The Selfish Gene: 30th Anniversary edition Paperback – 16 Mar 2006
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Dawkins's first book, The Selfish Gene, was a smash hit... Best of all, Dawkins laid out this biology - some of it truly subtle - in stunningly lucid prose. (It is, in my view, the best work of popular science ever written.) (H. Allen Orr, New York Review of Books)
The Selfish Gene is a classic. (Robin McKie, The Observer)
A genuine cultural landmark of our time. (The Independent)
Review from previous edition The sort of popular science writing that makes the reader feel like a genius. (New York Times)
Anniversary Edition. Voted 'Author of the Year' at the Galaxy British Book Awards 2007See all Product description
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This book is required reading for my degree at university. As someone who rarely reads and struggles to keep up concentration on a book, I decided (on the recommendation of a lecturer) to buy this audiobook version. I was not at all disappointed. it is read by Dawkins himself and this enables a greater understanding of the text than you could ever get from just reading the book. You can easily tell which elements of his argument make him passionate, and which he felt simply had to be included. Another advantage of this is the placement of footnotes. Having been in discussions with friends about this book, I noted that some found arguments hard to follow because so much of what Dawkins says that is important is contained in footnotes and endnotes. In the audiobook, these are slotted into the text in logical places, preceded by Dawkins saying loudly 'endnote/footnote'.
The only issues with this are it does take a long time (it's well over 16 hours) so you may want to have a good place to sit to listen to it. If you're a heavy commuter this will be perfect for you. The other issue is (for me at least) this cannot be played in a CD player, it has to be played on a computer or other device (e.g. an MP3 player).
In terms of the book and its contents, again, I heartily recommend the selfish gene. Whether an undergraduate, expert in the topic or simply curious about the natural world, this book will be a thrill from start to finish.
While the book as a whole is very interesting and the way which Richard Dawkins writes, the simple and complex logic is beautiful. One of the brilliant examples is when he explains evolutionary stable strategy (ESS) in the human context. Saying that there are 3 kinda of people, the fool, the cheater and the grudger. Really thought provoking and a book worth reading not just once.
If this is the standard Richard Dawkins has I will surely read all of his books.
Purveyors of mysticism, astrology and similar pseudo-science receive their inevitable approbrium. This isn't over-emphasised, although personally, I find that thinking about such nonsense to be somewhat of a trial.
The chapters are largely independent, and can be read in any order. Many fields of science are covered, with a bias towards his own field. Short extracts from poetry are introduced at regular intervals - he's obviously a devotee - which many will enjoy.
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