Book Club Discussion – The Botany Of Desire

I’ve read quite of Michael Pollan’s books. I loved Food Rules, and In Defense Of Food, and The Omnivore’s Dilemma. I did not love The Botany Of Desire. The book is broken into four sections, on apples, tulips, marijuana, and potatoes. By the time I finished the first section, apples, I never wanted to eat another apple again. While much of the information provided in the chapter is very interesting, Pollan’s writing style really gets in the way.

I didn’t have a problem with his writing style in any of his other books. For some reason, this book is written in a particularly flowery prose which spends much of it’s time winding around the point instead of making it.

For the most part, the content is interesting. I especially enjoyed the section on tulips (in part, because I’m living right in the middle of where tulipmania occurred) and the section on marijuana (for the obvious reason). I felt the apple section dragged on and on about Johnny Appleseed. The potato section was more in line with Pollan’s previous work, discussing the impact of agribusiness on the plant.

Overall, the topics the books covers are interesting but the prose makes the content difficult to access.

Check out GDNAL’s review.

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