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The Truth About Animals

Stoned Sloths, Lovelorn Hippos, and Other Tales from the Wild Side of Wildlife
Narrated by: Lucy Cooke
Length: 10 hrs and 28 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (137 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Mary Roach meets Sam Kean and Bill Bryson in this uproarious tour of the basest instincts and biggest mysteries of the animal world.

Humans have gone to the Moon and discovered the Higgs boson, but when it comes to understanding animals, we've still got a long way to go. Whether we're seeing a viral video of romping baby pandas or a picture of penguins "holding hands", it's hard for us not to project our own values - innocence, fidelity, temperance, hard work - onto animals. So you've probably never considered if moose get drunk, penguins cheat on their mates, or worker ants lay about. They do - and that's just for starters. 

In The Truth About Animals, Lucy Cooke takes us on a worldwide journey to meet everyone from a Colombian hippo castrator to a Chinese panda porn peddler, all to lay bare the secret - and often hilarious - habits of the animal kingdom. Charming and at times downright weird, this modern bestiary is perfect for anyone who has ever suspected that virtue might be unnatural.  

©2018 Lucy Cooke (P)2018 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"[A] deeply researched, sassily written history of 'the biggest misconceptions, mistakes and myths we've concocted about the animal kingdom,' spread by figures from Aristotle to Walt Disney." (Nature)

"The eclectic stories come thick and fast, with an equally varied human cast dedicated to uncovering the truth, scientifically or otherwise. Cooke illuminates and mickey-takes in equal measure, and the truth as she tells it is not only unexpected but often bizarre, bawdy and very, very funny. " (BBC Wildlife - UK)

"In the end, the history of zoology reveals as much about our human foibles as about the animals we study. And this book will leave readers more enlightened about both." (Science News)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great listen, highly recommend

Lucy Cooke does a great job of narrating her book about some of the more obscure histories of a handful of animals. The stories are fascinating, at times almost unbelievable. She not only delves into the unique abilities of each animal, but also the quirky attempts that us humans have made in trying to understanding them. If you're a animal lover, nature lover, history lover, or just like a good story, you should definitely give this a listen. You won't regret it.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Fascinating and Obscure Facts about Animals.

I really enjoyed this book. It's full of those odd useless but fascinating facts some of us love. Wait till you hear about the hyena's genitalia. Historical asides abound which are very entertaining. It also addresses research and how wrong headed some of it has been over the centuries.

My only (mild) complaint is with the author's narration. She reads VERY fast and blasts right by some witty and funny anecdotes. You don't have time to appreciate them as you're racing to catch up with her. This would have benefited from a professional narrator. That said, Ms. Cooke is obviously well-educated and enunciates clearly, so there's no problem there. I look forward to listening or reading more of her works.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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very informative

A great listen. I enjoy The author read their own work.
A very good book

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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AWSOME listen

This book is both funny and very informative, Lucy Cooke did an amazing job at both collecting all the research as well as writing this book in a nob-boring way. I love it and I highly recommend!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Definitely worth the time and money

Not only was the content informative and sometimes hilarious, the author’s reading made it top-notch. She is extremely entertaining and I’m beyond disappointed that there isn’t a follow up book to buy!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

It's ok but a bit corny

I like where the book comes from and agree with many of her points. Unfortunately, it feels like it provides only a handful of interesting content which it stretches out to cover the entire book using not so funny puns and gimmicky entertainments. it doesn't help that the voice performance itself isn't the greatest, switching between wacky to represent the author and an over stuffy parody of authoritative voice to represent direct quotes from source material.

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Sounds like she is shouting all the time

The content is sort of interesting, if a bit heavy on the mating practices. The problem is with the presentation. It sounds as though the author/narrator is shouting all the time - kind of like an email in ALL CAPS. I think that most of the time it is better to get a professional narrator rather than having the author do it.

2 of 5 people found this review helpful

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69% Of This Book Is About Animal Genetalia

The author’s fascination with the topic knows no bounds and is highly disconcerting. A good 20 minutes per chapter is a grotesque yet eagerly delivered epic poem dedicated to bat dicks, beaver balls and eel sperm. It’s too much. WAY too much. And the Sloth Chapter had no stoned sloths. I can’t even bear another minute. Got my return on Audible’s Desktop site.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Meh

Author seems sex-obsessed. And narration is like she's yelling--high-pitched, shrill voice, then tapers to soft. I couldn't listen anymore. Maybe I'll find a Zen moment and pick it up again.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful