I had tried to read The Colour of Magic several times in paperback and hadn't been able to get through it. But with Steven Briggs' excellent narration, I finally got through and LOVED it! I am a huge Pratchett fan, he is currently my favorite author, and I am glad that I've been able to get through the first Discworld book. While it's still not as good as Guards! Guards! it is still a very fine effort and a wonderful introduction to the best fantasy world ever.
Overall, I enjoyed the book. It's certainly provocative and it absolutely will tweak the noses of more New Left liberals. However, I do have a serious quibble with the author's caricature of evolutionary psychology. I am not saying evo psych is *necessarily* correct but the author's characterization of the subject itself sounded as if he had not actually read Dawkins or Pinker or anyone else in the field you might care to mention and was going solely off of what others have said about their impressions of Dawkins.
For instance he repeats the oft-stated idea that 'The Selfish Gene' is about selfishness and how our genes 'program' us for selfishness. Actually, 'The Selfish Gene' is about *altruism* and under what kinds of circumstances we would expect natural selection to select for altruistic behavior. Selfishness actually doesn't require a great deal of explanation from an evolutionary stand-point, altruism does.
It doesn't ruin the book but every I heard him going on about evo psych, I was pulled away from his argument because he gets it *so* wrong.
If you are unfamiliar with evo psych then you won't have this problem, although I would suggest you ignore him regarding that subject. The rest of what he has to say is very thought-provoking and certainly gives American Liberals something to think about.
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