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Tamed

Ten Species That Changed Our World
Narrated by: Alice Roberts
Length: 13 hrs and 52 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (42 ratings)

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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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informative description of domestication

this book takes advantage of very recent genetic evidence outlining the domestication of 10 different species. the genetics were presented largely as conclusions. but did identify the still present uncertainties and controversies, i.e. it does not present the actual arguments but more of a 30000 ft overview. it was well worth the time, I did not fast forward through any part. the chapter on horse domestication was among the most interesting.

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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).

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Please leave out the sermons.

An otherwise great book is sullied by the author's prejudice. She gets very preachy about GMOs and is obviously biased against any research done by a private firm. Her own bias illustrates that academics are hardly without self-interest. The last hour of the recording is not worth the time. Also, her British pronunciations of many of the words is very distracting.

1 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for K. J. Noyes
  • 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.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • I. A. Wright
  • 03-24-18

Fascinating, detailed, credible

Brilliantky and engagingly read by Prof, Roberts, this book is a significantb step forward in our understanding of the animals that homo sapiens have tamed for our own use and pleasure.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-15-19

Roberts' book is brilliant and insightful.

Listening to Alice read her book is the best way to experience it. It is definitely worth listening to as not only is it a brilliant intelligent look into the world but as its her own words she speaks, you can picture some of the images in ways that you don't otherwise experience.

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  • Blueyedwolf69
  • 07-21-19

Informative

Well researched and enlightening. Some parts were quite in-depth so requires another listen.
Best listened to a chapter at a time and then mentally digested overnight

Good narration and well structured.

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Profile Image for Chrissie Ann
  • Chrissie Ann
  • 05-03-19

Fascinating.

Alice was a great narrator, I felt she was talking to me not reading. Brilliant. I have learnt so much from this book. But think I need to relisten at a later date to understand the nuances I have missed. I have really enjoyed this book and will have no problem relistening. 👍

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  • francois
  • 04-29-19

A walk from the wild

Overall a great book. The narration by Alice is excellent and the material is enlightening if a bit daunting at times. For what is essentially a book for the masses, she doesn’t skimp on the technical side nor the complex web of movement and evolution which sometimes required me to stop and << rewind. Still I would highly recommend to anyone.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-05-19

Brilliant.....

Best book I've read in a long time, fascinatingand thought provoking,and I have no prior knowledge of the subject. Love the fact it's narrated by the author too👍⭐⭐

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  • NorfolkMac
  • 01-17-19

Eye-opener: Prof Roberts brings the past to life

To know where we should go in the future, we should check back where we came from and put our current situation in context. Prof Roberts has done the heavy lifting and brought human existence & coexistence to our ears and minds in a really accessible style. Pity the poor people who do not read this for this are missing out on something special.

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  • nev
  • 11-23-18

Exceptional

I loved it. Learning about 10 species that changed and we also changed. Will be looking for 'Golden Rice' reviews or anything on the net about it. The narrator is awesome too.

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  • Frank Hollis
  • 10-11-18

Grippingly informative

I've always thought that I was quite up to date with the topics covered in the book. I read New Scientist every week. I was wrong. Every few minutes I was being told something new and interesting. The science is totally up to date, which is vital in such a fast changing field. And Alice Robert's performance of her own work is masterly