** GUARDIAN SCIENCE BOOK OF THE YEAR 2017 **
‘Popular science at its best’
Mail on Sunday
‘Eminently accessible and enjoyable’
With every breath, you literally inhale the history of the world. On the ides of March, 44 BC, Julius Caesar died of stab wounds in the Roman Senate, but the story of his last breath is still unfolding. In fact, you're probably inhaling some of it now. Of the sextillions of molecules entering or leaving your lungs at this moment, some might also bear traces of Cleopatra's perfumes, German mustard gas, particles exhaled by dinosaurs or emitted by atomic bombs, even remnants of stardust from the universe's creation.
In Caesar’s Last Breath, New York Times bestselling author Sam Kean takes us on a journey through the periodic table, around the globe and across time to tell the epic story of the air we breathe.
Absorbing, entertaining... provocative but compelling... eminently accessible and enjoyable. A real gas - in short!
Funny, clever and altogether effervescent... Kean writes superbly about science itself... A joy for any reader
There is no denying the pleasure and indeed the wealth of scientific information to be obtained from reading Caesar’s Last Breath. It will change forever the way I think about breathing.
Kean is the teacher you wish you'd had: genial, companionable and infectiously enthusiastic. This is an entertaining and accessible guide to the mysterious vapour of gases. Popular science at its best.
It’s a helluva read. And it’s a gas.