The Beak of the Finch

Customer Reviews

291 Ratings

Overall Ratings

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
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5 out of 5 stars
By Philip on 05-15-11

Fascinating in-depth look at evolution in action

A wonderful science/biology book that combines depth (the Galapagos finch study by Rosemary and Peter Grant) and breadth (impressive overview of Darwin's discoveries, and work by his scientific followers). Accessible to a non-biologist like me, while at the same time introducing many new concepts and insights from field studies. At times, the book seems to be written in a thriller style, with cliffhangers and plot turns that make you look forward to the next time you can spend time with this excellent book. Highly recommended.

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8 of 8 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Lori on 11-02-12

More than birds here.

What made the experience of listening to The Beak of the Finch the most enjoyable?

The narrator.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Beak of the Finch?

At the end when the thoughts are being conclusive- It is so insightful that I will think about this book for the rest of my life. It affects my everyday living and I NEVER expected that from this book. I thought it was just going to be an interesting book about Darwin's finches and the people who have studied them.

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

Not really. There is just too much information and I need to process it in more than one sitting.

Any additional comments?

Sometimes there are a few too many details and measurements, but overall this is a really good book. Maybe great, well it would be great with a few less bird details.
I like bird stuff but what was the most amazing was side stories on other animals like the white and black moths in England etc. Wow!
Our planet is wonderful and after reading this my commitment to taking good care of it is even stronger.
You can never see the world the same again if you read this. We live on a beautiful planet and this book really gives a clear view of just how wonderful it is, thanks to the hard work of a lot of very patient people.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Gare&Sophia on 03-24-14

This book clearly deserves all its awards

Evolution made material, without anthropology. Did you know that the illegal ivory trade is causing elephants to be born with shorter or non-existent tusks. Well written and fascinating for the evolution buff. A must read!

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Male Perspective on 02-25-14

One of my favorite books that I've listened to

Any additional comments?

This was an extremely interesting book. I listened to it twice. If you want to really understand how evolution works, how the environment molds and shape species then this is the book to get. If you doubt evolution is real...listen to this book. It's probably the best case study of evolution in motion.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Margaret on 04-08-15

Powerful narrative; fascinating subject

For people who don't have a strong science background, but do believe in evolution and natural selection - the next time some fan of Fox News tells you with great confidence that "Darwin's Theory of Evolution was just a theory. It hasn't been proven," you can whip this book out of your backpack and beat them with it.

Completely accessible, written with a strong narrative arc that keeps you turning pages, Weiner has created a compelling work of popular science. He summarizes, in layman's terms, some of the great field research projects that usually scientists only talk about to each other. Projects where natural selection, sexual selection and hybridization have been observed to change species within the span of human observation. That's right, folks, proof after proof of evolution in various ways - theory no longer.

Weiner then goes on to relate these proofs to other touchstones in our lives - drug-resistant viruses, catastrophic weather events.

This is a darn good read as well as being a sensible antidote to the anti-science wave of foolishness sweeping the U.S.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Eric on 10-21-11

Excellent Info, sometimes a bit too much

The book was excellent and really detailed, which was good to a point. I don't know what I would have cut as an editor because it was an insightful examination of the Finches and other examples of speciation, but I found that at the halfway point I found myself thinking "really only I am only half way through the book? I could teach a course on this from the information that I have been given so far. What more could they possibly have to say?" Then the author would give me more great information that backed what he was saying.

Really an insightful and information packed read that gives the Real world life of scientists actively doing science and teh results that they are coming up with. Just a bit too long.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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