'Original and awe-inspiring... an exhilarating tour of some of the most profound and important ideas in biology.' (New Scientist)
Where does DNA come from? What is consciousness? How did the eye evolve? Drawing on a treasure trove of new scientific knowledge, Nick Lane expertly reconstructs evolution's history by describing its 10 greatest inventions - from sex and warmth to death - resulting in a stunning account of natures ingenuity.
©2010 Nick Lane (P)2010 Audible Inc
I'm sure this is a really interesting book but it is difficult to listen to as the reader seems to have no understanding of the words he is reading, or the sense of the sentences, and his portentous tone is like listening to an uninspiring preacher on an off day. It's very distracting, and very disappointing, as all my other audible books have been read very well.
I'm sure this book is really interesting, but the reader sounds like a vicar delivering a sermon of which he has no understanding. It's really difficult to follow. I have to continually remind myself to listen and not to let my attention wander.
I was surprised by how insightful and enjoyable this book was. I liked its critical scientific tone and the wealth of evidence to back up his ideas. The topics were very important. I loved the part where he tries to describe great biochemical inventions (respiration, photosynthesis) and try to come up with plausible explanations of how they might have come about.
The narration is fantastic, and the ability to rewind is useful as there are a number of parts that most may need to hear again to understand.
The book is mind blowingly interesting and factual, he is completely objective throughout, and his good humour keeps the reader amused and bemused at the same time. Every chapter is a gem within a very rocky world of biology. The ideas are so useful for someone looking to reverse disease. Key ideas being Light, Environment and Caloric Restriction.
Hats off to Nick Lane.
17th Century Heretic
The concept of this book is excellent. It surveys in detail the evolution of 10 different aspects of life on earth, such as vision, movement and dna itself. Nicely read too. From what I've listened to so far, each chapter seems to be self-sufficient in itself.
Think book would be even better if the author had chosen twice as many evolutionary subjects and not spent quite so much time on each. The level of detail and science involved can become arduous for the interested layman and I found myself wishing that the author didn't feel the need to prove every claim he was making, such proofs often being beyond the appreciation of the non-specialist.
A similar book might be written relating who is related to whom in the great evolutionary scheme of things and how they are related. That would be easier to understand than the biochemistry of cells.
Nick Lane tells the strange and complex story of how life evolved and how we came to understand it. There is a vast amount of fascinating information, some of it highly specialised, but the author makes it understandable to an interested reader.
The narrator does an excellent job.
A lot happened in the last 3 billion years, I really enjoyed this overview
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