The Ancestor's Tale

  • by Richard Dawkins
  • Narrated by Richard Dawkins, Lalla Ward
  • 8 hrs and 54 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The Ancestor's Tale is a pilgrimage back through time - a journey on which we meet up with fellow pilgrims as we and they converge on our common ancestors. Chimpanzees join us at about six million years in the past, gorillas at seven million years, orangutans at 14 million years, as we stride on together, a growing band. The journey provides the setting for a collection of some 40 tales. Each explores an aspect of evolutionary biology through the stories of characters met along the way or glimpsed from afar: the Elephant Bird's Tale, the Marsupial Mole's Tale, the Lungfish's Tale. Together they give a deep understanding of the processes that have shaped life on Earth: convergent evolution, the isolation of populations, continental drift, and the great extinctions.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Very abridged, but fascinating anyway

This audio version is a very much abridged version. It is frustrating when listening to the many parts and tales that are mentioned by title, but left out of this version. Because, Richard Dawkins is always a good listen. Occasionally he goes onto my nerves with his heightened language and strange poems added in weightfull speech. However, the story he has to tell is engaging, the perspective of a pilgrimage back through time, meeting common ancestors we have with all life on Earth is a unique one. Each and every one of the individual tales are a fascinating read. I was most intrigued by the discussion about the advantages and disadvantages of sexual reproduction - unbelievable that such a basic property of life is not understood - what a great problem to work on.
Did I mention that it is too bad that this book is abridged?
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- C.

student of biological sciences

a brilliant text on evolution.
very entertaining, with appropriate focus given to the most significant historical diversions.
a pleasure to have listened to
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- Steven

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-09-2007
  • Publisher: Orion Publishing Group Limited