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Publisher's Summary

Greg Bear's fiction ingeniously combines cutting-edge science and unforgettable characters. It has won multiple Hugo and Nebula Awards and choruses of critical acclaim. Now, with Darwin's Radio, Bear creates a nonstop thriller swirling with provocative ideas about the next step of human evolution.

In a cave high in the Alps, a renegade anthropologist discovers a frozen Neanderthal couple with a Homo sapiens baby. Meanwhile, in southern Russia, the U.N. investigation of a mysterious mass grave is cut short. One of the investigators, molecular biologist Kaye Lang, returns home to the U.S. to learn that her theory on human retroviruses has been verified with the discovery of SHEVA, a virus that has slept in our DNA for millions of years and is now waking up. How are these seemingly disparate events connected? Kaye Lang and her colleagues must race against a genetic time bomb to find out.

Darwin's Radio pulses with intelligent speculation, international adventure, and political intrigue as it explores timeless human themes. George Guidall's masterful performance heightens the excitement and keeps you enthralled until the final fascinating word.

©2000 Greg Bear (P)2000 Recorded Books

Critic Reviews

  • Winner, 2000 Nebula Award - Best Novel

"Centered on well-developed, highly believable figures who are working scientists and full-fledged human beings, this fine novel is sure to please anyone who appreciates literate, state-of-the-art SF." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    259
  • 4 Stars
    326
  • 3 Stars
    249
  • 2 Stars
    73
  • 1 Stars
    41

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    208
  • 4 Stars
    203
  • 3 Stars
    109
  • 2 Stars
    21
  • 1 Stars
    10

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    171
  • 4 Stars
    178
  • 3 Stars
    139
  • 2 Stars
    38
  • 1 Stars
    29
Sort by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Kaye
  • Canada
  • 01-24-18

Worst book ever

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Maybe a PHD in science

Has Darwin's Radio turned you off from other books in this genre?

No

What does George Guidall bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Even he couldn’t save this story, he is always the number one narrator

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Anger that I had fallen for not so honest reviews ,

Any additional comments?

The basic story and characters are interesting, but the scientific mumbo jumbo is not interesting way to much science. DNA, chrosomes, way too much science not enough story. I listened for 5 hours, deleted it and returned.

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

Too much bureaucracy!

The story and science were great, but the constant political infighting was probably accurate but overdone!

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

Worthwhile sci-fi thriller

An enjoyable book, reads like a Crichton thriller. Editing of transitions was often too abrupt.

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

Well deserved of all the awards

One of Bear's best, this book challenges the very foundations of incrementalist neo-Darwinism with well researched science and a small amount of speculation. The rich characters and intricate plot-lines form a deeply believable and frightening story.

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

A science fiction explanation of evolution

This book is a masterpiece. It not only tells a fascinating tale of human response to scientific dramatic change, but gives an enticing explanation of how rapid evolution may occur through the activation of HERV (human endogenous retrovirus). it also shows how our political system reacts to scientific knowledge with ignorance and folly. A must read.

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

Bait and switch

Darwin's Radio is an excellent stand alone book. The science is very detailed, and the overall concept requires only a little suspension of disbelief. If the next book in the series had dragged the science back to the realistic, it could have been a wonderful trilogy. Instead, book 2 goes further afield from plausible evolutionary mechanisms, and book 3 goes full bore mystical. If you like sneaky new-age advocacy, this is the trilogy for you. If you like hard core sci fi, this ain't it.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

The recording skips

I tried re-downloading to no avail. Very disappointed, the book seems fascinating but the skipping misses words at the beginning of every sentence.

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

It's 2 Books In One

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Those that like stories about "relationships" more than plot/true Sci-Fi

What could Greg Bear have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Finished the story as it developed int he first half and not outsourced the second half to a pulp romance novel writer.

What three words best describe George Guidall’s voice?

Meh.

What character would you cut from Darwin's Radio?

Everything from about 60% on.

Any additional comments?

This book was very interesting and engaging until it did a hard turn away from Sci-Fi and jumped head first into a melodrama. There were times I had to check my phone/MP3 player just to make sure I was actually listening to the right book.

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

Reasonably enjoyable entertainment

I'd rate the story an average entertainment for those interested in the scientific and anthropological possibilities suggested by the book jacket. I would have preferred a much faster pacing of the story.

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

Good Story, Bad Audio

Some of the chapters seemed like they got cut off in mid sentence, but the story was so good I kept listening and will now be broke for the rest of the week because I had to buy the sequel.