misguided expectations. What it sought to do, it did well; but the title seemed to promise more Neanderthal information than it delivered.