Had another author told me his publisher was sending me a copy of a book on Escherichia coli, I would have been perhaps quietly unenthusiastic. But best selling science writer Carl Zimmer is a master story teller and superb researcher. He's also renowned for effortlessly slipping a giant payload of scientific knowledge into the reader, sweetened with human drama, one so comprehensive a student struggling with a dry textbook would have had to hammer into their head over the course of an entire semester. Carl didn't disappoint: within a few short pages he had me completely, delightfully hooked. Not until I sat down to write this review did it really hit me just how packed this book is with science, each chapter written so well it can stand alone as a specific object lesson, and each lesson coming together in the book with biology, historical characters, and eureka moments in a scrumptious blend of mind candy.