Genes, Girls and Gamow by J D Watson - review by Brenda Maddox

Brenda Maddox

I Ate All the Chocolates

Genes, Girls and Gamow


Oxford University Press 275pp £18.99 order from our bookshop

James Watson, co-discoverer of the secret of life, tries hard before selecting a final title for his books. The story of his and Francis Crick’s race for the double helix of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid, if you must) was variously titled ‘Honest Jim’ and ‘Base Pairs’ before Watson settled on The Double Helix, published in 1968 and now recognised as one of the past century’s classic texts.

This sequel has passed through various stages on its way to publication. ‘Butterflies and Jitters’ gave way to ‘A Good Fortune’, only to end up with the present alliterative tag, which pays tribute to one of Watson’s scientific heroes, the Russian-born theoretical physicist, George Gamow.

‘I Ate All the Chocolates’ would

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

A Mirror - Westend

Follow Literary Review on Twitter