WASPs finally get their due in this stimulating history by one of the world's leading geneticists. Saxons, Vikings, and Celts is the most illuminating book yet to be written about the genetic history of Britain and Ireland.
Through a systematic, 10-year DNA survey of more than 10,000 volunteers, Bryan Sykes has traced the true genetic makeup of British Islanders and their descendants. This historical travelogue and genetic tour of the fabled isles, which includes accounts of the Roman invasions and Norman conquests, takes listeners from the Pontnewydd cave in North Wales, where a 300,000-year-old tooth was discovered, to the resting place of "The Red Lady" of Paviland, whose anatomically modern body was dyed with ochre by her grieving relatives nearly 29,000 years ago.
A perfect work for anyone interested in the genealogy of England, Scotland, or Ireland, Saxons, Vikings, and Celts features a chapter specifically addressing the genetic makeup of those people in the United States who have descended from the British Isles.
©2006 Bryan Sykes (P)2006 Tantor
Letting the rest of the world go by
Data is not understood in a vacuum, so the author first enchants the listener with the history and myths of the people of Great Britain and relates that to what his DNA analysis tells him. The story comes alive when he explains the history and myth of the British, and he writes better than almost anyone on those topics.
The author steps you through past attempts at understanding the genetics of the British and how DNA can be used to help deconvolve the problem.
He never lets the science or the data get in the way of telling a good narrative and at times the book was like listening to a beautiful song.
The story was easy to follow even if it was some what technical at time but the author made the best of the situation.
The out come of the story was the best part because it wasn't what I was expecting.
My Favorite scene was the part where the author asked a man for a DNA sample and he says , "You don't want me for your study. I'm not form around here". So the author ask him where he was from and the man tells him and the autor has to ask the man where that is and it turns out to be like ten miles down the road.
Some technical chapters were a little hard to listen to and would have been better read but overall this was a fascinating book that provided a whole new perspective on ancient British history.
It was well read, however, I would have preferred it to be read by an English narrator as the author's use of language was so obviously English in many instances it sounded odd read in an American accent.
I'm not a fan of this narratiator to start with but in this particular recording his lilting emphasis on words/phrases becomes so faint at (many) times that words are entirely lost, especially if listening in a car, and this means many 'rewinds' to catch what was said.
He could have talked about the genetics of Saxons, Vikings and Celts. Or better yet leave book as is and chang the title to something more like: Musings on the mystic beauty of the Isles, possible historic events and some suggestive supportive genetic data.
Technically the recording was fine - no dropped mics, etc.
Either most of it - we only get about eight sentences in the whole book that mention genetics specifically by region anyway - or better yet just change the title to reflect the true content of the book.
Out of about 300 books I have bought over the years from audible this is only the third that I would like my money back on (Disappearing Spoon & Michael Palins Around the World are the others). 'Spose one out of a hundred isnt so bad though.
Interesting content for anyone with ancestry in the Ireland and British isles. Good science paired with a historical perspective. The narrator is American, why? His style is suited more to a children's book with his overly dramatic emphasis, especially at the start- almost makes you want to stop listening. The style does not match the content. If you can bear the narration and the clunky, casual writing style, it's an interesting story of the spread of humans to the isles and beyond to the new world.
They apparently did good research, but the most interesting bits were about their social engineering skills.
Dick did a good job using his voice inflection to keep the dry material conversational
Yes, though the written version might be better. I wanted to review facts often but found their location hard to rediscover in the audio version.
None come to mind.
A good narration, not spectacular, but certainly enjoyable and adequate.
Not that kind of book.
I found this book a bit dry, though the info was welcome. But the volume of fact and theory leading to conclusions was a bit excessive for my taste. I started to lose interest in each section well before conclusions were reached. Having listened to the entire book, I find that I can't integrate the conclusions very well. I will have to listen to the book again someday. Maybe more will stick.
I liked this audible listen for two reasons: the narrator did an excellent job and the material was fascinating. I am looking forward to listening to "DNA USA". Hoping that other Bryan Sykes titles will be available on Audible.
This was one of my first Audible purchases. If I had known to avoid audio books that are fragmented into 35 separate presentations, each with the same intro music and narration, I'd have been better off.
The information itself is breathtaking, and the narrator perhaps the most informed individual on the planet regarding the subject - I just can't keep my train of thought as it goes from chapter to chapter.
Not at all.
The information is fascinating.
Read the description and be sure you're not getting a story on the installment plan.
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