Friday, March 14, 2008

Book Review: How to Fossilise Your Hamster by Mick O'Hare

Although this may sound like a handbook for scientific young men of limited social skills, "How to Fossilise Your Hamster" is in fact one of those books that is full of unusual facts that are put together to amaze and disgust the reader.

Although this book follows the typical formula of this stocking-filler genre, it is in fact a rather good example of this type of book, following the theme of unusual and tangible scientific facts. Many of the scientific explanations related in this book are designed to accompany phenomena that can be initiated and observed in the home, and as such it does a good job of bringing science to non-scientists. Interesting points in this book include why bubbles form in beer as it is poured, why one shouldn't eat Mentos and drink Coke together and, of course, how to fossilise a hamster.

Whilst those who are looking forward to settling down in bed, or in front of a fire with an enthralling story won't wish to choose this book, it is certainly a useful gift for many types of people and an excellent book for those who only want to read short snippets in between doing other things: this would be an excellent choice of book for travellers, with many interesting conversation points within its pages.

I enjoyed reading the scientific strangeness in this book and would recommend it as a good example of this genre. However, those looking for a serious scientific text or a ripping yarn should stay away.

Score: 7/10

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