Book Review – Brief Candle in the Dark

by Richard Dawkins (Bantam Press) ISBN 9780593072561

This autobiography focuses on Dawkins’ 35 years as an academic. The subtitle is “My life in science”, which brushes on Dawkin’s childhood in Zimbabwe and moves swiftly along to Oxford and Berkley Universities.

While there are some interesting anecdotes about famous and learned people he has met along his professional journey, such as Francis Crick, Richard Attenborough, Richard Leakey, amongst others, there are also some in depth discussions of the zoological studies of wasps, as well as Dawkins’ experimentation with the computer programme that works out the evolution of insects.

Dawkins also enjoys discussing some of the debates and the questions and answer sessions afterwards, especially with religious leaders and fanatics. It is a more measured, tactful book than his other publications as this is a commemoration of his seventieth birthday.

This is the first book I have read by the author although I do know of him and his views. After finishing this book, I still do not believe in ‘The God Delusion’ although I continue to believe in evolution, so he has not managed to convert everyone to his way of thinking.

Amanda Blankfield-Koseff

Posted on: 30th January 2016