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Publisher's Summary

Random House presents the audiobook edition of Tamed, written and read by Alice Roberts.

The extraordinary story of the species that became our allies.

For hundreds of thousands of years, our ancestors depended on wild plants and animals for survival. They were hunter-gatherers, consummate foraging experts, taking the world as they found it. Then a revolution occurred - our ancestors' interaction with other species changed. They began to tame them. The human population boomed; civilisation began.

In Tamed, Alice Roberts uncovers the deep history of 10 familiar species with incredible wild pasts: dogs, apples and wheat; cattle, potatoes and chickens; rice, maize and horses - and, finally, humans.

She reveals how becoming part of our world changed these animals and plants, and shows how they became our allies, essential to the survival and success of our own species.

Enlightening, wide-ranging and endlessly fascinating, Tamed encompasses thousands of years of history and archaeology alongside cutting-edge genetics and anthropology. Yet it is also a deeply personal journey that changes how we see ourselves and the species on which we have left our mark.

An Economist and Mail on Sunday Book of the Year 2017.

©2018 Alice Roberts (P)2018 Random House Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

"A masterpiece of evocative scientific storytelling." (Brian Cox)
"The best popular book on broad-sweep history since Guns, Germs and Steel." (Peter Forbes)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Learned a lot, yet disappointed in the end

Ms Robert does a fascinating job putting together info from various disciplines to tell a story of origins and development. While using ,say, dogs , she illustrates many new and old science techniques to weave a story that is both interesting and instructive. She is a Science Communicator, and she does that well.
The down-side/ interesting aspect is her (to American ears) very British accent which sometimes distracts or confuses. She was talking about "tubers" but it sounded exactly like "cheevers"
The major flaw was in her otherwise nice melding of science and storytelling was in the end segments where she lets her own "gut" keep from delving into the science and actual experience of GMOs. Similarly, she makes a grand case for environmental stewardship yet voices hope for "the organic movement" despite pointing out one paragraph before that organic farming is less efficient (true) and that nearly all farmable land is already under cultivation (also true).

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  • I. A. Wright
  • 03-24-18

Excellent science

What was one of the most memorable moments of Tamed?

Impossible to say. All chapters are fascinating.

Which character – as performed by Alice Roberts – was your favourite?

No separate characters, just Alice

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Far too long for a single sitting

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • K. J. Noyes
  • 03-27-18

Social history & science, some interesting tidbits

Would you listen to Tamed again? Why?

Possibly I would return to particular chapters that I specifically found most interesting (more the animal chapters).

What does Alice Roberts bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Enthusiasm in her delivery, I would say. Though don't most readers?!

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, too much to take in, I wanted to pause between each chapter and species.

Any additional comments?

Ten chapters of social history and science - interesting tidbits in there

3.5 stars

This came out last year, but I hadn't heard of it until I saw the Audible version advertised. It sounded like the sort of easy listen that I would enjoy and hopefully learn from, having enjoyed Roberts' television programmes.

It turned out to be a mixed bag. Absolutely fascinating on one hand, but rather long-winded on the other as a listen. The dates and delving do feel quite cumbersome when you are listening, it's hard to hold all the facts in your head as new ones constantly bombard you. But that would be easier on paper, I feel.

I did learn various interesting facts, and just considering how our species has tamed and cleverly used these animals and plants was mind-expanding. From potatoes and rice to dogs and chickens, I found it one of those non-fiction titles that I would quite have liked to see televised.

Alice Roberts herself narrates, which is no bad thing. I knew from her voice and style on TV that she'd be a narrator I would have no trouble listening to, and she was both personable and kept her clear voice light and full of enthusiasm for her subject.

Personally, I think this would be easier to follow and refer back to on paper/as an e-book, but I still picked up a lot of information from the audio version.

With thanks to Nudge Books for the sample Audible copy, provided for an honest review.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Toddy
  • 08-07-18

Tamed is well read by the author

It turns out that domesticated is more complex and interesting than I imagined. Alice Roberts writes clearly for all to appreciate the science without getting lost and conjures up scenarios with drifting too far from the known facts. Very interesting book.

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  • GS
  • 08-06-18

Enjoyable but heavy going at times for me

Excellently read and interesting subject matter. This was somewhat of an experiment for me as I wouldn't typically choose this type of book. Heavy going at times. Nonetheless it was enjoyable and Alice Roberts passion for the subject matter shines through.

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Damian
  • 07-30-18

Great book

Really interesting. Very current in regards to reearch on this veey fascinating topic. Well read bybthe author as well.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • paul hadfeild
  • 07-12-18

Great book

You will not regret buying this book very interesting from beginning to end,lots of new genetic insights.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-11-18

Tour de force

Popular science is tricky. Blending popular science with archaeology is arguably even trickier, and can easily result in an unsightly mess that insults all and pleases none. This is an example of a successful attempt at this dodgy area and is both well-written and well-read. Recommended.

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  • Kevin
  • 07-10-18

Very interesting book well read....

I liked Alice's writing and reading style. I travel often and my job is complicated. A good book like this is a welcome distraction.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Jono
  • 07-04-18

Informative, surprising (and very dry) in parts.

While I'm a big fan of Alice Roberts and generally enjoyed this book, there are parts which induced narcolepsy in me (do not listen to this if you're driving a long distance).

I enjoyed the interesting facts and Alice's narration and would definitely consider checking out her other books.

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  • Amy
  • 06-27-18

entertainment and thought provoking

couldn't put it down. really accessible factual content. Narrated by author who is clearly passionate about the material