• Parasite Rex

  • Inside the Bizarre World of Nature's Most Dangerous Creatures
  • By: Carl Zimmer
  • Narrated by: Charles Constant
  • Length: 9 hrs and 30 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (120 ratings)

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Parasite Rex

By: Carl Zimmer
Narrated by: Charles Constant
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Publisher's Summary

For centuries, parasites have lived in nightmares, horror stories, and the darkest shadows of science. In Parasite Rex, Carl Zimmer takes listeners on a fantastic voyage into the secret universe of these extraordinary life forms that are not only among the most highly evolved on Earth, but make up the majority of life's diversity. Traveling from the steamy jungles of Costa Rica to the parasite-riddled war zone of southern Sudan, Zimmer introduces an array of amazing creatures that invade their hosts, prey on them from within, and control their behavior. He also vividly describes parasites that can change DNA, rewire the brain, make men more distrustful and women more outgoing, and turn hosts into the living dead. This comprehensive audiobook brings parasites out into the open and uncovers what they can teach us all about the most fundamental survival tactics in the universe - the laws of Parasite Rex.

©2000 Carl Zimmer (P)2018 Tantor

What listeners say about Parasite Rex

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Fascinating, Repetitive and reading disaster

Definitely interesting details of the cunning organism's strategy. At first. After a while, everything sounds pretty much the same, like someone reading a telephone book. Partly it is the style of writing. I enjoyed the stories of individual scientists and researchers on how they tried to crack the inside secrets of parasites. PS After I thought about the listening experience I found the big mistake by the producer to match this book with this particular artist reader. His voice is pleasant and I'd love to hear him with another book. For this story, it is a disaster.

3 people found this helpful

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Fascinating and Horrible

The Book is a Biological Science gem. Parasitology (minus bacteria and viruses) as the author writes about shows itself to be an understudied but essential part of living organisms and ecosystems. The book was written in 2000. I’m curious to see if any of the authors contentions about parasitology, it’s centrality and potential for scientific breakthroughs have come to pass. Great topic written is very engaging style.
My only complaint: Literally, the last few minutes of the book when the author started talking about “Gaia”. Ok I’m hoping he was using Gaia as metaphor, not teleologically. Then right after that he makes this statement. “Parasites are expert at only causing the harm that is necessary. Evolution has taught them that pointless harm will only harm themselves” What? He is giving Evolution “agency” to “teach” parasites - ok, not to much guys or you’ll hurt your host? That is disturbing sloppy to hear from a Scientist. Richard Dawkins would not be happy. Beyond the overreach on Evolution his love of his parasite subjects seems to have temporarily confused him. Parasites are fascinating, perhaps essential, but they are the bad guys. Very few people would find the definition of “Pointless Harm” from a parasite as acceptable. Studying them is essential to stop the damage they do.

3 people found this helpful

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I hate parasites but this book is cool

Excellent narrative animates parasites' terrifying world for both the layperson and the scientifically inclined. I found it easy to imagine the creatures and their lives thanks to clever analogies.

3 people found this helpful

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Absolutely Fascinating 💯

One of the best and most captivating science fact books I've ever read, truly amazing!

1 person found this helpful

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An education on life as it actually is

Parasite Rex changed the way I view life by the means of taking the perspective of parasitism, and this method of survival is the most successful strategy that we know of for life to continue.

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a very interesting and informative read. I enjoyed

like iv been saying all along "we are a parisites and the world is our host. maybe we should start learning from the parisites, we might just get somewhere. awesome book though very educationa?l would recommend

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This was one of the most fascinating books I’ve listened to so far.

At many, many points throughout the book, I said out loud to no one, “holy smokes, that’s amazing!“ I am a bit of a biology junkie, but this really took the cake. These creatures are so highly evolved, and we think of them as the low man on the proverbial totem pole. Not so!

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Changes your worldview radically

Awesome & entertaining subject, well presented. Should be a must read for everyone, especially with the weakness of science literacy everywhere. Really gives an important perspective. The most incredible revelations I found were the ways in which parasites may actually be essential.

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I was so sad to reach the end!!! amazing!

so we'll written!!! engaging! learned a LOT! Have a whole new respect for parasites! loved it!

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amazing

Definitely a must read. Greatly constructed. fantastic writing makes this book wonderful to read. Cannot wait to read another of his books