This mind-bending piece of puzzle fiction poses as the biography of Thomas Darwin, the supposed son of renowned scientist Charles Darwin. Harry Karlinsky fills the book with convincing details, footnotes, diagrams, even references to primary documents - and yet discerning listeners will note that the book is labeled as fiction.
Tom Parks’ authoritative tone sells Karlinsky’s mystery with aplomb while still conveying the absurdity and humor of some of Thomas Darwin’s more ridiculous theories concerning the evolution of inanimate objects.
Longlisted for the Welcome Trust Book Prize 2012
While carrying out historical research at an Ontario asylum, psychiatrist Harry Karlinsky comes across a familiar surname in the register. Could the "Thomas Darwin of Down, England" be a relative of the famous Charles Darwin?In a narrative woven from letters, photographs, historical documents, and illustrations, what emerges is a sketch of Thomas’s life - the last of 11 children born to Charles Darwin. It tells of his obsession with extending his father’s studies into the realm of inanimate objects - kitchen utensils, to be precise. Can the theory of evolution be aplied to knives, forks and spoons?
In this stunning factitious biography, Karlinsky presents us with the tragically short life of Thomas Darwin, leaving the reader to decide how much is fact and how much is fiction.