Woolly by Ben Mezrich
The True Story of the Quest to Revive One of History’s Most Iconic Extinct Creatures

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There’s a lot of science here, but on the whole, Mezrich does a good job of making it accessible. An enthralling story only occasionally inhibited by languorous prose.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

Science fiction becomes reality in this Jurassic Park-like story of the genetic resurrection of an extinct species—the woolly mammoth—by the bestselling author of The Accidental Billionaires and The 37th Parallel.

“With his knack for turning narrative nonfiction into stories worthy of the best thriller fiction” (Omnivoracious), Ben Mezrich takes us on an exhilarating true adventure story from the icy terrain of Siberia to the cutting-edge genetic labs of Harvard University. A group of young scientists, under the guidance of Dr. George Church, the most brilliant geneticist of our time, works to make fantasy reality by sequencing the DNA of a frozen woolly mammoth harvested from above the Arctic circle, and splicing elements of that sequence into the DNA of a modern elephant. Will they be able to turn the hybrid cells into a functional embryo and bring the extinct creatures to life in our modern world?

Along with Church and his team of Harvard scientists, a world-famous conservationist and a genius Russian scientist plan to turn a tract of the Siberian tundra into Pleistocene Park, populating the permafrost with ancient herbivores as a hedge against an environmental ticking time bomb. More than a story of genetics, this is a thriller illuminating the race against global warming, the incredible power of modern technology, the brave fossil hunters who battle polar bears and extreme weather conditions, and the ethical quandary of cloning extinct animals. Can we right the wrongs of our ancestors who hunted the woolly mammoth to extinction—and at what cost?
 

About Ben Mezrich

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Ben Mezrich graduated magna cum laude from Harvard in 1991. Since then he has published twelve books, including the New York Times bestsellers The Accidental Billionaires, which was adapted into the Academy Award-winning film The Social Network, and Bringing Down the House, which has sold more than 1.5 million copies in twelve languages and became the basis for the Kevin Spacey movie 21. Mezrich has also published the national bestsellers Sex on the Moon, Ugly Americans, Rigged, and Busting Vegas. He lives in Boston.
 
Published July 4, 2017 by Atria Books. 305 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Woolly
All: 2 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Above average
on May 08 2017

There’s a lot of science here, but on the whole, Mezrich does a good job of making it accessible. An enthralling story only occasionally inhibited by languorous prose.

Read Full Review of Woolly: The True Story of the... | See more reviews from Kirkus

NPR

Above average
Reviewed by Jason Heller on Jul 05 2017

...frequently reconstructs dialogue between the plot's players, which at times feels overly contrived and distracting. Thankfully it's not enough to inhibit the intimate look into the lives of the men and women who are humbly — and at time not so humbly — hoping to put the power of creation at their fingertips.

Read Full Review of Woolly: The True Story of the... | See more reviews from NPR

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82%

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