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Publisher's Summary

Lewis Thomas has been compared to a philosopher who uses the language of biology. His fascinating observations on the quirkiness of the world's infinite creations causes the listener to ponder the workings of the cosmos through the most microscopic of life forms.

The medusa, a tiny jellyfish that lives on the ventral surface of a sea slug, becomes a metaphor for eternal issues of life and death as Thomas further extends the exploration of man and his world, which he began in The Lives of a Cell. Among the treasures in this magnificent book are essays on the human genius for making mistakes, on disease and natural death, on cloning, on warts, and on Montaigne, as well as an assessment of medical science and health care. In these essays and others, Thomas once again conveys his observations of the scientific world in his eloquent prose marked by wonder and wit.

©1974 Lewis Thomas (P)1999 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about The Medusa and the Snail

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Interesting and often funny

Despite this book being about 30 years old, it seems that all of the essays are still completely relevant. It was interesting to listen to something written about then-current scientific events that are now commonplace. The author's sense of humour really appealed to me.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

Essays on Biology

Lewis Thomas has brought to us another group of science essays. Well, this is not really a science book so much as a group of musings, observations, and perhaps intuitions about the natural world around us and a scattering of other topics. Each chapter is thought provoking and informative. Fortunately for the listener, Thomas has the broad ranging knowledge and outlook evidenced by my other hero - Oliver Sacks and uses it to advantage. The listener is the winner so far as I am concerned. If the reader relies on a book to generate interest, this volume might disappoint. The reader will become motivated to listen by the content, but must pay attention to do so.

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To the medically interested

This collection I at first had difficulty getting into some years back. Perhaps due to the fact that I was still in the thrall of "The Lives Of a Cell". This Latter is very biology-wise, where The "Medusa And The Snail" is more worldly-wise. Both are of course extremely worth the read, (or the listen in this case), especially to anyone biology or medically minded. Frankly, I expect, they are fun for anyone curious about life. Do not accept any abridgement; there are not any unnecessary words.