Summary of Herding Hemingway's Cats

Understanding How Our Genes Work

Bloomsbury USA, more...

Buy the book

Herding Hemingway's Cats book summary
This irreverent primer teaches the revolutionary concepts and myths of genetics.


8 Overall

8 Importance

8 Innovation

7 Style


From cats with extra toes to “zombie genes,” science writer and broadcaster Kat Arney delves irreverently into the world of genetics. In short, entertaining chapters, she introduces the leading scientists and deepest questions in this complex field. She never stints on the science, yet the text remains breezy and accessible. Arney highlights amazing discoveries in genetics and details how complex organisms arise from simple strings of “DNA letters.” It’s a rapid-fire, rewarding and, given the subject, sometimes complex read. getAbstract recommends Arney’s iconoclastic account to anyone seeking grounding in one of the most striking, fast-developing areas of science.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How the “chemical letters” of DNA encode the instructions for creating organisms,
  • How the mechanisms of genetic switching work, and
  • How your genetic background and random effects influence “gene expression” and make you unique.


The Old Man and the Cats with Six Toes
Famed author Ernest Hemingway was fond of polydactyl (six-toed) felines, and introduced them onto his estate in Key West, Florida. Their mutation springs from a fault in a deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) “control switch,” and not from an error in the ...
Get the key points from this book in less than 10 minutes. Learn more about our products or log in

About the Author

Science communicator, writer and musician Kat Arney holds a PhD in developmental biology.

Comment on this summary

More on this topic

Customers who read this summary also read

More by category