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Publisher's Summary

In this Hugo-nominated novel, Neanderthal physicist Ponter Boddit brings Canadian geneticist Mary Vaughan back to his world to explore the near-utopian civilization of the Neanderthals. Boddit serves as a Candide figure, the naive visitor whose ignorance about our society makes him a perfect tool to analyze human tendencies toward violence, over-population, and environmental degradation. The Neanderthals have developed a highly artistic, ethical, and scientific culture without ever inventing farming - they're still hunters and gatherers - and this allows the author to make some interesting and generally unrecognized points about the downside of the discovery of agriculture.

BONUS AUDIO: Author Robert J. Sawyer explains why one particular chapter of Humans is his very favorite.

Hunt and gather: listen to more in the Neanderthal Parallax trilogy.
©2003 by Robert J. Sawyer; (P)2008 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Sawyer is a writer of boundless confidence and bold scientific extrapolation." (The New York Times)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    294
  • 4 Stars
    327
  • 3 Stars
    173
  • 2 Stars
    35
  • 1 Stars
    22

Performance

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    257
  • 4 Stars
    173
  • 3 Stars
    50
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    3

Story

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    200
  • 4 Stars
    173
  • 3 Stars
    88
  • 2 Stars
    25
  • 1 Stars
    12
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

sci-fi? more like rom-fi

listening to description of penises is not my fave in sci-fi. The lack of action is also frustrating. specialy because the first bool was so good.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Excellent narration

But the storyline is getting less good. The character development is weak and it's not clear what Pontus sees in Mary....

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Pien
  • Pt. Edward, Ont.
  • 03-14-15

Totally Immersed inthe Story and Rooting for Love

Love Robert Sawyer's creative work and devoured the Neanderthal Parallex.
I pictured this alternate reality and the narrator did a fantastic job.
I think I will be lost after the third book is done and probably will be hoping for a sequel about them as a blended family...

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

So disappointed!

I really enjoyed book one of this series for the unique scifi concept, so I was excited to start book two. But in book two, somehow the scifi genre morphs into a cheesy romance novel. It was ridiculous and I was bored. I'd like to get my time and money back.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Don't waste your time

What disappointed you about Humans?

I've never written a review, good or bad, but this book is a stinker. The book is filled with heavy handed political tripe, when it could have been a great story.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Disappointing sequal

Is there anything you would change about this book?

The Christian outlook seemed overdone to me, and intruded on the story. The repeated idea that 'our' universe may have an afterlife, and that so much of our culture is defined by that belief felt awkward. There is a long scene at the Vietnam Vet Memorial where Mary defends our wars which I really did not like. Perhaps the author is leading me to feel this way, but I felt bludgeoned by it.

Would you ever listen to anything by Robert J. Sawyer again?

Yes. I enjoyed the first book in the series a lot.

What about Jonathan Davis and Robert J. Sawyer ’s performance did you like?

The characters had distinctive voices, easy to identify and follow.

Any additional comments?

I need to decide if I want to finish the series. I'm not particularly happy with where it seems to be going.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • John
  • Merville, BC, Canada
  • 10-01-12

A platform for hostility

Sawyer took a concept that had potential for an intriguing story, then butchered it by devoting the whole series to attacking any faith system other than atheism. While the series was intended to be a platform for social commentary, it doesn't really have anything to say other than the world would be a better place if we had technologies that don't exist, men took no hand in child rearing and just stayed away from women and children, and that all would be just butterflies and lollipops if we did no homework into religion, blamed all our problems on it, and turned to the guiding light of atheism for moral clarity. Really, he could have covered that in a pamphlet. Going through that over and over in a trilogy was painful. Save yourself the frustration. AVOID THIS SERIES.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Kai
  • Santa Fe, NM, United States
  • 06-30-08

Humans

This book is a very thought provoking and well writen pice of
well, writing. and so it realy draws the reader in.

4 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Alan
  • Reno,, NV, USA
  • 07-26-08

Enjoyable

I wanted to finish reading this book and go on to the next book in the series. Once again, there was social commentary married with interesting characters.

4 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Andre
  • Ithaca, NY, United States
  • 01-28-09

Reasonable Science Fiction

There are some very decent, interesting ideas in this book. Unfortunately it is marred by a soppy, unlikely love story; and especially by a whole bunch of nonsensical religious discussions.

3 of 9 people found this review helpful