We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
The Selfish Gene Audiobook

The Selfish Gene

Regular Price:$24.95
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

Richard Dawkins' brilliant reformulation of the theory of natural selection has the rare distinction of having provoked as much excitement and interest outside the scientific community as within it. His theories have helped change the whole nature of the study of social biology, and have forced thousands to rethink their beliefs about life.

In his internationally best-selling, now classic, volume, The Selfish Gene, Dawkins explains how the selfish gene can also be a subtle gene. The world of the selfish gene revolves around savage competition, ruthless exploitation, and deceit, and yet, Dawkins argues, acts of apparent altruism do exist in nature. Bees, for example, will commit suicide when they sting to protect the hive, and birds will risk their lives to warn the flock of an approaching hawk.

©1989 Richard Dawkins (P)2011 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Dawkins first book, The Selfish Gene, was a smash hit.... Best of all, Dawkins laid out this biology - some of it truly subtle - in stunningly lucid prose. (It is, in my view, the best work of popular science ever written.)" (H. Allen Orr, Professor of Biology, University of Rochester, in The New York Review of Books)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (3777 )
5 star
 (2191)
4 star
 (972)
3 star
 (382)
2 star
 (136)
1 star
 (96)
Overall
4.4 (3086 )
5 star
 (1832)
4 star
 (781)
3 star
 (296)
2 star
 (105)
1 star
 (72)
Story
4.4 (3131 )
5 star
 (1913)
4 star
 (716)
3 star
 (330)
2 star
 (101)
1 star
 (71)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Douglas 06-13-15
    Douglas 06-13-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fantastic production"

    Every Dawkins audiobook I've listened to has been exceptionally well produced and this is no exception. He takes the time to rearrange and add to the text to better fit the audio format, make it comparatively easy to follow, and include additional updates. The book itself is an absolute must listen for anyone with even a passing interest in the history of life on our planet.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wade T. Brooks Portland, OR, USA 06-25-12
    Wade T. Brooks Portland, OR, USA 06-25-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    79
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    97
    49
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    7
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Pure Awesome"

    This is Richard Dawkins 1976 masterwork on evolutionary biology from the perspective of gene selection. The updated edition is as poignant today as when it was penned. Updates include fascinating studies supporting many of the hypotheses forwarded in the original text.

    Dawkins is an excellent writer and uses non-scientific vocabulary and analogies to explain complex biological models in an easy to understand and informative way.

    Other areas touched on include game theory models (the prisoners dilemma) as a basis for understanding an ESS (Evolutionarily Stable Strategy), memes (a term he coined) and computer virus.

    10 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Douglas 03-04-12
    Douglas 03-04-12 Member Since 2008

    College English professor who loves classic literature, psychology, neurology and hates pop trash like Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2607
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    523
    411
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    403
    8
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A seminal book..."

    but those who left the nearly worshipful reviews don't seem to know that better and more up to date work has been done on the topic of Darwinian genetics. For one, Dawkins could have cleared a LOT of confusion about this book by simply using the term "self-interested" rather "selfish"--there is a considerable difference where genetics is concerned, especially when he starts shuffling around words/concepts like "selfish" and "altruistic" and "altruism for selfish means." The one huge flaw in his work is that he proclaims that "there is no higher purpose in nature than propagation of DNA..." This invokes the logical fallacy of begging the question. It is the most scientific explanation of nature, yes, but (the question it begs) "does/has science discover/discovered everything?" Read this book first as a primer, and then go on to the better work that has been done since on the theme of Darwinian genetics, self-interest and altruism, particularly that by Robert Wright, and especially his book THE MORAL ANIMAL.

    17 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    eriyasu 10-02-15
    eriyasu 10-02-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "can listen to it over and over again."

    narration was superb and the info is timeless. I will certainly be listening to this for many years to come

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alison Scott 09-29-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    21
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great - minus the pedantic footnotes"
    Any additional comments?

    This would have been better presented as two options: 1) read with footnotes and asides inline, or 2) read without footnotes entirely. Classic book. Great listen. Gets a bit bogged down, unnecessarily.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    david chesapeake, VA, United States 05-04-14
    david chesapeake, VA, United States 05-04-14 Member Since 2016

    A fellow listener inclined to share my opinion on these productions. Maybe even inspire someone toward a powerful, or educational audiobook!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    261
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    256
    34
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    35
    6
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Fine Vintage"

    This was an amazing read. In this 30 year revision he has added many footnotes and a marvelous introduction! If you have read earlier versions of this book you will be impressed at the additions; well worth it!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gary Las Cruces, NM, United States 05-22-12
    Gary Las Cruces, NM, United States 05-22-12 Member Since 2016

    l'enfer c'est les autres

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2376
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    737
    286
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    314
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Still relevant after all these years"

    Author states that any philosophy of man's place in the universe before Darwin's 1859 "Origin of Species" will be incomplete. The book fully supports that statement. His metaphors for understanding genes and evolution are the best you'll ever come across. He explains the science so that even I can understand it.

    I warn you, if you listen to this Dawkins book, you will listen to all of his others. I have and I am much wiser for it.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas Abingdon, United Kingdom 04-29-11
    Thomas Abingdon, United Kingdom 04-29-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    33
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    33
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "A must-read"

    30 years on, and this book may well still be the definitive popular book on gene-centric evolutionary biology. This 3rd edition has new chapters and endnotes giving us Dawkins' reflection on his original ideas with the benefit of a good-deal of hindsight. An absolute must read for anyone wanting to claim modern scientific literacy!

    25 of 33 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shawn 09-17-16
    Shawn 09-17-16 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "overall a great book"

    i enjoyed this book very much. its very accurate in its research on animal behaviours.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    AlRuble 11-09-15
    AlRuble 11-09-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    40
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Creating a grander perspective"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Selfish Gene to be better than the print version?

    In this version of The Selfish Gene, the footnotes are very cleanly added to the ends of chapters, and Dawkins went to a great effort to make sure the volume has been updated as the times have progressed. He and his wife have great voices when they are used in tandem as within.


    What about Richard Dawkins and Lalla Ward ’s performance did you like?

    The way they work together is charming, and it helped with the differentiation between the past and the present, the author and the non-author. It was a great instrument choice.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It widened my view in some ways and sharpened it in others. It forces you to critically observe natural phenomena from a new perspective that can, yes, at times be reminiscent of psychosis.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • AD
    Cambridge United Kingdom
    9/8/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Too irritating to finish"

    Have you ever had a meeting with a salesman who is on a day out with his manager and every few minutes the manager chips in with corrections and comments? After about 30 minutes you're ready to throw them both out of your office. That's what its like listening to this book. Dawkins' wife reads the original text which is interpolated by Dawkins himself with commentary and end notes.

    The interruptions to the narrative are infuriating and I found myself grinding my teeth in anticipation of the next one. It doesn't help that Dawkins himself comes over as smug, superior and self-important.

    I already shared Dawkins point of view before I started the book but found myself wishing that I didn't.

    If you are going to add so much to your original work then you should re-write it.

    One that may be better read than listened to.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Emma
    8/3/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A real eye opener"
    Would you listen to The Selfish Gene again? Why?

    I will listen to this book over and over again because of the immense detail.


    What about Richard Dawkins and Lalla Ward ’s performance did you like?

    Clear and easy to understand their voices.


    Any additional comments?

    Very well written and read, additional notes are read at the end chapter to make the book flow nicely.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Avi D Reader
    United Kingdom
    9/11/15
    Overall
    "Spoiled by argumentative author's pedantry"

    too much self justifying response to decades old arguments by the author- and do we really need a lecture in the pronunciation of 'algae', I think not..

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Balor of the Evil Eye
    Éire
    2/14/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An engaging portrait of our fundamentals!"

    This updated edition of The Selfish Gene showcases much of what people love and hate about Richard Dawkins' preferences when presenting his theses. An unquestionably solid empirical approach to explaining his theory of the form, function and dissemination of genes tainted in part by a somewhat arrogant demand that you either accept his conclusions or admit that you are at best being obtuse, or at worst, a religious zealot.
    Interesting examples are presented to assist the listener understand how genes move down through the generations, perhaps the most interesting are those that detail why certain genes proliferate and others fall away as they engage in a possibly hopeless mission to achieve a stable evolutionary strategy.
    Undoubtedly the best explanation of gene theory I've encountered thus far.

    The narration performance by Dawkins and Ward is quite good and logically implemented.

    I have bought other Dawkins audiobooks, this is probably the most satisfying.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • James
    Wakefield, United Kingdom
    12/29/12
    Overall
    "Each to his own format...."

    I think this is a tremendously important book, and everyone should own it. But I'm just not sure that it is suited to the audiobook format. Some of the concepts can be quite complicated and I prefer to have a book in my hand when I feel the need to re-read something a couple of times... You are perfectly entitled to disagree and if you think you can digest a reasonably complex layman's book on science via audio then go for it.



    However, I'm also not a fan of Lalla Ward's contributions. I find her more of a hindrance to understanding than a help (especially in 'The God Delusion' where a second voice was meant to clarify the narrative).



    My advice to people is to actually buy the book physically, or as an eBook... sorry audible ;p

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Mr S Harris
    Cardiff Wales
    2/20/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Read it to find out more about Dawkins"

    I must admit I read the book more about wanting to find out more about Dawkins that the subject matter. As someone who does not hold Dawkins view on the conflict between Faith and Science it was interesting to not how many times Dawkins took "digs" at Christianity.

    As Francis Collins the leader of the team on the Human Genome said:
    “I have found there is a wonderful harmony in the complementary truths of science and faith. The God of the Bible is also the God of the genome. God can be found in the cathedral or in the laboratory. By investigating God’s majestic and awesome creation, science can actually be a means of worship.”’

    Also it was interesting to note how many times Dawkins had to correct himself from what he had originally written in his first addition. Perhaps a little more humility from Mr Dawkins would help as it seem even in 30 years of writing he is constantly changing his mind or having it changed by other who have investigated further.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Graham
    2/6/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing!"

    A book Darwin would be proud of! A fantastic informative read. I wish i was taught from books of this kind in school.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Michael
    1/13/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant book!"

    Great narration from both Dawkins and Ward. The back and forth between the both keeps the text alive and digestible.

    Very good for hobbyist biologists

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Greg
    Essex, UK
    1/8/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I thought I had a good grasp of evolution... Superb!"

    I thought I had a fair grasp of evolution until this book. Dawkins explains just how deep it can go when you are investigating evolution, and he does it using excellent examples that make it simple to understand.
    Very well written, & maintains your interest throughout. Highly recommend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    London
    12/6/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Exceptional"

    The audiobook format lends itself perfectly to this seminal work of Richard's as it provides the opportunity to add additional detail and commentary by the author, particularly in parts where the science has moved on or Dawkins has new views or insight to share since the original publication. Peppered with Dawkins' trademark dry humour and wit and told in a way that makes it accessible by us mere mortals it is a book that is truly eye-opening.

    Your immortal replicators are telling you to purchase and listen to this book now.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.