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On The Origin of Species (Csa Word Recordings) Audio CD – Abridged, Audiobook

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Product details

  • Audio CD: 5 pages
  • Publisher: CSA WORD; Abridged edition edition (13 Nov. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 190460577X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1904605775
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.8 x 15.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 490,063 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


* Dawkins reads engagingly and the whole effect is like David Attenborough without the pictures. The Sunday Times * The listener is left aghast at just how much Darwin got right. Rachel Redford, The Observer

About the Author

Charles Darwin (1809-82) was an English naturalist and author, who achieved international fame for his ground-breaking theory of evolution. Reader and adaptor for audio, Richard Dawkins is a Professor of Science at Oxford University and the author of best-selling books on Darwinian evolution, including The Selfish Gene and The God Delusion.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Magic Lemur VINE VOICE on 27 Feb. 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
2009 is a year where the airwaves are saturated by documentaries about the bicentenary of Darwin's Birth. Combine this with the over-exposure of Richard Dawkins as (arguably) Britons most famous intellectual, and you may see a product that has nothing new to offer and which will not enlighten you afresh.

However, if you haven't read the On the Origin of Species, then this audio CD is the perfect eye-opener. From the suggestive arguments of the start (artificial selection), through the sweeping poetry of the middle sections, to a prophetic conclusion, the whole of this audio CD conveys the argument well making you realize (in the words of the intro) 'how much he got right'.
Blend this with the harmonies of Dawkins' oratory, and you will find a work that is a classic of popular science rendered with high explanatory value by a reader who conveys the meaning of every syllable.

Especially notable sections are where Dawkins reads how '[Natural Selection is] immeasurably superior to man's feeble efforts, as the works of Nature are to those of Art' and also the section at the end about 'Light being shed on the origins of man'.

My one quibble with this work is that it is not especially light reading. Although it is well written & read, listening is not the ideal medium for this book (especially when commuting...) However this can be forgiven considering the depth of understanding created by seeing Darwin in the light of one of his modern disciples.

Overall, I am very glad I bought this book and happy to recommend it to all and sundry. Although it was written 150 years ago, and the voice of Dawkins can be found across the internet, the combination of these qualities creates something new of old things. I promise you that, in using this CD, far from being bored, you will be moved anew by the power of evolution.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dave on 15 July 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
After several attempts to read all the way through the first edition of Origin of Species, I decided to give the CD audiobook a go. At first I found the CD a bit hard to follow in some places, though not due to any fault of Dawkins in his excellent reading of the book. The problem was that Darwin goes into so much detail in some of his descriptions in the book and with a CD you can't skip back a few lines to review them quite as easily you can when reading the book itself.

The solution I found was to follow the text in the book while listening to the CD. If things were getting complicated and I wanted to go over the last bit, I'd pause the CD and read the last few lines till I had understood them sufficiently, then continued as before.

So, why not just read the book and dispense with the CD? Well, Dawkins' reading of the book adds a lot to the experience. He has a clear, interesting voice and puts stress on the important words in each sentence. In a number of places he reads out editor's notes to point out that nowadays we have more scientific knowledge on a particular detail that Darwin was unsure about. Explanations are given of some of the Latin terms used by Darwin, which I found useful,

Overall I found it more interesting to hear the book read out than to just read it on my own. Reading and listening to the material at the same time seems to reinforce what it being said and make it easier to remember.

The CD is an abridged version of the first printed edition of the book, so sometimes several pages are missed out if they contain further examples of what has already been said, or if modern science now has a different interpretation of particular evidence. Chapter V, Laws of Variation, is missed out completely.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Copernicus on 18 Mar. 2009
Format: Audio CD
This is brilliant. To have the great words of Charles Darwin read by the great man Prof Richard Dawkins is a double whammy!

This should be part of every school curriculum, every persons dvd collection, every child's library and ultimately the LAW!

Breath taking in its simplicity, thought provoking in its discovery and superb as a work of English literature.
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