Skip to Main Content (Press Enter)

Life's Edge

Best Seller
Life's Edge by Carl Zimmer
Paperback $18.00
Mar 08, 2022 | ISBN 9780593182734

Buy from Other Retailers:

See All Formats (3) +
  • Mar 08, 2022 | ISBN 9780593182734

    Buy from Other Retailers:

  • Mar 09, 2021 | ISBN 9780593182710

    Buy from Other Retailers:

  • Mar 09, 2021 | ISBN 9780593182727

    Buy from Other Retailers:

Buy the Audiobook Download:

Listen to a sample from Life’s Edge

Product Details


“Stories that both dazzle and edify… particularly brilliant in telling the story of DNA… Zimmer is an astute, engaging writer—inserting the atmospheric anecdote where applicable, drawing out a scientific story and bringing laboratory experiments to life. This book is not just about life, but about discovery itself. It is about error and hubris, but also about wonder and the reach of science.”
Siddhartha Mukherjee, New York Times Book Review

“[Zimmer] embraces the question of what it means to be alive explicitly and with the enthusiasm of an accomplished and successful storyteller. Zimmer has crafted an eminently readable tale, told through the stories and personal anecdotes of the scientists who have devoted their research to defining the essence of life.”
Issues in Science and Technology

“The pleasures of Life’s Edge derive from its willingness to sit with the ambiguities it introduces, instead of pretending to conclusively transform the senseless into the sensible.”
The Washington Post

“A fascinating and well-written mapping of the edges of biology, which will have broad appeal to nonscientists.”
Library Journal (starred review)

“Diligently tackles the true definition of life… Zimmer invites us to observe, ponder, and celebrate life’s exquisite diversity, nuances, and ultimate unity.”
Booklist (starred review)

“A master science writer explores the definition of life… An ingenious case that the answers to life’s secrets are on the horizon.”
Kirkus Reviews

“From the struggle to define when life begins and ends to the hunt for how life got started, [Life’s Edge] offers an engaging, in-depth look at some of biology’s toughest questions.”
Science News

“Carl Zimmer shows what a great suspense novel science can be. Life’s Edge is a timely exploration in an age when modern Dr. Frankensteins are hard at work, but Carl’s artful, vivid, irresistible writing transcends the moment in these twisting chapters of intellectual revelation. Prepare to be enthralled.”
—Jennifer Doudna, Nobel Laureate, co-author of A Crack in Creation
“Profound, lyrical, and fascinating, Life’s Edge will give you a newfound appreciation for life itself. It is the work of a master science writer at the height of his skills—a welcome gift at a time when life seems more precious than ever.”
—Ed Yong, author of I Contain Multitudes

Previously garnered praise for Carl Zimmer:

“One of the best science writers we have today.”
—Rebecca Skloot, author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
“No one unravels the mysteries of science as brilliantly and compellingly.”
—David Grann, author of Killers of the Flower Moon
“Nobody writes about science better.”
—Neil Shubin, author of Your Inner Fish
“Carl Zimmer makes the complex science of heredity read like a novel.”
—Elizabeth Kolbert, author of The Sixth Extinction

Looking for More Great Reads?
21 Books You’ve Been Meaning to Read
Get the latest updates about Carl Zimmer
And go from well-read to best read with book recs, deals and more in your inbox every week.
And go from well-read to best read with book recs, deals and more in your inbox every week.
By clicking SIGN UP, I acknowledge that I have read and agree to Penguin Random House’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use and understand that Penguin Random House collects certain categories of personal information for the purposes listed in that policy, discloses, sells, or shares certain personal information and retains personal information in accordance with the policy. You can opt-out of the sale or sharing of personal information anytime.
Something awesome is on its way.
Back to Top