The Spark of Life: Darwin and the Primeval Soup

by Christopher Wills and Jeffrey Bada
Cambridge, MA: Basic Books, 2001. 320 pages.

"Life as we know it is assertive, demanding, and unstoppable," Wills and Bada write in The Spark of Life. But how did it get started? The authors defend the "primeval soup" model against its competitors, extending it with suggestions of their own. The reviewer for Nature writes, "They entertain by not only giving a lively description of the 'spark of life', but also by conveying the sparkle of its investigators and the nature of the scientific process. These two professors have written a book that reads like a novel, and one would be happy to have them educate one's children."