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Would you listen to Cafe Neandertal again? Why?
Yes. It's a very engaging listen, partly a (maybe slightly romanticized?) tribute to what it's like to work on an archeological dig, part travelogue of southern France and northern Spain, part mystery filled with a cast of colorful characters. It's also stuffed full of information about the current state of the art of our understanding of Neandertals. The science reporting seems solid. There's a lot to learn here and if I make it over to that part of the world I'd definitely listen again.
What did you like best about this story?
I liked how the author made the science understandable. I found the whole thing very compelling. The author is telling a personal story of working on the dig and meeting and interviewing researchers and locals alike. She's our ambassador into the world of Neandertal archeology (she's an anthropologist by training and travel writer by profession) and she's a charming and at times funny companion. There's also some great descriptions of the french countryside and some wonderful meals.
What does Kirsten Potter bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
The narrator does a great job. There are many terms in foreign languages, as well as technical terms and to my ear she got them all correct.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
No, it was easy to listen to in fairly short sessions and it was nice to have a chance to think about things between.
Any additional comments?
I found the sections on new discoveries based on DNA testing to be fascinating. For instance, scientists are getting a better idea of Neandertal diet by doing dna testing on the plaque of their teeth! It makes me curious to find out how much Neandertal DNA I have.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Excellent survey and summary of the current state of knowledge of Neandertals. Entertaining and fun read with easily followed information for the beginner and / or well enthusiast. Loved it.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful