• The Triumph of Seeds

  • How Grains, Nuts, Kernels, Pulses & Pips Conquered the Plant Kingdom and Shaped Human History
  • By: Thor Hanson
  • Narrated by: Marc Vietor
  • Length: 7 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 08-04-15
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Audible Studios
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (914 ratings)

Regular price: $19.95

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Publisher's Summary

We live in a world of seeds. From our morning toast to the cotton in our clothes, they are quite literally the stuff and staff of life, supporting diets, economies, and civilizations around the globe. Just as the search for nutmeg and the humble peppercorn drove the Age of Discovery, so did coffee beans help fuel the Enlightenment and cottonseed help spark the Industrial Revolution. And from the fall of Rome to the Arab Spring, the fate of nations continues to hinge on the seeds of a Middle Eastern grass known as wheat. In nature and in culture, seeds are fundamental - objects of beauty, evolutionary wonder, and simple fascination. How many times has a child dropped the winged pip of a maple, marveling as it spirals its way down to the ground, or relished the way a gust of wind(or a stout breath) can send a dandelion’s feathery flotilla skyward? Yet despite their importance, seeds are often seen as a commonplace, their extraordinary natural and human histories overlooked. Thanks to Thor Hanson and this stunning new book, they can be overlooked no more.

©2015 Thor Hanson (P)2015 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Marc Vietor's mellow, upbeat narration adds personality and energy, and every chapter brings fresh information and insight." ( AudioFile)

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Delightfully simplistic!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

This book looks at the history and evolution of seeds. That's it. Thor Hanson's appreciation of seeds and his passion for study are evident, yet he presented the topic in a lighthearted way that was easy for a layman to follow. I enjoyed this book very much.

What other book might you compare The Triumph of Seeds to and why?

I love books that have a small scope, but enlighten me in a big way. This book reminds me of "A History of the World in 6 Glasses" by Tom Standage, which I read a decade ago, but still keep on my desk.

What about Marc Vietor’s performance did you like?

I thought the content and the narrator were perfectly matched. Marc Vietor did excellent work of bringing this book to life.

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

I would have enjoyed listening to this in one sitting. I didn't, but I did listen to it while I walked, shopped, cooked and washed dishes.

Any additional comments?

I didn't know much or care much about seeds when I started this book. I can now confidently speak about seeds because I've enjoyed this wonderful lesson and learned a lot without being lectured to.

51 of 54 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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a fantastic book and great narration

this is such an great book. it's so informative and yet feels like you are part of love story between the author and his passion for everything seeds.

21 of 22 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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This is an amazing book

This book is very interesting to read you get some history, biology, chemistry, physics and a whole lot of awesome BOTANY.

28 of 30 people found this review helpful

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more than seeds

I loved the background told in the beginning. I am studying secondary metabolites in plants, and this book was a good compliment to the plant's functions and uses of them.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Background for a seed lover

Dr Hanson gave me a look inside seeds, their behavior, and place in the context of history and modern life.

He kept the jargon to Botany 101 and infused each chapter with colorful images and metaphors.

23 of 25 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

very insightful

I liked the narrator, but not for this book. He seems more suited to mystery or thriller, or even sci-fi, but somehow didn't work for me in this documentary or non fiction genre.
Great book though. I thought it seemed like a mildly interesting topic, but it turned out to be a massively interesting topic.

19 of 21 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr
  • 05-04-16

Inspiring

Concepts from many researchers work laid out and built up with a wealth of experimental findings with wonderful clarity. Enthralling side notes and stories into the part of seeds in history and ever pertinent philosophical paradigms. A core maintained throughout of the story of his own research into the Almendro tree woven perfectly within the wider subject and a sincere admiration of nature's core principles. Brilliant. Thank you Thor, thank you Nature.

18 of 22 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

just.. .. meh.

there are a few good chapters near the end but it's generally a flop. he spends more time discussing his son and in-laws than he does seeds.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Useful history with a little physiology of seeds

I thought that the author did a good job of describing histories and interesting scientific discoveries without using too many scientific terms. I was hoping it would include more physiology of how seeds develop rather than the descriptions of physical characteristics of seeds. I was not crazy about the readers tone. it made me a little sleepy.

17 of 22 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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A source of teaching inspiration

The beginning is a bit slow and heavy on biology vernacular, but there are plenty of stories about how seeds and their extracts influenced espionage, the slave trade, Christopher Columbus' voyage, and most importantly, avocado toast! I liked how the chapter long stories about almendro trees came full circle for an interesting and satisfying conclusion.

The story reads like a Discovery Channel documentary and is highly recommended for any graduate students TA's, or teachers looking for ways to explain seed germination and plant diversity to an everyday audience while keeping their audience engaged. I am definitely going to use the the 'packed lunch' analogy in my upcoming lessons!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • shaun mace
  • 09-20-16

very interesting if you're curious about seeds :)

great book if you're into permaculture, sustainable seeds, the planet or plants.

Not the most exciting but am very happy to have read it

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-11-18

fantastic.

A fantastic book. Good narration which is matched to style of book. Very easy to listen to.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-23-18

Fantastic book

Really enjoyed this book with so much information and easy to understand, in-depth descriptions. if you have an interest in plants or the natural world, this book definitely worth it.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-23-18

marriage of narrator and text is beautiful

the text is performed rather than simply read. fascinating insight, really interesting and very enjoyable.