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The Descent of Man Audiobook

The Descent of Man

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Publisher's Summary

Penguin presents the unabridged downloadable audiobook edition of The Descent of Man by Grayson Perry, read by Jonny Philips.

Grayson Perry has been thinking about masculinity - what it is, how it operates, why little boys are thought to be made of slugs and snails - since he was a boy. Now, in this funny and necessary book, he turns round to look at men with a clear eye and ask, what sort of men would make the world a better place for everyone? What would happen if we rethought the old, outdated macho version of manhood and embraced a different idea of what makes a man?

Apart from giving up the coronary-inducing stress of always being 'right' and the vast new wardrobe options, the real benefit might be that a newly fitted masculinity will allow men to have better relationships - and that's happiness, right?

Grayson Perry admits he's not immune from the stereotypes himself - as the psychoanalysts say, 'If you spot it, you've got it' - and his thoughts on everything from power to physical appearance, from emotions to a brand-new Manifesto for Men, are shot through with honesty, tenderness and the belief that, for everyone to benefit, upgrading masculinity has to be something men decide to do themselves. They have nothing to lose but their hang-ups.

©2016 Grayson Perry (P)2016 Penguin

What the Critics Say

"Grayson Perry for King and Queen of England. Imagine how brilliant our country would look if he was." (Caitlin Moran)

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What Members Say

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4.7 (141 )
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  •  
    Amanda 25/01/2017
    Amanda 25/01/2017 Member Since 2013
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    "Truely brilliant!!"

    The most fascinatingly informed book I've ever read Grayson you're a legend! I had to read it in one sitting as I couldn't put it down- thank you for such an intelligent book!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Caitlin Frost 04/11/2016
    Caitlin Frost 04/11/2016 Member Since 2012
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    "Thoughtful analysis"

    Great readShould be a required text for boys and girls from the age of 10!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William P Griffiths 22/12/2016 Member Since 2015
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    "Great read"

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It's certainly thought-provoking but it's key strength is taking a difficult subject and making it funny.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary 19/12/2016
    Mary 19/12/2016
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    "Wonderful"

    Grayson Peer's wisdom, sensitivity and daring admissions of his own evolution as a man over time show him to have a strength and innate power that is massively attractive in a man; a Real Man. I would love all my male friends to read and learn from this book that they are more valuable to women as themselves and not as predictable stereotypes. Thank you, Grayson.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mabbers Bratislava, Slovakia 04/04/2017
    Mabbers Bratislava, Slovakia 04/04/2017
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    "Great"

    Really interesting and thought provoking and a really good insight into the mind of the modern man. It was also good to think from the male perspective.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rogayah 03/12/2016
    Rogayah 03/12/2016

    Glued to a story, but could also be knitting , unknitting, cooking, drawing cats or doing Chinese Calligraphy and learning a language or try

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    "Interesting"

    Interesting thoughts coming from a man about men and their built-in actions and reactions. Grayson Perry may not be an ideal spokesman for the gender but he is totally honest about men and maleness. I hope that once these thoughts have been aired they will be picked up and ruminated on by men and boys the world over. Perhaps then the world will be a better place.

    The essay was well read, making it very enjoyable and allowing Grayson Perry come through. Will this be the beginning of a new chapter for the human race? I hope so!

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nisa 17/04/2017
    Nisa 17/04/2017 Member Since 2017
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    "Interesting view of masculine frustrations"

    I enjoyed Grayson Perry's experience and documentation of masculine frustration and his hopes for a better future. It's not the be and end all of masculine analysis but it's nice to hear an insight into some people's lives and psyches.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mr Leeds, United Kingdom 30/03/2017
    Mr Leeds, United Kingdom 30/03/2017 Member Since 2017
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    "He's right, you know"

    Old style masculinity is bad for everyone. We need to teach boys that it's fine to be vulnerable.
    Great message. Nice reading.
    Thanks Grayson. Love you :-)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    simon 09/03/2017
    simon 09/03/2017 Member Since 2011
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    "Love this man"

    Grayson Perry not only writes about men's rage, dominance, competitiveness and violence but also how men could reject this whilst retaining manliness. There's lots of psychoanalysis in the book which seems to me to be very astute. It's read with conviction but I'd prefer the author's voice. Nevertheless an excellent book: intelligent, touching, warm and funny. I laughed out loud at the part on sexuality but maybe it was just embarrassment that I'd been rumbled.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alex 23/02/2017
    Alex 23/02/2017 Member Since 2017
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    "manages to mansplain feminism"

    There is a lot to like about this book and it's overall message. It puts a really good spotlight on what is wrong with traditional manliness and how it restricts people's happiness.

    The problem is that it offers very little​ in terms of solutions or discussions. Everything is black and white and change needs to happen even if might negatively effect people. He mentions the need for positive discrimination, without even mentioning the drawbacks it may cause.

    At the end of the book I have the message of men need to be less old school manly and that's about it. A blog post would of put the same point across. I expected more nuance from Grayson Perry and to go a bit deeper rather than stating the obvious.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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