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Feathers

The Evolution of a Natural Miracle
Narrated by: Andy Ingalls
Length: 8 hrs and 20 mins
Categories: Non-fiction, Biology
5 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Summary

Feathers are an evolutionary marvel: Aerodynamic, insulating, beguiling. They date back more than 100 million years. Yet their story has never been fully told.

In Feathers, biologist Thor Hanson details a sweeping natural history, as feathers have been used to fly, protect, attract, and adorn through time and place. Applying the research of paleontologists, ornithologists, biologists, engineers, and even art historians, Hanson asks: What are feathers? How did they evolve? What do they mean to us?

Engineers call feathers the most efficient insulating material ever discovered, and they are at the root of biology's most enduring debate. They silence the flight of owls and keep penguins dry below the ice. They have decorated queens, jesters, and priests. And they have inked documents from the Constitution to the novels of Jane Austen.

Feathers is a captivating and beautiful exploration of this most enchanting object.

©2011 Thor Hanson (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

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Profile Image for Chris Reich
  • Chris Reich
  • 28-12-14

Fantastic Science and Fun

If you enjoy science books, you are sure to enjoy this book. It is a well structured book with a good balance of history, science and personal quest. It is not overly technical nor is it watered down.

A book that motivates me to want to know more about a given subject is a winner. Now I want to know more about feathers! I bought the print book to have as reference.

This book by far soars above the books written by non-scientist columnists. I really dislike most of those "I was curious about ---- so I decided to write a book" type science books. I like my science to come from someone who knows what they are talking about and not just a compilation of quotes from 'research'. This book is the real deal.

This goes on the highly recommend list if you like science.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Patricia
  • Patricia
  • 02-01-15

Book alive but reader dead`

Would you consider the audio edition of Feathers to be better than the print version?

Not unless it was reproduced with another reader who possessed some animation.

What did you like best about this story?

It's fortunate the author was so articulate and I was able to enjoy the book despite the reader. I would recommend the book but not in the audible form with this reader.

How could the performance have been better?

A computer would have been more animated, If the reader couldn't get into the material why did he agree to the project?

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I found it very informative and the author easily related to his audience as equals. And, yes, despite this being a scientific presentation the author injected some humor and I had a few laughs.

Any additional comments?

This was the most robotic reading I have ever heard and Andy Ingalls has been added to my very short list of readers I will not ever listen to again. There should be some kind of quality control to prevent this. Only the author's superb presentation saved the audible format and led me to finish the book and keep it for further reference

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Caille
  • Caille
  • 04-08-16

Love the content!

What did you love best about Feathers?

I did love the subject and content of this book. After Sharing space with lovebirds, I think everything about feathers is fascinating.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

I did not care for the narration at all. It was monotonous, and there were mispronounced words. I had to listen to the book three times before I got all the way through the content. I will buy the hardcover, and I will not buy any more books by this narrator.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Corrine
  • Corrine
  • 16-03-16

Great book, narrator did a great disservice

This book is fascinating but putting up with the narrator's over enunciation and unbelievably slow speech pattern hugely distracted from how special the content is. I guess I'm spoiled by audible's typically fabulous narrators. Missed it by a long shot on this one. If you love birds and feathers this book is a must read. But read it. Don't try to listen.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 24-04-19

Terrible narrator

I wish I'd listened to people saying that narrator is bad. Because, boy, is he bad. The book itself is interesting enough, though some chapters are more engaging than others. But if you're on the fence, get another book by Thor Hanson. The Triumph of Seeds is a triumph.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Brett Gilbert
  • Brett Gilbert
  • 22-03-18

Great book; cheesy accents.

I liked this book a lot and would recommend it to any bird or science enthusiast, though I wish narrators would drop the accents when they quote others.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Stephen Kirklys
  • Stephen Kirklys
  • 14-11-19

Beware! Narrator is beyond terrible.

The reading of this book is so dead and flat. Thor's writing is usually so fun to listen to. I couldn't get through more that 2 chapters. Buy the book instead.

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Profile Image for Charlotte
  • Charlotte
  • 13-07-19

This book changed the way I say "feathers"

I really enjoyed this book. It had a lot of information I wasn't expecting, like how feathers are used in clothing. It also had all the information I was expecting, like how feathers are amazingly insulating. It's been a few years now since I listened to this book, so I can say with certainty that a lot of information really stuck with me and I still think about it frequently. Every time I see a picture of a little bird in the snow I think of this book.

However - one thing REALLY stuck with me. The way this guy says "feathers" is hilarious. I was making everyone I knew listen to him say it on my phone. He says it so many times (of course, it's a book about feathers) that it becomes comical. And still, years later, I say feathers the way he says it. I can't stop myself. And it still makes me laugh. At the time I listened to this, I probably would have given the reader a 1 star, but I'm giving him 4 stars now because of how much entertainment it's given me.

For any linguists out there, he talks in creaky voice. And now I will forever say "feathers" in creaky voice.

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Profile Image for Euryleia
  • Euryleia
  • 23-03-18

Good Book, Bad Narration

Interesting, informative without going too far beyond a non-specialists's understanding of science, and written in an accessible manner. You get the feeling that you'd kinda like to be friends with someone like the author, even though you'd be late to everything because he'd get distracted by ALL THE WONDERFUL THINGS! Unfortunately, the narration of the audio is oddly enunciated and almost monotone. I had to speed it up 1.75x to get through it (thank goodness for that function), and if this had been my first Thor Hansen book, I would not have picked out another.

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Profile Image for Monk
  • Monk
  • 03-08-17

great story.

I learned a lot. It wet my appetite for more. I'll look at my feathered with more appreciation than ever. :-).