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The Botany of Desire Audiobook

The Botany of Desire

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Audible Editor Reviews

Why You Should Download This Audiobook: It's hard to believe how much interest one man can generate in plants, but Michael Pollan does it. And he's a bit of an iconoclast, revealing a side of Johnny Appleseed (think hard apple cider) you might not have known, and tiptoeing through generations of tulip hybridization to account for a dearth in rarity. Offbeat or unexpected nonfiction works like this are a pleasure to listen to, placing the most common of things in new light. We learned a lot from this audiobook.

Publisher's Summary

Every schoolchild learns about the mutually beneficial dance of honeybees and flowers: The bee collects nectar and pollen to make honey and, in the process, spreads the flowers' genes far and wide. In The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan ingeniously demonstrates how people and domesticated plants have formed a similarly reciprocal relationship. He masterfully links four fundamental human desires, sweetness, beauty, intoxication, and control, with the plants that satisfy them: the apple, the tulip, marijuana, and the potato. In telling the stories of four familiar species, Pollan illustrates how the plants have evolved to satisfy humankind's most basic yearnings. And just as we've benefited from these plants, the plants have also benefited at least as much from their association with us. So who is really domesticating whom?

©2001 by Michael Pollan; (P)2006 by Audio Evolution, LLC

What the Critics Say

"[Pollan] has a wide-ranging intellect, an eager grasp of evolutionary biology and a subversive streak that helps him to root out some wonderfully counterintuitive points. His prose both shimmers and snaps, and he has a knack for finding perfect quotes in the oddest places....Best of all, Pollan really loves plants." (The New York Times Book Review)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (1980 )
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4.3 (1194 )
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Performance
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  •  
    T. Dones 04-20-16
    T. Dones 04-20-16
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    "An unusual look"

    Very well written, this shows the passion of author Pollan for chasing the story, as well as his love of food. I highly recommend this well read piece for both plant enthusiasts as well as those looking for an eye opening take on why we humans love the plants we cultivate.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason 03-06-16
    Jason 03-06-16
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    "Michael nailed it"

    A poetic journey through the tales of time; absolutely amazing book. A highly recommended read!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    slong 09-28-15
    slong 09-28-15 Member Since 2013
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    "great book!"

    I am a huge fan of Micheal Pollan and this book did not disappoint. I lreally enjoyed how he wove the history of the the various plants (apples, marajuana, tulips, potatoes, etc) with their present day significance. With each chapter being its own story it's easy to listen to over a longer period of time (if that makes sense!)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    samuel d desocio 08-02-15 Member Since 2013
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    "The botany of religion?"

    I really like Pollan's work but I wish he would see the duplicity of making the main troupe of the book the Greek gods and then dismissing Christianity and Judaism as old hat.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Evan 07-18-15
    Evan 07-18-15 Member Since 2016
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    "Another wonderful book from Michael Pollan"

    I have never read a Michael Pollan book that I didn't like and this one is no exception

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alison Willette 06-09-15 Member Since 2015

    I like to listen to good scientific books, lots of non-fiction, and the occasional mystery or historical fiction.

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    "Enjoyable story of agriculture"

    I liked the authors mostly unbiased approach to the history if modern agriculture. Although he didn't get everything perfectly right, his persoective of modern agriculture from an outsiders view is illuminating. I am a soybean breeder and I appreciate Pollan's narrative of our story, or the story of where our food comes from. This is important for everyone to know.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 05-14-15
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    "Great book covers much more than plants"

    Pollan discusses plants as so much more than the simple, discrete objects we tend to view them as.

    Scott Brick's narration is excellent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DEG II PA 05-13-15
    DEG II PA 05-13-15 Member Since 2011

    Don

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    "Good Book, Lots of Information"
    If you could sum up The Botany of Desire in three words, what would they be?

    Wealth of Information


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Botany of Desire?

    The description of Johnny Appleseed's activities.


    Any additional comments?

    Well researched, very detailed, interesting and unique subject matter.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Edmund W. Cheung Playa Del Rey, CA USA 02-27-15
    Edmund W. Cheung Playa Del Rey, CA USA 02-27-15 Member Since 2002
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    "Has its good points and interesting but verbose"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I would recommend extracts of the book.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The history of the apple and potato.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    narrator is fine. the book is too verbose and repeats itself in 3 different way over and over again.


    Do you think The Botany of Desire needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    no


    Any additional comments?

    great ideas and thoughts and concepts. wish it was about half as long. It seemed like a thesis paper that was trying too hard with too much flourish.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MD Boston 03-08-14
    MD Boston 03-08-14 Member Since 2013
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    "What a great story teller"
    What made the experience of listening to The Botany of Desire the most enjoyable?

    Michael Pollen is a master at weaving a story that engages the reader to open their mind to to a new persecutive that is often overlooked or ignored. I listened to this book two times in a row because the writing is so rich in detail. The story of the apple, tulip, cannabis, and potato are told through the lens of history, science, agriculture and psychology. I think differently about each one now and have recommend this book to numerous people.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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