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Bring Back the King

The New Science of De-extinction
Narrated by: Helen Pilcher
Length: 11 hrs and 14 mins
Categories: Non-fiction, Biology
4.5 out of 5 stars (9 ratings)

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Summary

If you could bring back one living being from the whole of the history of time, what would you choose? Comedian and former stem-cell biologist Helen Pilcher has thought about this problem - a lot.

In Bring Back the King, Helen explains the cutting-edge science that makes the resurrection of extinct animals a very real possibility and highlights her choices from eras gone by, from the king of the dinosaurs, Tyrannosaurus rex, to the King of Rock 'n' Roll, Elvis Presley. From dinosaurs to dodos, Neanderthals to rock legends, Bring Back the King explains how the burgeoning field of DNA science is being used to help resurrect not just individual animals but entire species from their stony graves.

Funny, intriguing and informative, Bring Back the King describes current initiatives and future plans to restore deceased animals and uses both science and willful irreverence to assess how these genetic Lazaruses might fare in their brave new world. Could a pet dinosaur be trained to roll over? Would Neanderthals enjoy opera? Could a returning dodo seek vengeance upon humanity?

Blending the very latest de-extinction technology with cloning, dinosaurs with rock legends, and hard-core popular science with plenty of gags, Bring Back the King is an audiobook that you will simply have to listen to.

©2016 Helen Pilcher (P)2016 Audible, Ltd

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Great Science, Bad Jokes and Subtle Preaching

Would you try another book written by Helen Pilcher or narrated by Helen Pilcher?

Yes but I would keep in mind I'm probably gonna have to click my tongue past the jokes.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

She is clearly a very intelligent woman who does a lot of good thorough research, apart from the parts where we're expected to take it on faith. All the science presented into the actual topic of de-extinction is done very well, but there is a tendency to moralise a little heavy about global warming (although the written version may present the evidence for why we should be concerned we're expected to take it on faith here which sort of nullifies one of the key arguments for bringing back large megafauna) and about just how horrible us humans are.
Granted, we're not the best bunch but it gets a little tiresome the lack of historical context when discussing the past. There is an irritating "holier than thou" tone to the book that gets a little grating.
There are some funny parts and little gags but I found most of them fell flat and a few just seemed entirely out of place digs at men. Again, plenty of things to laugh about us guys and joke about, but the jokes didn't really have punchlines. It was kind of like "Men, am I right ladies?" Which is fine but not really ground breaking on the comedy spectrum.

What didn’t you like about Helen Pilcher’s performance?

Mostly the jokes. Also, please stop citing your own chapters every second page. Time and time again, "See chapter 8", "See chapter 2"... We were just at Chapter 2 and we're on our merry way towards chapter 8 now, just keep reading!

Do you think Bring Back the King needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

Maybe once a bit more research has been done and a follow up on the research and what else.

Any additional comments?

Personally not for me, but maybe for someone looking for a more personal conversational approach to discussing the topics the book covered.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Hilarious and Informative

I loved it! Very funny and informative, I will now go and buy the actual book, I enjoyed it so much I need it in my collection!

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  • Jon Ferguson
  • 22-04-19

An Informative look into an Exciting New Science.

Thoroughly enjoyable to listen and very informative, especially to the lay person. The genetics humor sprinkled throughout the book is appreciated in spirit but kind of a groaner in practice.

Helen Pilcher is definitely on the frontier of this science and I hope she continues to write books about it in future to keep us abreast of progress.

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  • Twang
  • 05-11-16

Save your time. Save your money.

Liberally laced with liberal pseudoscience drizzled over an extreme dislike for Humanity. Premise was wonderful but but in no uncertain terms does not deliver. Save your time. Save your money.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful