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Publisher's Summary

Yuval Noah Harari, author of the critically acclaimed New York Times best seller and international phenomenon Sapiens, returns with an equally original, compelling, and provocative book, turning his focus toward humanity's future and our quest to upgrade humans into gods.

Over the past century, humankind has managed to do the impossible and rein in famine, plague, and war. This may seem hard to accept, but as Harari explains in his trademark style - thorough yet riveting - famine, plague, and war have been transformed from incomprehensible and uncontrollable forces of nature into manageable challenges. For the first time ever, more people die from eating too much than from eating too little; more people die from old age than from infectious diseases; and more people commit suicide than are killed by soldiers, terrorists, and criminals put together. The average American is 1,000 times more likely to die from binging at McDonalds than from being blown up by Al Qaeda.

What then will replace famine, plague, and war at the top of the human agenda? As the self-made gods of planet Earth, what destinies will we set ourselves, and which quests will we undertake? Homo Deus explores the projects, dreams, and nightmares that will shape the 21st century - from overcoming death to creating artificial life. It asks the fundamental questions: Where do we go from here? And how will we protect this fragile world from our own destructive powers? This is the next stage of evolution. This is Homo Deus.

With the same insight and clarity that made Sapiens an international hit and a New York Times best seller, Harari maps out our future.

©2017 Yuval Noah Harari (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic Reviews

"Derek Perkins narrates the audiobook with an authentic excitement that engages listeners... Science enthusiasts will undoubtedly devour this audiobook, while others may wish Perkins had taught their high school science class." ( AudioFile)

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Good, but...

You really don't need to read "Sapien" prior to reading this. A large portion of the information in this book was covered in Sapien. If you listen to the two of them back to back, as I did, "Homo Deus" may come off as redundant. Because of this, I found myself drifting off a lot. I'd like to give this another try (maybe in text version) in the near future.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Gillian
  • Austin, TX, United States
  • 02-22-17

Fun But With A Couple O' Caveats--

The only reason I'm not giving this a 5-star rating for the story is because this might not be what you think it's going to be. I thought it was going to be a more humane version of something like Michio Kaku's "Physics of the Future."
Nooooooot quite...
First of all, I had a blast listening to "Homo Deus". Harari is a sublime writer, oh so humorous and wry, and Derek Perkins is flawless in his delivery.
But let me say: I haven't read/listened to "Sapiens", but I think this book might have quite a bit of the same text/situations. After all, Harari himself says you might've heard it before, but one has to know how we got from point A all the way to where we are now. This happens fairly frequently throughout the book. For me, that's no problem: It was engaging, enlightening, entertaining through and through.
Then there's the fact that there's not a whole lot of time given to what may happen in the future. Sure, plague, famine, war and all that have been made manageable and now we're seeking immortality, bliss, and divinity... but, uhm, how exactly? Harari makes a few suggestions, and you get soooo tantalizingly close to some pretty mind-blowing ideas, but then he pulls back and Wham! "From a historical perspective," "in the past," "back in the days of the Crusades," stuff like that. Back to how we got here.
Okay, that said, this is an utterly delightful book that explains humanism, liberalism, Data-ism, any kind of ism you ever wanted to know about in a profound and witty way. You'll hear about nanotechnology, genetic engineering, and artificial intelligence. If you like religious studies, history of all kinds, some light science, this is for you. If you want to know why Millennials are the way they are, why the election went the way it did (Facebook, my friends), why we're into a whole new world with new economic, ecological outlooks, this book is for you.
And if you want to wind up questioning EVERYthing you've ever believed about ANYthing, go for it.
And if you want to look at animals in a different light from this day forward?
Harari's got that too...

197 of 214 people found this review helpful

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  • aaron
  • los angeles, CA, United States
  • 02-28-17

A Realist's View of our Future Reality

I really liked Harari's previous work, Sapiens. A lot. But, holy crap, where did this come from??!

This book is so expansive, so entertaining, so prescient, and so crammed with refreshing wisdom that I don't even know where to begin!

I'll start by saying this is one of the top three modern philosophical EPICS of our time. It paints a future that is not only believable, but -for the most part - unavoidable. Its common sense anecdotes are insightful, which seems like an oxymoron at first, but makes sense when you really think about it. Like Jerry Seinfeld, Harari has a way of making you see reality through a lens that you never knew existed before; or maybe you knew it existed, but were always too afraid to hold it up to your iris.

Everyone should read this book. I don't say that lightly, either. EVERYONE. It will make you see reality differently. And, at the end of the day, any book that can do that is WELL WORTH your time!

71 of 81 people found this review helpful

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Insightful but suffers from the times.

Well spoken and clear over audio book. The author recaps much of what was said and the insights given in his first book Sapiens. Only with an eye toward the future. He does not forecast what will happen only what will be pursued. Most are logical extensions of current trends as viewed from his philosophical position. Much of it is reasonable considering the assumptions and view point taken about religion, fiction, and science. It's insightful about our chasing of reduced risk, longer lives, and more information. He also tackles well the the collapse of meaning and the rise of nihilism. Possibly the most interesting and over zealous part of the book is the discussion on human consciousness. The author words point toward a growing idea that mankind has no free will. We, ourselves are a fiction. It's treated as a new idea, even a fore gone conclusion. Though this is a very old idea rooted in statements like, "all is as God wills it", or, "all is vanity, vanity of vanities", or still older the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The book takes a tangent here which is indicative of the times. Ferociously attacking concepts like souls and free will. Ultimately straddling the line between nihilism and absurdism while rejecting existentialism. Honestly stated the current world view has no room for such concepts. Though I guess it should be apparent from the book that the world view is also a set of beliefs not necessarily more than a fiction. And so the argument leaves you with polar choices when the answer, like most things, is likely somewhere in between. In my view the book falls on its face here and over emphasizes the "fictional" nature of free will.

A more apt analogy for his discussion of human mind and freewill is of a horse, cart, and its rider. In the past it was assumed that we stood upon the cart directing the horse. Sometimes the horse could slip its reins and get away from us. But with enough will power, discipline, we could get our bodies, ourselves to do anything. Now it's more clear that we are the horse and the computer like algorithms of our subconscious have the reigns. We have the ability to change our course. The machine at the reigns, however, has some tasty carrots and a savage whip at its disposal should we navigate too far from its reproductive goals. It's happy to let us wonder when you have honey in the larder and a honey in bed. But take one away... Well we know what mankind is willing to do from the horrors of the past. And it's in us all. You could almost call it Satan. And our benevolent side God. In his image... I mean religion is all a fiction, right?

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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First book is better and enough :)

Just think that the second was a somewhat revision in a lot of parts, of the first book.

There was actually not a very much on future projections, as much as the title suggests or that the book may have tried to pursue.

I actually do wish there is a work done in the near future of an actual content true to its cover tittle

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • DRG
  • Lost Angeles
  • 03-02-17

Mandatory reading

As other reviewers have noted, the third part of this book is the most impressive. The first 40% of the book felt like a "... last time, in sapiens ..." rehashing, but it's welcomed and genuinely different from sapiens. The latter half of the book is new, engaging and absolutely brilliant. Harari is an entertaining writer and his synthesis of information is concise and easy to follow. I imagine 10 years from now this book will appear as click bait (or whatever equivalent we then have) saying "This is the book that predicted it all."

14 of 16 people found this review helpful

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Enthralling

I felt that the author used his knowledge of history and the modern world to paint an enigmatic portrait of the future. I was impressed and captivated throughout. The amount of research and study it took to put his works together is a representation of the questions and ideas that he presents. His seemingly dark yet profound outlook on free will made me question my own foundational beliefs of cognition, while simultaneously, his relentless use of scientific facts and sound theories gave little room to argue. It is somewhat disheartening to entertain the idea that the world as we know it may be spiraling out of control, but comforting at the same time that the spiraling effect may answer the unanswerable questions that we humans have always had and never been able to answer. As far as the evolution of technology goes, I am an idealist of the Jacque Fresco school of thought. There is no reason to believe that we can't mutually coexist with technology and benefit from it no matter how advanced it becomes, barring the wrong people aren't influential enough to lead it down a path of avarice and clandestine ends. However, Harari's outlined suppositions possess an almost magnetic captivation, due to his matter of fact approach. His logic and reasoning are grounded with mostly objective knowledge. Unless you are primarily a subjective, spiritual, or religious person, it would be hard to argue his positions. And even then, you would be overwhelmed by the vast amount of knowledge. Being that he knows more about the various religions of the world than most people know about their own religion. If you are a religious person that is scared to death to have your foundation shaken, this book isn't for you. Wether you take that as a challenge or a warning is up to you. At the very least this book will make a religious person very upset.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Sapiens was better

Sapiens was much better. This book is to speculative to be taken seriously. Cherry picking research to suit the narrative

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Evolutionary Experience

First Sapiens, then this back to back. I feel like I transversed into a new era of man like in the ending sequence of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Life changing work.

13 of 16 people found this review helpful

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good thoughts and pondering. liked it much.

the book needs not much of a comment, although if you're too deep into religious dogma, it may be challenging to look at some subjects of the book from writer's perspective.

I was afraid a bit it's yet another sequel a lá "rambo#4".
but it's been self sufficient and interesting, no regrets.

if we start looking at the "material covered" in both popular books by Mr. Harari, the first one, interesting as it may be, is not a prerequisite to understand this one.

so you are free to read only one, in either order, or both, like I have.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful