Adam Roberts

The QI-ification of Knowledge


Recently I read Frank Swain’s popular science book How to Make a Zombie (2013). It’s pretty good, and a fine example of its type. However, Swain’s book does not tell its readers how to make a zombie. There’s an obvious reason for this, and excellent grounds for not admitting it up front – the two words ‘you can’t’ won’t fill 250 pages, no matter how large the type used. So instead, Swain takes us on a Cook’s Tour of the myriad aspects of his topic, sprinkling interesting facts all around him. He knows a lot about biochemistry, physics, biology and psychology, and he lays these subjects before the reader with a lively style and without ever using an equation or an indigestible piece of nomenclature.

Sign Up to our newsletter

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

Follow Literary Review on Twitter