Regular price: $27.99

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

Daniel Everett, then a Christian missionary, arrived among the Pirahã in 1977 - with his wife and three young children - intending to convert them. What he found was a language that defies all existing linguistic theories and reflects a way of life that evades contemporary understanding. The Pirahã have no counting system and no fixed terms for color. They have no concept of war or of personal property. They live entirely in the present. Everett became obsessed with their language and its cultural and linguistic implications, and with the remarkable contentment with which they live - so much so that he eventually lost his faith in the God he'd hoped to introduce to them. Over three decades, Everett spent a total of seven years among the Pirahã, and his account of this lasting sojourn is an engrossing exploration of language that questions modern linguistic theory. It is also an anthropological investigation, an adventure story, and a riveting memoir of a life profoundly affected by exposure to a different culture. Written with extraordinary acuity, sensitivity, and openness, it is fascinating from first to last, rich with unparalleled insight into the nature of language, thought, and life itself.

©2008 Daniel L. Everett (P)2017 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Rich account of fieldwork among a tribe of hunter-gatherers in Brazil.... Everett's experiences and findings fairly explode from these pages and will reverberate in the minds of readers." ( Kirkus)

More from the same

Narrator

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    41
  • 4 Stars
    14
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    40
  • 4 Stars
    8
  • 3 Stars
    7
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    43
  • 4 Stars
    10
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A Profound Read

I give most of the books I listen too five stars because they are good books. I would like to give this book at least six since it is exceptionally insightful. This book contains a stories about life in the Amazon, Everett and his family adjusting to living in a village and the dangers everyone in that location encounters. Mostly this is a book introducing the reader to a new language and culture. Everett's main proposed theory of language is that to fully understand a language you have understand the cultural context it came from. As a result we are shown a culture radically different from ours. Attached to this is a distinct way to think, different from the way westerners are used to thinking. Everything about this book was profound. Certainly worth the read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jared
  • MARTINEZ, CA, US
  • 07-19-17

Hear Pirahã

Read by Daniel Everett himself you really get to appreciate the use of pitch, tones, rhythm, and other nuances in the Pirahã's unique language. You also can hear his feelings as he reads particularly emotional parts. Touching and surprisingly funny this is an amazing work.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Robert
  • Molndal, Sweden
  • 04-23-18

Something different

Daniel Everett is an extraordiary man with a extraordinary tale. Meet the Pirahã indians with a cuture so different from anything you ever imagined and a language that has leading linguistic scholars totally baffeled. It's intriguing, funny, exciting and humbling to listen to. Perfect as an audiobook (due to the central role of the Pinahã language... you get to hear it spoken) read by Daniel Everett.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A Story Told by the Man Himself

Dan is the only one who could tell this story. What a thought provoking and powerful tale. He takes you into the universe of a culture that does not carry anything with them from the past besides instincts. Essentially the Piraha tribe in the Rain Forest of Brazil are an ancient, unchanged people, with an extremely unique language, and many lessons to teach us. Daniel Everett dedicated over 30 years of his life to learning them, and teaching us.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

beautifully written

I appreciate the wonderfully written book and the time Daniel Everett took to discover this now shared information.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

fascinating book

extremely fascinating book I had a similar Journey to the authors Journey, at least in regards to being a member of s i l and having a faith migration. My only recommendation the readers is that you might want to skip some of the linguistics part switch get somewhat dense. but it is a fascinating book

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great book

This book was fantastic. I like the way it was written starting from its style of organization, to its engaging plot, to its main argument against the Chomkian point of view. I believe that the writer has put great evidence to support his theory stating that language is not innate but rather a cultural tool created by humans.

Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Mr M C Arthur
  • 09-28-17

A linguistic journey into the nature of existence

A journey into the heart of being through the study of linguistics. At times I found the passages using the native language a bit dry and repetitive. It was definitely worth sticking with it, however, as the lessons about the relationship between language, culture and finding happiness and meaning in life were enlightening.