"Too irritating to finish"
Have you ever had a meeting with a salesman who is on a day out with his manager and every few minutes the manager chips in with corrections and comments? After about 30 minutes you're ready to throw them both out of your office. That's what its like listening to this book. Dawkins' wife reads the original text which is interpolated by Dawkins himself with commentary and end notes.
The interruptions to the narrative are infuriating and I found myself grinding my teeth in anticipation of the next one. It doesn't help that Dawkins himself comes over as smug, superior and self-important.
I already shared Dawkins point of view before I started the book but found myself wishing that I didn't.
If you are going to add so much to your original work then you should re-write it.
One that may be better read than listened to.
"A real eye opener"
I will listen to this book over and over again because of the immense detail.
Clear and easy to understand their voices.
Very well written and read, additional notes are read at the end chapter to make the book flow nicely.
"Spoiled by argumentative author's pedantry"
too much self justifying response to decades old arguments by the author- and do we really need a lecture in the pronunciation of 'algae', I think not..
"An engaging portrait of our fundamentals!"
This updated edition of The Selfish Gene showcases much of what people love and hate about Richard Dawkins' preferences when presenting his theses. An unquestionably solid empirical approach to explaining his theory of the form, function and dissemination of genes tainted in part by a somewhat arrogant demand that you either accept his conclusions or admit that you are at best being obtuse, or at worst, a religious zealot.
Interesting examples are presented to assist the listener understand how genes move down through the generations, perhaps the most interesting are those that detail why certain genes proliferate and others fall away as they engage in a possibly hopeless mission to achieve a stable evolutionary strategy.
Undoubtedly the best explanation of gene theory I've encountered thus far.
The narration performance by Dawkins and Ward is quite good and logically implemented.
I have bought other Dawkins audiobooks, this is probably the most satisfying.
"Each to his own format...."
I think this is a tremendously important book, and everyone should own it. But I'm just not sure that it is suited to the audiobook format. Some of the concepts can be quite complicated and I prefer to have a book in my hand when I feel the need to re-read something a couple of times... You are perfectly entitled to disagree and if you think you can digest a reasonably complex layman's book on science via audio then go for it.
However, I'm also not a fan of Lalla Ward's contributions. I find her more of a hindrance to understanding than a help (especially in 'The God Delusion' where a second voice was meant to clarify the narrative).
My advice to people is to actually buy the book physically, or as an eBook... sorry audible ;p
Great narration from both Dawkins and Ward. The back and forth between the both keeps the text alive and digestible.
Very good for hobbyist biologists
"I thought I had a good grasp of evolution... Superb!"
I thought I had a fair grasp of evolution until this book. Dawkins explains just how deep it can go when you are investigating evolution, and he does it using excellent examples that make it simple to understand.
Very well written, & maintains your interest throughout. Highly recommend.
The audiobook format lends itself perfectly to this seminal work of Richard's as it provides the opportunity to add additional detail and commentary by the author, particularly in parts where the science has moved on or Dawkins has new views or insight to share since the original publication. Peppered with Dawkins' trademark dry humour and wit and told in a way that makes it accessible by us mere mortals it is a book that is truly eye-opening.
Your immortal replicators are telling you to purchase and listen to this book now.
"Requires Concentration....but in a good way"
The most offputting thing about this book was the narration. I like listening to Dawkins but the sequiturs with Lalla Ward were difficult to follow and perhaps detracted from the book.
I can understand the reason for the way it was done as the original book was written many years ago. However, I felt it could have been done better.
This required a lot of listening to and re-listening to if I switched off a little. Huge amounts of information but greatly informative
Lacks the fluidity of someone like Chrstopher Hitchens in the writing but great analogies used for the simpletons like myself.
I daresay that I shall re-listen to this at some point as I feel I could have missed quite a lot
Worth the credit
"Not what I expected. Berates social darwinists."
For the main part this was an enjoyable and informing listen. Dawkins was not as arrogant nor amoral as I expected. In fact quite the opposite (in the main). He holds a warm humanitarian outlook that is really not supported by his science and so could well be described as a faith. He is also highly critical of social darwinists who do not seem to understand his book properly - probably because they have never read past the title.
One glib comment did annoy me and that was the suggestion that nobody thinks about the meaning of the whole cosmos when making daily decisions. I think he is wrong, I think many of us reach ultimate questions when daily events become to tiring or painful and we really do ask what is all this about? Some of us can then put this question to the back of our minds in order to continue to function with it popping up periodically to annoy, entertain and awe us. Others cannot put this question to the back of their minds for any consistent period of time and therefore cease to function 'normally'. But to pass this point over so glibly is a great mistake.
For me knowing that my genes are getting me up and putting me through what seems like a repressive, slightly painful and pointlessly repetitive routine is comforting, hopefully they know wtf is going on because my conscious mind certainly doesn't. Although I think social conditioning actually has a lot to do with it too - so that would be my unconscious mind which is probably gene and meme driven. So maybes the memes know what's going on?
Ultimately this book will inform you about the evolutionary theory of genes, something we are still only really beginning to understand. Even if we do get to understand the machine to disregard the purpose of the machine as if it were a less important question seems a little cowardly. Really it is the only really meaningful question.
In addition to glibly pass over the statistical problem with evolution is also dishonest. There is a serious issue with evolution from a statistical viewpoint when compared with the usual levels of certainty applied to scientific theory and there are growing numbers of highly qualified scientists who voice concern - not that you'll hear most of it unless you really hunt it down.