The Ancestor's Tale

  • by Richard Dawkins
  • Narrated by Richard Dawkins, Lalla Ward
  • 9 hrs and 1 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In The Ancestor's Tale, evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins offers a masterwork: an exhilarating reverse tour through evolution, from present-day humans back to the microbial beginnings of life four billion years ago. Throughout the journey, Dawkins spins entertaining, insightful stories and sheds light on topics such as speciation, sexual selection, and extinction. The Ancestor's Tale is at once an essential education in evolutionary theory and riveting in its telling.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Good book, poorly abridged for audio

Abridgment was conducted by chopping out entire sections of the modular storyline. One segment late in the book played twice. Why not leave a good book unabridged?
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- J. Colombe

A Masterpiece Flawed By Sketchy Narration.

Where does The Ancestor's Tale rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

In my view, this ranks in the 70th percentile of my accumulated library topics.


What did you like best about this story?

The retrograde methodology of examining the branched tree of speciation is unique and interesting. The comparison to Chaucer's Epic created some amusing and informative learning moments.


Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Richard Dawkins and Lalla Ward ?

Anyone else but the author. While I have the utmost respect for the esteemed and brilliant Richard Dawkins, his narration style was often hard to follow due to constant unusual vocal volume fades and unexpected changes in speech pace. As soon as the ear/brain finally adjusted to this choppy style over a few minutes or so, co-narrator Lalla Ward would then take the helm, necessitating yet another listening shift. Then the ball was passed back to Professor Dawkins, back and forth.I found this constant narration swap to be highly disruptive and feel that a single professional narrator would have made this a more seamless and enjoyable process.


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

Not at all. It was very information rich and ( for me) was best digested in many sessions.


Any additional comments?

Be wary of author narrations with an added second voice.

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- Richard

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-24-2015
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio