Jules Archer Denise M. Wilms - Essay

Denise M. Wilms

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

There's an overenthusiastic tone to this account of naturalist-explorer Roy Chapman Andrews [From Whales to Dinosaurs: The Story of Roy Chapman Andrews] that rings hollow after a while. The dynamic scientist takes on the dimensions of a heroic cardboard figure despite mention of his disregard for cultural values and, later, of the single-mindedness that led to the breakup of his marriage. Yet the nature of Chapman's full-steam-ahead personality and his remarkable museum work show how such a stylistic problem could occur. The outlines of his scientific expeditions into the Gobi Desert do point to his luck-blessed genius and make interesting reading in themselves; his adventures there carry the book more than...

(The entire section is 539 words.)