Michael Pollan has done extensive research and delivered it in an absorbing manner, of course with Scott Brick's help. He weaves history, philosophy and morality into the story of four plants. Fodder for many dinner conversations. You won't be disappointed!
I love a book that makes you think about things in a new way, from a different perspective. This book is about so much more than the history of our relationship with four plants. It is really about our relationship with Nature, our drive to conquer, when we should perhaps be taking a more respectful, sustainable stance. Fascinating.
Grand parent. Organic gardener. Love biking, swimming, camping, fishing, canoeing, dancing, traveling, & of course reading. Artist. Improv actor. Student.
Though I am often most enthusiast about the latest reads, I read this book last summer while I was gardening/landscaping... twice. So, it is right up there on the top of the heap. Thanks Michael Pollen.
The format. Each section is a book in itself: Tulips, potatoes, apple trees... it is all so very interesting. The way human-kind has affected how what plants grow where - it literally pertains to you/me personally and gives you pause (and concern) about the future of our planet and food of today/tomorrow.
Though a long read. Scott Brick manages to keep up the pace and deliver a great performance.
Michael Pollan gives us 'food for thought' about genetically modified foods, a humorous account on America's history with marijuana, and a valuable lesson from tulips.
Michael Pollen has managed to write an interesting and entertaining historical account of the plants/foods we all take for granted. Must read. Even if you think you are not a botanist at heart... you will be with this book.
If you're a history, sociology or anthropology nerd, this book is a fun, light listen, in the vein of the $64 Dollar Tomato. I think the first section, on the evolution of the modern apple, is the most fascinating of the book.
I'm a big fan of Scott Brick's narration - he's easily one of my favorite male narrators.
Intriguing, enjoyable and wonderful
Looking at the extraordinarily beautiful maladaptive strategy of the tulip that eventually dies of the bacterium from the perspective of the selective strategy of the bacterium. We are so sure that the world is all about us and our
I didn't have a favorite and wondered if the tone of his narrative was similar to the personality of author. Somewhat wry in humour but perhaps a bit smartypants.
The potato farmer looking at this fields of depleted soil and the number of chemicals he must use on them for the only marketable crop and how he felt about manipulating the potato gene and making a living. He won't even eat what he grows! Is he really just a dependent pawn in the big system?
I enjoyed the cross disciplinary nature of the book, which is part botany, part history, part cultural linguistics and part geography. Its terrific and demonstrates and breadth and depth of learning that is brilliantly explained in terms that anyone can absorb.
The premise is provocative, the research thorough, the anecdotes fascinating. Listening to this book is like having a conversation with an old friend who's smarter and more interesting than onesself.
It is interesting to step away from our human centric view for a bit, and put ourselves into the perspective of the other life forms that we encounter all the time. It is a bit deflating to think we are doing the bidding of plants, but there are some very valid points here.
This viewpoint is put forth with enough humor and personal insight to take a somewhat dry topic and turn it into a engauging narrative.
It is difficult to say I enjoyed this book when I could barely stomach the awful narration by Scott Brick. I think having him narrate this (as well as all the other Michael Pollan books) is a huge disservice to MP fans. I think having my eyes poked out would be preferable to listening to another book by this reader, even if it were my most favourite book ever.
The sing-songy and overly dramatic (in random places that have nothing to do with the storyline) reading completely take away any pleasure to be gained from Michael Pollan's clear, insightful writing. I actually had to abandon the book after the second section because I just couldn't take it any longer. I feel cheated - of my time, of my money, and of what could have been a wonderful listening experience. Audible.com should have a free short listening sample from each book so you can make sure the narrator is not going to ruin it for you before you spend your money on the whole book!
If you can tolerate his nasal, whiny narration, go for it - the material is fantastic, and everything one would expect from Michael Pollan.
I should have read the other reviews before buying this book. The introduction was interesting and I looked forward to the science behind the themes it presented. It was not to be. Way too many musings about the character of Johnny Appleseed for a book I thought would be more about evolution and genetics. Perhaps if I was expecting something different, I would not be as disappointed. I gave up after the Apple chapter.
Interesting and educatonal, but.....
Maybe it is well written, and maybe not - the over-dramatic narration gets in the way and is so distracting that it was hard to tell. Every sentence sounds either like a headline or like a parent trying to entice a reluctant toddler to appreciate something suspect. It was so continuously irritating that I will avoid this reader in the future (so it looks like I'll be looking for print versions of any other Michael Pollan I'm curious about).
Although it's a stretch to say that the themes of "which species is in charge" and "desire" really provided organization or depth for the four separate narratives of this book, they are intriguing ideas and the stories of these plants are worth reading.