Perhaps it is befitting of the biography of a Russian that it be somewhat longer than usual, and slightly involved in the telling, as in this extremely through, if long-drawn, description of the life of Elie Metchnikoff, one of the Microbe Hunters. Most readers will have heard of him only in passing in such sources as the De Kruif since there is no full-length biography presently available. Here no part of his life relevant to his eminence as a scientist is omitted, however minute, and much of peripheral value is included to flesh out the man behind the white coat. The index is biographically rather than biologically based, which limits the practicality of the book for spot reference. But older children destined to become lovers of the Karamazovs and the Zhivago's--as well as interested in the topic--will find this an appropriate start.