Humans : Neanderthal Parallax

  • by Robert J. Sawyer
  • Narrated by Jonathan Davis, Robert J. Sawyer
  • Series: Neanderthal Parallax
  • 11 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In this Hugo-nominated novel, Neanderthal physicist Ponter Boddit brings Canadian geneticist Mary Vaughan back to his world to explore the near-utopian civilization of the Neanderthals. Boddit serves as a Candide figure, the naive visitor whose ignorance about our society makes him a perfect tool to analyze human tendencies toward violence, over-population, and environmental degradation. The Neanderthals have developed a highly artistic, ethical, and scientific culture without ever inventing farming - they're still hunters and gatherers - and this allows the author to make some interesting and generally unrecognized points about the downside of the discovery of agriculture.BONUS AUDIO: Author Robert J. Sawyer explains why one particular chapter of Humans is his very favorite.


What the Critics Say

"Sawyer is a writer of boundless confidence and bold scientific extrapolation." (The New York Times)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Missed the Mark

Sadly Mr. Sawyer completely misunderstood what made volume one of his series excellent. I say sadly because volume one did not try to feed opinions down the reader's throat but instead presented two civilizations each of which was equally flawed, and most importantly Mr. Sawyer did not make it obvious what their flaws were. He didn't tell me what to think; he let me decide. Book one was quite simply good science fiction; it made its point by creating likable characters and creating a plot written for adults.

Book 2 of the series, Humans, lacks everything the first had. As I listened to the audio book I was tortured by long periods of time where I felt the author was insulting my intelligence, and the times he wasn't insulting he was quite simply boring. And gosh almighty he made the heroine a stupid dimwit in book two. Also, if I wanted to listen to long sermons on atheism I'd rather listen to more eloquent authors such as Richard Dawkin's The God Delusion. Mr. Sawyer can't even preach to the choir convincingly.

Book one compared fictional society with specific people; and book two tried to tell me stuff about human society that made me feel it was being told by a thirteen year old who thought I would be shocked because he was shocked, but instead bored me to misery.

Worst of all for the author he had an introduction to the audio book where he told me that this book two was his best book he ever wrote and that it had the best sex scene in science fiction. First nobody should tell me what to think of a book before I read it, and second only a fool would try to sell his book saying it had a good sex scene.

And as someone who's been reading science fiction for at least three decades I'd have to say this book had the most boring and immaturely told sex scene I've ever read. has delighted me with wonderful trilogies such as Hyperion, Ender's Game and more. But for Hominids I do wish I'd have stopped after book one.
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- Guillermo

Enjoyable and Engaging!

A fast-paced story with an interesting premise, the Neanderthal Parallax (set largely in Canada... Huzzah!) is an easy and engaging read. The narrator of the audio version brings the characters to life well, and the hours pass quickly. My choice to give it four stars is only in comparison to the first book in the series, but all three are definitely recommended.
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- Brad

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-22-2008
  • Publisher: Audible Studios