Drawing from Darwin's secret notebooks and personal letters, David Quammen has sketched a vivid life portrait of the man whose work remains controversial today.
©2006 David Quammen; (P)2006 BBC Audiobooks America
"Grover Gardner is a first-rate reader who seems genuinely to enjoy recounting the foibles of Darwin's life. An excellent general audience title." (Library Journal)
"As the author sifts through Darwin's developing insights and personality quirks...Gardner is perfectly alert to the author's subtle irony and humor....Portraying Darwin respectfully and fully aware of his stature, Quammen never loses sight of the Victorian roots that troubled Darwin all his life." (Audiofile)
"It's easy to hear why PW named Grover Gardner Narrator of the Year in '05. He uses inflection, stress, rhythm and his rich vocal range to create an easy and often amusing conversational style." (Publisher's Weekly)
This is a well-written and entertaining book. It would be a fine introduction to Darwin and the Origin of Species. Grover Gardner is the best reader of non-fiction I have heard.
I picked this one up during one of Audible's $5 sales. I didn't know much about it but, as a science enthusiast and educator, I wanted to know more about Darwin and gave it a try. I finished it with a deeper reverence for Darwin's genius and an understanding of who he was as a human and scholar.
I enjoyed the writer's style and appreciate the amount of research he did to help the reader understand what Darwin's contemporaries believed. It's rather a mystery to us now that Darwin conceived of natural selection and let decades pass without publishing (see Bryson's "Short History of Nearly Everything"). This book explains why Darwin delayed and helped me better understand natural selection and, as I said, Darwin's genius to conceive of it at a time when other "biologists" attributed everything to God's handiwork. Give it a try and I think you'll enjoy!
This book covers some biographical details surrounding his life and his theories, and what they meant socially and culturally at the time. Packed with fun facts and contemplation true to David Quammen's writing.
He is a good reader, unobtrusive, pleasant to listen to.
If you want to understand Darwin the man and how all his work came to be, read this.
A very interesting topic, perfect narrator, but the writing style was jarringly slangy and casual for a book about a brilliant 19th Century scientist. Still, my complaint is only severe enough to reduce my rating by one star.
Sometimes its hit or miss with a book like this. I, however, was very pleased with the production and the writing. I thought the narrator was perfect. You have to be interested in the topic, because Darwin did not lead a very daring life. Yet I found great interest in this book.
A great portrayal of a wonderful scientist who, using simple experiments and observations and using objective reasoning came to astonishing conclusions that although controversial have stood the test of time.
One of the great thinkers and observers of the 19th century that changed how we see the world.
I learned a lot.
love or revile the ideas, they are worth revisiting. this expose of the man and his times is more than welcome and quite inspiring. thanks to Mr Quammen, but greater still is credit to Mr Darwin
I love this book.
Too often in school we learn about scientific principles and scientists without any historic context. It seems like they are geniuses who can not be touched and once those theories come into being, they are put on a pedestal and can not be modified. If something is in a text book it must be true!
This book put Charles Darwin and Natural Selection in context. The book makes Charles Darwin feels all too human and explains why Natural Selection is so incendiary.
I recommend this book for anyone who is interested in science or history.
David Quammen is a great writer and he tells an amazing story.
Even if you don't know much about Charles Darwin or his theory of natural selection, you will enjoy this audio book. Written in a conversational tone, it traces Darwin's life from just after his time on the Beagle to the end of his life and details how he came to write what is arguably the most influential book in history on evolution. I highly recommend the book and its reader.
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