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It is not news to anyone that Charles Darwin was a bright guy. One of the great minds of science, as we all know, and the iconic images of the man, with his bald head, long white beard, and serious expression, leave no one in doubt. But still I was surprised to know how intelligent and sensitive he was at the tender age of 22. The first entries in this selection show how much knowledge he had already mastered in geology, zoology, botany, anthropology. The reader / listener has the privilege of observing him in the act of making the connections that lead ultimately to the elucidation of evolutionary processes, one of the great intellectual feats of science and civilization. Darwin's meticulous natural history of numerous species of plants and animals are as fresh and as fascinating as anything written today. Of particular timely interest is Darwin's experience of an earthquake in Chile, which sounds almost exactly like the news reports of the quake there in February 2010. Professor Dawkins selected these particular passages and brings the exuberance of the young man alive with every sentence in his reading. I recommend this audiobook to anyone interested in Darwin, in evolution, or in Dawkins.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
Really fascinating. It illustrates the high academic standard Darwin achieved prior to his Beagle journey. His excellent diary style, acute observations added to by easy reading skills make this much better than I would have hoped. Richard Dawkins makes an excellent narrator and his own scientific knowledge obviously assists in correct emphasis and pronouniciation. I had anticipated some dryness and that a bit of endurance might have been called for but nothing of the sort. Lots of human interest, adventure and exploration with the added threats of sail and risks of the time add considerably to the readabilty. Well recommended.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
The narration of this book is fantastic, and the stories give an amazing insight into the understanding Darwin had and the cultural differences between regions of the world and the social changes.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Extremely interesting. Darwin paints a vivid picture. Almost all the wildlife apart from skunks seem to be prodded, dissected, shot or cooked and his observations on humans also great- this is a world of thought and adventure that doesn't exist now
A very interesting first hand account of an amazing journey by one of our greatest minds. His description and hypotheses on geology, zoology and botany make up the most fascinating passages. This being a journal, there is no narrative or main thesis, so don't expect one. This book is not for the reactionary easily offended folks who love to call everyone a patriarchal racist. Stay away from this great historical document!