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Publisher's Summary

In The Ancestor's Tale, evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins offers a masterwork: an exhilarating reverse tour through evolution, from present-day humans back to the microbial beginnings of life four billion years ago. Throughout the journey, Dawkins spins entertaining, insightful stories and sheds light on topics such as speciation, sexual selection, and extinction. The Ancestor's Tale is at once an essential education in evolutionary theory and riveting in its telling.

©2004 Richard Dawkins (P)2015 Tantor

What listeners say about The Ancestor's Tale

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Heavily Abridged

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I didn't understand that I was buying the abridged version of The Ancestor's Tale. I don't remember seeing that stated so clearly as it is here. I enjoyed what I did hear of the book, but realized, after referring to the print copy, that the Audible version is heavily abridged.

Were the concepts of this book easy to follow, or were they too technical?

Yes, the book was a pleasure.

What does Richard Dawkins and Lalla Ward bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

They have lovely reading voices.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Absolutely.

Any additional comments?

Would love to have the full unabridged version available from Audible.

25 people found this helpful

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

Please do an unabridged version!

Would you consider the audio edition of The Ancestor's Tale to be better than the print version?

This is an amazing book but as others have said it is severely diminished by being abridged. Please notify me when a complete version is available an I'll buy it immediately.

28 people found this helpful

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

Good book, poorly abridged for audio

Abridgment was conducted by chopping out entire sections of the modular storyline. One segment late in the book played twice. Why not leave a good book unabridged?

26 people found this helpful

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

ABRIDGED!

I don't know guys, I'm sure this is missing a tale or two. Where is the Tale of the Cauliflower? or the Nautilus? Everything else about it is great.

10 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

!!! Extremely Abridged !!!

The unabridged book is, without a doubt, the most wondrous and beautiful thing I've ever read. I cannot express how disappointing this audio version is. It isn't abridged, it's truncated, summarized, and diminished. I get it, the book is HUGE. This Cliff Notes version, however, is not the answer. I'd happily pay 3 or more credits for a full version, even with a less delightful narrator. I'd eagerly pay a credit a piece for parts 1 - 4 of an unabridged version. This joyless outline is a disservice to Audible, the Author, and any listener unfortunate enough to waste time and money on it.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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To Short

It would of had one more star but it's only the abridged version and there is no unabridged version

11 people found this helpful

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

wish it wasn't so abridged.

a longer version would have an unwieldy amount of pictures to refer to, perhaps, but I wish the audiobook was longer.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great Book; Distracting Narration

The book was great but I didn't like the tag team narration. I also was hoping for more detail about our human cousins but that wasn't the specific focus is the book.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Always Enjoyable

I enjoy Dawkins's books. I love his passion for what does which makes listening very pleasurable. I like the emphasis of Lala's tag team narrative in all of Dawkins's books. This book is not my favorite of his books but does deliver a lot interesting thoughts and concepts.

3 people found this helpful

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

A Masterpiece Flawed By Sketchy Narration.

Where does The Ancestor's Tale rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

In my view, this ranks in the 70th percentile of my accumulated library topics.

What did you like best about this story?

The retrograde methodology of examining the branched tree of speciation is unique and interesting. The comparison to Chaucer's Epic created some amusing and informative learning moments.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Richard Dawkins and Lalla Ward ?

Anyone else but the author. While I have the utmost respect for the esteemed and brilliant Richard Dawkins, his narration style was often hard to follow due to constant unusual vocal volume fades and unexpected changes in speech pace. As soon as the ear/brain finally adjusted to this choppy style over a few minutes or so, co-narrator Lalla Ward would then take the helm, necessitating yet another listening shift. Then the ball was passed back to Professor Dawkins, back and forth.I found this constant narration swap to be highly disruptive and feel that a single professional narrator would have made this a more seamless and enjoyable process.

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

Not at all. It was very information rich and ( for me) was best digested in many sessions.

Any additional comments?

Be wary of author narrations with an added second voice.

10 people found this helpful