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Summary

Kindred is the definitive guide to the Neanderthals.

Since their discovery more than 160 years ago, Neanderthals have metamorphosed from the losers of the human family tree to A-list hominins.

In Kindred, Rebecca Wragg Sykes uses her experience at the cutting-edge of Palaeolithic research to share our new understanding of Neanderthals, shoving aside clichés of rag-clad brutes in an icy wasteland. She reveals them to be curious, clever connoisseurs of their world, technologically inventive and ecologically adaptable. They ranged across vast tracts of tundra and steppe, but also stalked in dappled forests and waded in the Mediterranean Sea. Above all, they were successful survivors for more than 300,000 years, during times of massive climatic upheaval.

At a time when our species has never faced greater threats, we're obsessed with what makes us special. But, much of what defines us was also in Neanderthals and their DNA is still inside us. Planning, co-operation, altruism, craftsmanship, aesthetic sense, imagination, perhaps even a desire for transcendence beyond mortality.

Kindred does for Neanderthals what Sapiens did for us, revealing a deeper, more nuanced story where humanity itself is our ancient, shared inheritance. It is only by understanding them, that we can truly understand ourselves.

©2020 Rebecca Wragg Sykes (P)2020 Audible, Ltd

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Fantastic book!

Fascinating book! the author has gone much deeper in depth on the subject than other books I've read and really explains what is currently known about Neanderthals...more than I thought we knew! She really brings them to life and breaks down alot of misconceptions that we hold about them. 5 stars!!!

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Beautiful writing

My son is very interested in archaeology and I listened to this book to test whether to buy him the hardback for Christmas. It is beautifully written. I was never bored (which I expected to be) and found the insights and new information fascinating.

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A wonderful journey thank you Rebecca. X

Every page was both enlightening and entertaining. Such a very interesting subject. I struggled with some of the technical phrases and had to pause and do some research (at 3 am!). I suspected that where certain evidence was finely balanced either way, Rebecca erred towards the Neanderthal positives and I felt that there was an underlying attempt throughout the book to sell us something. The introductions at the beginning of each chapter were so evocative. I often rewound to immerse myself further. Time traveling at its' best. I will certainly read this beauty again.

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  • Anthony
  • 30-10-20

awesome content

Rebecca is an awesome story teller. she draws you in then presents you with fantastic content and knowledge on Neanderthals

7 people found this helpful

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  • Howard Houchen
  • 24-11-20

Horrible Recording/Sound Quality

I've just started and have muddled through a bit of this terrible sound quality recording. Not sure if I can stand it to finish a book I am VERY interested in. Such a shame.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Dennis Fuller
  • 17-11-20

Topic is expertly treated but, performance is less

I really appreciated the authors approach to the subject and the discipline she brought to the story.

2 people found this helpful

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  • DT Campbell
  • 11-11-20

Best science/history I've heard in awhile

Perfectly balanced between close adherence to facts and evocative description of what Neanderthal life could have been like.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Leslie
  • 03-01-21

Narrator is pretty bad, content poorly presented.

I don't know why Audible let Rebecca Wragg Sykes read her book--I'd liken her U.K. accent to the sound of cellophane crumpling. Many Audible readers have British accents and are wholly clear; even enhance the narrative. But this author's reading is a challenge to follow. The tone of her voice goes up and down, and in some inflections the words or parts of the words get lost altogether. Then, alas, the author imagines she is "a writer" and the reader must endure imagery that is un-understandable. Some "poetic" passages are so baroque that it's hard to know what the author is talking about. There are also extra clauses in sentences that complicate the narrative, or seem to wander from the topic. I actually got a sample of the book from Kindle to see if I should just buy the print book, because I so love the mysteries and discoveries in paleoanthropology and assumed the print book would solve the problem. But the author simply cannot write clearly, and even in print, the narrative is hard work to follow. Other authors on this subject enlighten with a clear unfolding of information. This author does not.

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  • timothy bailey
  • 04-12-20

Worth it

Glad I listened - words are pronounced properly. Really needs an accompanying PDF - perhaps with a map. Got lost sometimes, but she’s pulls you back in on the regular. Definitely worth a listen.

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  • MR M B HENDERSON
  • 04-01-21

Ancestors and discovery - recommended

I enjoyed listening to the author’s often poetic description of the art of palaeontology and scientific discovery of our common history and migrations across the globe. Every piece of flint and discarded bone fragment is examined and used to describe the life of these people. Very convincing and told with an obvious affection.

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  • Ex Library Worker
  • 03-01-21

Great overview of past and current knowledge

Fantastic writing to go along with an excellent overview of Neanderthals. I also like the overview of past and current knowledge and how that is still changing even now.

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  • VCP
  • 26-12-20

Valorycp@hotmail.com

Fascinating, comprehensive, sometimes lyrical. A must read for all those interested in our deep past, it’s connections to our present, and it’s implications for our future.

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  • Mara S.
  • 27-11-20

A Must-Have for Fans of Prehistory

Comprehensive, evocative, and even poignant, this book offers the perfect deep dive into the fascinating world of our Paleolithic cousins. The author treats her subjects with empathy and respect, offering a nuanced interpretation of the currently available evidence, and inviting the reader to contemplate their own place within the vast, grand narrative of human evolution.