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Bill Gates lauds little-known Indian author

Mumbai--He reportedly joked that “no one reads his books”. Little-known Indian author Vaclav Smil's work may become a great deal more popular in the near future, however, after Microsoft boss Bill Gates gave him a glowing review on his personal blog.

Gates, who is known to be a literature fan and often publishes book reviews, wrote that he is trying to work his way through all of the books written by the Samil, who is a prolific, but not necessarily best-selling, author.

Gates, in his blog, wrote about Samil, “There is no author whose books I look forward to more than Vaclav Smil. He jokes that no one reads his books (he's written more than 30 of them). It's true that each book only sells a few thousand copies. But I'm trying to read everything he writes.

“Why? (Because) he understands a phenomenal range of subjects, from energy to agriculture.

“On any page he might talk about meat-eating among bonobos or the average human life-span during the Roman Empire. Plus he is rigorously numeric, using data to illuminate every topic he writes about. The word 'polymath' was invented to describe people like him.”

The plug may well prove a welcome boost to Samil's writing career and the obscure author should be rubbing his hands with glee.

To this, literary agent Jonny Geller of Curtis Brown said, “When John Le Carre quoted from a book by Tim Butcher, it really did help.”

Gates claimed readers would “learn a great deal” from Samil's book entitled “Harvesting the Biosphere: What we have taken from nature.”

Describing the book without giving it quite the rave review, he said, “Samil gives as clear and as numeric a picture as is possible of how humans have altered the biosphere. The book is a bit dry and I had to look up a number of terms that were unfamiliar to me, but it tells a critical story.”

July 29, 2013    rondh69@
I know Dr. Vaclav Smil, and yes, he is a very intelligent man and prolific writer on a wide variety of subjects, but he is a professor in the Geography Department at the University of Manitoba, at Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada and his ethnic background is Czech.
July 29, 2013    skypotato@
You should do your research better - he is Canadian.
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