A Brief History of Vice

  • by Robert Evans
  • Narrated by Tristan Morris
  • 7 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

History has never been more fun - or more intoxicating.
Guns, germs, and steel might have transformed us from hunter-gatherers into modern man, but booze, sex, trash talk, and tripping built our civilization. Cracked editor Robert Evans brings his signature dogged research and lively insight to uncover the many and magnificent ways vice has influenced history, from the prostitute-turned-empress who scored a major victory for women's rights to the beer that helped create - and destroy - South America's first empire. And Evans goes deeper than simply writing about ancient debauchery; he recreates some of history's most enjoyable (and most painful) vices and includes guides so you can follow along at home. You'll learn how to:

Trip like a Greek philosopher
Rave like your Stone Age ancestors
Get drunk like a Sumerian
Smoke a nose pipe like a pre-Columbian Native American

A celebration of the brave, drunken pioneers who built our civilization one seemingly bad decision at a time, A Brief History of Vice explores a side of the past that mainstream history books prefer to hide.


What the Critics Say

"Mixing science, humor, and grossly irresponsible self-experimentation, Evans paints a vivid picture of how bad habits built the world we know and love." (David Wong, author of John Dies at the End)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Wonderful Intellectual Surprise

Great book and narrator. Took chance on book and loved it. I love non fiction books that tell about how history was vs how we like to sugarcoat it. Factual, honest, and surprisingly funny. Written in a bit of a Gonzo style that makes it fun and easy to listen to without glorifying the habits we guiltily love.
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- Carl

Get an Audible High With a Hit of this Book

If Audible was a drug (and sometimes it is an addition, right?) then this hilarious book is like a quick sure fire buzz that will get you feeling happy.

Note: I've never taken a drug in my life, so perhaps I am not the best source for that advice. :)

What makes this book fun is the writing style. The author has an ingenious and original style for writing some fairly serious and in depth prose and then busts out a joke or phrase that is outrageous. I don't remember the last time I laughed outloud from listening to an Audible book, but I have to admit I was listening to this book while sitting on a Southwest airlines flight, sandwiched in the middle seat and I was trying to hold in my laughter and just shaking silently. I am sure the other two people thought I was crazy. I was having the best middle seat experience of any flight I have ever been on.

As for content, I liked how the author tried to not just look at drugs and alcohol, but how he examined the entire world of things that alter moods. There are even chapters on the physiological effects of music and coffee. I appreciated the science and was grateful that while I felt the science was credible, it was not so in depth that it made the book get dry.

Best of all, this book did made me re-examine my attitudes toward all things vice. I wouldn't say it changed me - I still have not tried any drugs and do not plan to, but I have a slightly different and more happy attitude that might be considered a bit more relaxed.

The reader is very clear. Audible picked the best person possible to read this book, Tristan Morris. Because he can read something dead pan, it makes the jokes funnier. If it had been a reader that really wanted to accentuate the jokes, it would have ruined them.

All in all, I found this book to be informative, entertaining and a simple pleasure to experience. Don't be afriad my fellow listeners, if this is the only drug you ever try, you will safely get a great buzz for hours.
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- DGE 2020 "I love big ideas where ever they come from. Science fiction is a favorite hobby, but I also explore history, memoirs and social science."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-09-2016
  • Publisher: Penguin Audio