• A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived

  • The Stories in Our Genes
  • By: Adam Rutherford
  • Narrated by: Adam Rutherford
  • Length: 11 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 08-09-16
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Orion
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (307 ratings)

Regular price: £19.99

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Summary

This is a story about you. It is the history of who you are and how you came to be. It is unique to you, as it is for every one of the 100 billion modern humans who has ever drawn breath. But it is also our collective story, because in each of our genomes we carry the history of the whole of our species.

Since scientists first read the human genome in 2001, it has been subject to all sorts of claims, counterclaims and myths. Drawing together the latest discoveries in this rapidly changing area of science, Adam Rutherford shows that in fact our genomes should be read not like instruction manuals but more like epic poems. Genes determine less than we have been led to believe about us as individuals but vastly more about us as a species.

In this captivating journey through the expanding landscape of genetics, written with great clarity and wit, Adam Rutherford reveals what our genes now tell us about human history and what history tells us about our genes. From Neanderthal discoveries to microbiology, from redheads to dead royals, criminology to race relations, evolution to epigenetics, A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived is a demystifying and illuminating new portrait of who we are and how we came to be.

Written and read by acclaimed science writer and broadcaster Adam Rutherford.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2016 Adam Rutherford (P)2016 Orion Publishing Group

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What members say

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Brilliant

I enjoy a lot of science, (mostly physics), and have read Adam Rutherford's previous book "Creation", which I enjoyed very much, but I think his "difficult second album", does surpass the first.

Each chapter starts with broad brush strokes, which gradually reduce to a single hair, in their detail and explanation, before opening back up to better show you the grandeur of what you've just heard

I also like that the author is reading this himself, I honestly believe you can hear the difference in an actor reading the words and someone who actually understands them

I can't recommend this enough

17 of 19 people found this review helpful

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Superb, engaging, accessible

A fascinating history of genetics that delves into the genetics of history. Full of big ideas, rendered comprehensible by a gifted science communicator, and it beautifully slays so many tabloid myths about our genes. Adam Rutherford is an excellent narrator.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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The Exquisite story, of us.

The human story is a truly fascinating one, and, as the evidence of our biological past continues to be revealed by the advances of science, peppered with the occasional 'lucky' find that are themselves a product of a plethora of painstaking investigation and research by a multitude of people. In this book, Adam Rutherford brings these facts together into a coherent, well written, well presented narrative that explains our biological story, in a field of study that changes our understanding rapidly, often unexpectedly, such is the intensity of the ongoing research in this field. I'm not normally a fan of audio books, but for me, Adam Rutherford's wonderful voice takes this masterpiece, to another level.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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In depth science that is enjoyable, and sometime mind blowing 👍

This is now one of my favourite audiobooks . Everything from early man to the black death, Richard the 3rd project and The dangers of inbreeding big chinned royalty, literally there's something about everything ! The Narration is spot on and the content is interesting, sometime very funny ( in the right ways) and really does get you thinking . Adam talks hard science like you would talk about odd things with your friends down the pub or like you favourite teacher might . Some intense subjects, but because they are so well written and read it's always fun and never overbearing . A person could enjoy this without Having to be genius . A very very good job.
You now have a painter and decorator that has a fairly good grasp on genetics. What a fantastic world we have !

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Worth listening to

Excellently narrated

Full of up to date science, with a bit of history in there too! that was easy to understand. Pretty awesome book all round . I would I commended for friends and family . In fact I bought the hardcover version for my book shelf , it was that good

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Craig
  • Worsley, United Kingdom
  • 07-12-16

Fabulous!

Just about as perfect an audiobook as any thinking human being (and by definition that excludes creationists) could hope to read / listen to.
Excellent narration too.

Can't recommend highly enough!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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a much more entertaining book than I expected

loved it. Had some great factoids, entertaining stories related to genes, history, Darwin etc.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Entertainingly sciencey

This is such a great book. I have a science degree but genetics isn't my strong suit and I found this book to be pleasantly easy to follow and learnt a great deal. Recommended it to everyone I know!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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good science

fully inclusive summary of science told from an objective point of view. illuminating stories, metaphors and examples. excellent.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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So much stuff to learn!

Fantastic overview of genetics spanning all of human history. A great mix of in-depth science and illustrative metaphor to given narrative by the transition of history. Highly recommended.

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  • Mark
  • 21-03-18

Superb

I’m always looking for good popular science books, and this one certainly fits the bill.

It tells the story of the human genome starting with early humans (e.g. homo erectus, Neanderthals, Denisovans and us, Homo sapiens) and then moves on to look at a whole suite of topics relevant to genetics. Examples of this would be: genes for red hair, blue eyes and the ability to smell certain substances; a close look at the genetics of different races; the effects of inbreeding; the evolution in some human populations of the ability to drink milk into adulthood; the human genome project; epigenetics, and the future evolution of humanity.

This book was so good that I didn’t want to miss a thing, and so I slowed it down to 0.8 narration speed – and even then I rewound the tape a few times to re-listen to some sections if I’d been a bit distracted first time around.

Needless to say: Recommended!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • iVan
  • 04-12-17

compelling, exciting and myth shattering

answered many of my questions after I got my genome studied and explored other thought-provoking questions I would not have dared ask. I enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone with some curiosity on their and everyone's path as human beings.. which I guess should all of us!

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  • Lilla
  • 01-07-17

Better than any thriller!

A fascinating, exciting and wonderfully narrated treatise ( in a way) that reads like a novel. It's absolutely brilliant and the topic is of current interest- a book for our times!
I wish there were more of these books. The narrator could be an audible reader if he wasn't so busy investigating all these interesting genome facts. 10/10