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1 Beaverton Mystery- A to Z

The Darwin Conspiracy


The Darwin Conspiracy Cover



Reading Group Guide

“An entertaining, fast-paced read.” —Los Angeles Times

The introduction, discussion questions, author interview, suggestions for further reading, and biography that follow are meant to enhance your groups discussion of John Darntons The Darwin Conspiracy, a novel that weaves a meticulously researched reconstruction of Charles Darwins life and work with some artful speculation about their lingering enigmas into a Hitchcockian historical and psychological thriller.

Product Details

Darnton, John
Anchor Books
Historical - General
General Fiction
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
7.54x5.80x.70 in. .53 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Popular Fiction » Contemporary Thrillers

The Darwin Conspiracy Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
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Product details 320 pages Anchor Books - English 9781400034833 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Darwin's theories have been under attack since he first published The Origin of Species in 1859, but this grandly ambitious novel goes a few steps further to intimate that he was a fraud — and a murderer. Told by turns from three perspectives, the story opens in the present on a volcanic outcrop off the coast of Ecuador where Hugh Kellem, a British field researcher, while tracing Darwin's research path, meets Beth Dulcimer, a beautiful scientist rumored to be distantly related to Darwin. A quick shift shows an ambitious young Darwin about to embark on the Beagle. A little further on, Darwin's youngest daughter, Lizzie, enters via her journal entries, written in the 1870s, decades after Darwin's famous five-year voyage. As the three perspectives unfold, Hugh and Beth find themselves trying to solve the same mystery that intrigued Lizzie 130 years earlier: what happened on the 'nuit de feu,' the night that transformed the confident, robust Darwin into a haunted near-invalid for his remaining years? Stilted dialogue, perfunctory romance and expendable subplots make for a rough voyage, but Darnton (Neanderthal) puts real passion into his historical imaginings and recreations: the revelation of the 'true' origin of the theory of evolution is particularly inspired and more than enough to sustain another Darntonian bestseller. Agent, Kathy Robbins. 100,000 first printing. (Sept. 20)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "An entertaining, fast-paced read."
"Review" by , "Darnton has playfully created and solved several mysteries revolving around events during Charles Darwin's early voyage on the Beagle."
"Review" by , "An elaborate scientific thriller, rich with detail and the pacing of a good murder mystery."
"Review" by , "A fast-paced, intriguing and exciting story."
"Review" by , "Going back and forth in time and written with careful elegance...this work...dares you to put it down at every chapter's end. Recommended..."
"Review" by , "[T]he final sections are just plain silly....Reduces one of history's most important scientific discoveries to a mediocre whodunit."
"Review" by , "If there is a set of requirements for the idea-driven popular novel that serves up fast-paced history and questions of consequence, The Darwin Conspiracy has them all..."
"Review" by , "The pages of The Darwin Conspiracy turn quickly and the ending is a neat surprise...But as it is, however, the book is not burdened with too much substance."
"Review" by , "An elaborately plotted but unconvincing historical thriller in which two young researchers comb musty archives and crumbling manor houses for hidden documents that will reveal a secret side to Darwin's personality."
"Review" by , "A wonderfully entertaining creation that stands as a convincing mixture of truth and speculation....engaging speculative fiction about the convergence and deviations of science, faith and the truth they make up."
"Synopsis" by , Fact and fiction become intertwined in this novel that explores the mysteries attached to the life and work of Charles Darwin. The narrative unfolds through Darwin's view, that of his youngest daughter, Lizzie, and two scholars.
"Synopsis" by , From the author of the bestselling Neanderthal comes this novel of gripping suspense and scientific conquest-a page-turning historical mystery that brilliantly explores the intrigue behind Darwin and his theory of evolution.Its 1831, and aboard HMS Beagle the young Charles Darwin sets off down the English Channel for South America. More than 150 years later, two ambitious scholars pursuing their obsession with Darwin (and with each other) come across the diaries and letters of Darwins daughter. What they discover is a maze of violent rivalries, petty deceptions, and jealously guarded secrets, and the extraordinary story of an expedition embarked upon by two men. Only one returned-and changed history forever.
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