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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

Sapiens showed us where we came from. In uncertain times, Homo Deus shows us where we’re going.

Yuval Noah Harari envisions a near future in which we face a new set of challenges. Homo Deus explores the projects, dreams and nightmares that will shape the 21st century and beyond – from overcoming death to creating artificial life.

It asks the fundamental questions: how can we protect this fragile world from our own destructive power? And what does our future hold?

©2016 Yuval Noah Harari (P)2016 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

"Homo Deus will shock you. It will entertain you. It will make you think in ways you had not thought before." (Daniel Kahneman, best-selling author of Thinking, Fast and Slow)

What listeners say about Homo Deus

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Full of "wow, I never thought of it like that!"

Where does Homo Deus rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

A really great follow-up to Sapiens. It didn't go in the direction I expected, but Harari, as ever, gives you lots and lots of food for thought!

What did you like best about this story?

The author manages to point out parallels in history that seem totally obvious once you hear them, but you'd never have thought of yourself. Then he extrapolates forward in a logical way to reach some very interesting, and sometimes challenging, predictions.

What does Derek Perkins bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Personally I find this kind of non-fiction fascinating, but sometimes difficult to engage with when I'm not fresh. But by listening to it, so much of the hard work of bringing meaning out from the words is done by the narrator, so you can literally just sit back and listen.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

For me, this was one to take in in sections. The chapters are arranged logically and sensibly, and I like to absorb and reflect on one before I move on to the next

47 people found this helpful

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An irritated fan

I am a fan of Yuval Noah Harari however I do find this book a lot less well researched as 'Sapiens' and there are a lot of conclusions he jumps to that I kept finding myself thinking "that's not entirely true" and "that's not very likely". This irritated me, especially as my experience of his previous work was entirely the opposite. However his style that blends philosophy, science and history is always thought provoking and he is a very accomplished writer so it is still a worth while read/listen.

15 people found this helpful

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All that but no bag of chips

What did you like best about Homo Deus? What did you like least?

Conclusion and that it was a sequel to Sapiens even though I think it did not live up to the glory of Sapiens.

If you’ve listened to books by Yuval Noah Harari before, how does this one compare?

I rated Sapiens 5 and Homo Deus 3.5 (out of 5).

What does Derek Perkins bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

He has a great voice and his narration style for this book is spot on because it is similar to the narration of a well done documentary.

If this book were a film would you go see it?

I don't see how it could be made into a movie but who knows. I would only watch as a follow up to Sapiens being made into a documentary-like movie.

Any additional comments?

Once in a while a book comes along that blows your mind. So much so that you just can't help but sing its praise to anyone who chats with you for more than five mins. Sapiens was such a book for me. I was looking forward to Homo Deus but unfortunately it was not worth my anticipation. There were parts repeated from Sapiens which I guess were included to give context to anyone who hasn't read Sapiens. A bit annoying but fair enough. I could have lived with that if chapters did not fill me with anticipation only to fall flat.

Overall I still give Homo Deus 3.5 stars (out of 5) because it pushes the boundaries of our present day beliefs (what Harari calls the 'myths' we tell ourselves) and for the conclusion which still manages to leave the reader intrigued, challenged and, for some, resigned to the notion that the world is well on its way to that conclusion unless something gives.

Thankfully, the narration is good and Harari's brilliance still shines through the paragraphs. I can't help but wonder what else that brilliance would have unearthed if Harari had taken his sweet time with this sequel.

15 people found this helpful

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The Most Thought Provoking Book

Every human being should be able to read this book and take something useful from it. I will read the paper copy now so that I can mull over the key ideas and thoughts.

It has riveted my attention and given me more food for thought than any other book that I have read. I also read Sapiens and thought it also excellent both as a history and as a primer for Homo Deus.

Previous generations could not have grasped the points the author makes, but we, as a generation, are lucky to be able to see backwards and forwards from this point in time. Homo Deus is able to give us some clues as to where we (Sapiens) are in the context of time and keep us thinking. Thanks for a great book!

6 people found this helpful

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Second best book I've read

it stands just after Sapiens...amazing book! This book should be mandatory at schools, would make the difference.

25 people found this helpful

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Fascinating

Excellent book, incredibly thought provoking and challenging. Walks you through religious history to religious future and makes you question your existing prejudices.

10 people found this helpful

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  • MR
  • 06-10-16

Fairly interesting, but wasn't for me.

I was looking for a book that would consider in depth what the next decades and centuries might hold for humanity. The author started strong, but I felt they soon wandered off subject to meander around various historical sociopolitical issues, pop economics, philosophy and psychology. The author is clearly highly intelligent and very broadly read. Some of their arguments appeared to me very well formulated. But many more seemed weak, one-sided and somewhat incoherent at points. I was particularly struck by some very unsteady trampling around the field of psychology, a subject I know more about. I also wondered whether the author had a firm grasp of the theory of evolution, and may have benefited from re/reading some of Richard Dawkins' excellent books. For me, this book ended up feeling like being stuck at a dinner party with a charming but rather self-opinionated know-it-all. By the end I was happy to be leaving, and slightly wishing I'd stayed home instead.

14 people found this helpful

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Yuval & Derek do it again!

What a book! Great ideas & concepts which are brilliantly read. Top book. If you liked the first then you will like this too!

12 people found this helpful

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A lot of mush and hot air

Poor Yuval. Someone locked him in a room and said 'unload your stream of consciousness to this tape recorder and we'll publish it'. Lacking depth, research and knowledge, he delves into areas he clearly has no knowledge of or authority to speak of. Yet this drivel goes on and on and on. For chapters and chapters until somewhere towards the end there's the light at the end of the tunnel. What a relief to get to the end, finally. It's ok Yuval, we promise we won't lock you up again for a long time.

3 people found this helpful

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A lot of anecdotes not very well strung together

I picked this book because I do like the bigger idea of looking at megatrends in an abstract way, and zooming all the way out to a very high level, and looking at the impact on human life, while touching on the big questions - what is it that humans actually strive for, what causes that, etc. how does human society change over history and future, not just the circumstances of an individual.
I also like the idea of looking deep into history to identify patterns that may continue in the future. This author is better positioned to understand such historic patterns than many other people.

However, While this book goes some way, it falls short of really achieving that mission fully. The author is clearly very knowledgeable about history but lacks the inter-disciplinary knowledge to tackle this big job. There are clearly some areas where he hasn’t got good knowledge but isn’t aware of it, e.g. finance and economics related.

Makes assumptions and states ideas to be scientific truth and proven, which are not actually universally accepted perfect theories, for example with regards to aging and death, evolution, what causes human behavior - relationship between body and mind. Lacks scientific rigor and a critical mindset. Uses data and statistics in a narrow biased way, and uses very doubtful data. Draws correlations between observations which may in fact not be causally related at all. Doesn‘t seem to appreciate that there are different views on a subject, of which he chooses to subscribe to just one. His arguments just don’t seem logic and hang together very well.
It’s all very philosophical and much similar to the way a religion would say something (ironically given the book’s apparent thesis).

Half the time the author presents theories as facts without reference, sources, critically questioning them or mentioning that there are alternative theories and uncertainties. The other half of the time he points out that humans’ view of the world and theories change all the time and are subjective to the observer. It’s schizophrenic.

The author seems to muddle into this book all sorts of his own personal political views and theories which at times seem far-fetched and unrelated. He just doesn’t make clear the point he is trying to make at times. He doesn’t spell out the red line and connection between his string of facts, but leaves it to the reader/listener to imagine it for themselves. He is trying to do too much here, connecting all his knowledge and thinking of everything in the world in one book. At times it is totally confused and all over the place. He should have focused more on a line of argument and cut out some unrelated bulk.

The first 80% of the book are just about the history without any mention of the future. Then suddenly he switches to talk about the future without much reference to the earlier part of the book.

Some of this part about the futur is made up of a lot of questions rather than answers. The questions are not very original. Some other part about the future is a radical vision of the end of liberalism, which is certainly interesting and original. This conclusion is drawn eventually at the very end of the book.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Muzzaffar
  • 17-04-17

The book is great but the narrative is incomplete

I read and listen to audible at the same time. I realised that the narration of the book is incomplete. The narrator tend to skip a few paragraphs. Due to this reason, i have to constantly pause the audiobook in order to read the paragraph myself.

20 people found this helpful

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  • Louis D. van Niekerk
  • 25-11-17

If you want to have your mind bend and stretched a bit, this book is for you

If Homo Sapiens gave me a few different and deeper perspectives about humanity, then Homo Deus really stretched my big picture systematic thinking mind into different orbits.

I can very well see some of the scenarios discussed here come to fruition- in fact I see many of the trains having left the stations already.

If anything, the book assumes to have figured out consciousness as a mere emergent property of complex networks and algorithms for which the scientific community has no consensus yet. The possibility that human computational powers extend still deeper than the presumed smart algorithms of the future cannot be discarded. In fact, that seems to me to be our only hope of survival as a species.

Excellent book! Really excellent!!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Swathi Eashwer
  • 19-01-20

if you loved Sapiens, you'll live this too

it's a little long, but the ideas build beautifully. The reading is easy to follow and engaging throughout. I'd highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the future of our species.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Jörg Flügge
  • 28-06-19

Thought provoking

i found this book better than Homo Sapiens because it was not only explanatory and interesting but quite thought provoking and challenged me to evaluate my own believes and actions.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Jeffrey Kendall
  • 17-04-20

Very interesting

There were some fascinating ideas and concepts. And some terrifying ones too.
It was very enjoyable.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 24-03-20

Followed in hard copy

It seems the audible book does not follow the written copy 100%. I tried to follow it as a happen to have bought the book earlier this year. Still an exciting and thought provoking read 😆

2 people found this helpful

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  • Chris Leong
  • 11-01-20

We don’t need to wait until tomorrow

A great book. Human need to figure out a meaning for themselves when data information systems are great enough to show us what to do Is the best In life instead of us making every single decisions. Or we should just simply accept that we could not make good enough decisions for ourselves, because algorithms can know us better. Well, i guess, maybe we really don’t have to wait till that stage to aware the fact that the majority of our beings are not able to make a good decisions either because too much effort are required to execute a good decision or they just don’t want to achieve their full potentials, or even sadly, they don’t know what good is.

2 people found this helpful

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  • F. C. Buys
  • 09-10-19

The scariest book I've read

Captivating but unnerving and frightening!
We better start thinking about the future of humanity and curb the power of algorithms with global treaties and policies...

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 31-05-19

Dire and Depressing

A potentially very interesting book. However paints a world of pessimism. Heavy and depressing.

Not for optimists or extroverts. My worst Audiobook to date.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 24-04-19

A mind expanding tool

I really wish every person on this planet could read/listen to this book. We could collectively create a better future if we had our eyes wide open.... phenomenal and critical read

2 people found this helpful