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The Ancestor's Tale Audiobook

The Ancestor's Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Evolution

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Publisher's Summary

In The Ancestor's Tale, evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins offers a masterwork: an exhilarating reverse tour through evolution, from present-day humans back to the microbial beginnings of life four billion years ago. Throughout the journey, Dawkins spins entertaining, insightful stories and sheds light on topics such as speciation, sexual selection, and extinction. The Ancestor's Tale is at once an essential education in evolutionary theory and riveting in its telling.

©2004 Richard Dawkins (P)2015 Tantor

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (192 )
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4.6 (166 )
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4.7 (168 )
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Performance
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  •  
    J. Colombe Washington, DC 07-21-15
    J. Colombe Washington, DC 07-21-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good book, poorly abridged for audio"

    Abridgment was conducted by chopping out entire sections of the modular storyline. One segment late in the book played twice. Why not leave a good book unabridged?

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lamont 07-27-15
    Lamont 07-27-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "To Short"

    It would of had one more star but it's only the abridged version and there is no unabridged version

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Male Perspective 06-16-15 Member Since 2012

    I'm a son, brother, husband and father. I design software and consider myself a free-thinker.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Always Enjoyable"

    I enjoy Dawkins's books. I love his passion for what does which makes listening very pleasurable. I like the emphasis of Lala's tag team narrative in all of Dawkins's books. This book is not my favorite of his books but does deliver a lot interesting thoughts and concepts.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    gomi Alaska 03-23-16
    gomi Alaska 03-23-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Heavily Abridged"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I didn't understand that I was buying the abridged version of The Ancestor's Tale. I don't remember seeing that stated so clearly as it is here. I enjoyed what I did hear of the book, but realized, after referring to the print copy, that the Audible version is heavily abridged.


    Were the concepts of this book easy to follow, or were they too technical?

    Yes, the book was a pleasure.


    What does Richard Dawkins and Lalla Ward bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    They have lovely reading voices.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Absolutely.


    Any additional comments?

    Would love to have the full unabridged version available from Audible.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard 06-11-15
    Richard 06-11-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Masterpiece Flawed By Sketchy Narration."
    Where does The Ancestor's Tale rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    In my view, this ranks in the 70th percentile of my accumulated library topics.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The retrograde methodology of examining the branched tree of speciation is unique and interesting. The comparison to Chaucer's Epic created some amusing and informative learning moments.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Richard Dawkins and Lalla Ward ?

    Anyone else but the author. While I have the utmost respect for the esteemed and brilliant Richard Dawkins, his narration style was often hard to follow due to constant unusual vocal volume fades and unexpected changes in speech pace. As soon as the ear/brain finally adjusted to this choppy style over a few minutes or so, co-narrator Lalla Ward would then take the helm, necessitating yet another listening shift. Then the ball was passed back to Professor Dawkins, back and forth.I found this constant narration swap to be highly disruptive and feel that a single professional narrator would have made this a more seamless and enjoyable process.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Not at all. It was very information rich and ( for me) was best digested in many sessions.


    Any additional comments?

    Be wary of author narrations with an added second voice.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alex Eaton 08-03-15
    Alex Eaton 08-03-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Great Book; Distracting Narration"

    The book was great but I didn't like the tag team narration. I also was hoping for more detail about our human cousins but that wasn't the specific focus is the book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dana Chilton SAN DIEGO, CA, US 08-07-16
    Dana Chilton SAN DIEGO, CA, US 08-07-16 Member Since 2013

    Dana

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not his best work"

    This is the 6th Dawkins book i've either read or listened to. I never really understood why Dawkins had a reputation as a racist until I finished "The Ancestor's Tale". At one point, Dawkins excoriates scientists for mixing their personal/political views with their scientific work then rants about affirmative action. This is definitely not his best work

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jacob swane 04-18-16
    jacob swane 04-18-16 Member Since 2014
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    "amazing as always Dawkins "

    I loved the journey and the story's involved with following humanity back to the origin of life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BryanS DENVER, CO, US 04-08-16
    BryanS DENVER, CO, US 04-08-16 Member Since 2008
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    "Helpful insight into the range of living organisms"

    A very useful and coherent narrative into how so many life forms came to be.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    IrishInNJ 02-12-16
    IrishInNJ 02-12-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Required Reading"

    This should be compulsory reading in all schools. Fantastic science and wonderful explanations and analogies by Dawkins. What a world we live in!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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