‘Form is both plastic and robust’ (Diogo 2017, p. 165) Although most students of morphology and evolution would agree with the statement above, it represents a fundamental conundrum. As currently understood, explaining it requires a suite of concepts that is part of an expanded (or new) version of the neo-Darwinian synthesis of evolutionary biology (Laland et al. 2014; Wray et al. 2014). The phenotype has been typically seen by evolutionary biologists of the classical neo-Darwinian kind as genetically determined and invariant. It has now become accepted that the phenotype results within a reaction norm determined by a dynamical and reciprocal interaction between development and inheritance. This speaks against the notion of a ‘genetic programme’ that determines the phenotype, including form. The notion of nongenetic inheritance is not a case of hopeless ‘lamarckism’ but a reality. These ideas are at the core of Diogo’s book. We live in times of increasing specialization and that means that elaborations and critical synthesis of the subject above are rare. Rui Diogo has published a book that goes against the current in being truly large in scope but also single-authored. The goal the author has set out to achieve is remarkable. The subtitle reads ‘a unifying view of life, function, form mismatches, and trends’. The titles of the chapters already show that the author is not shy about what he sets to accomplish.