15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Beautifully read by Dawkins,
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This review is from: On The Origin of Species (A CSA Word Classic) (Audio CD)
I am not here reviewing the book, but rather the reading and abridging by Dawkins. I have just received this and although I have in the past read this material, it has now come to life as Richard Dawkins has done a splendid job.
Not only do I find his voice pleasing, his slight English accent (to an American) gives me the feeling that Darwin himself is speaking. Dawkins has spent a great deal of effort to emphasize words so that the intended meanings come across more clearly. It is a bit like the difference between a 2d movie and the same one in 3d.
The nearest comparison is to some of the works of the late Carl Sagan, who when reading aloud his own material was head and shoulders above anyone else who didn't really understand the material, but was simply reading it.
The only negative is that he speaks a bit too fast for me. However, I solved that by converting the files to mp3 and using my audio software to slow them down to 85% of original speed. I now am listening to these on my daily exercise walk via an mp3 player with shure sound isolating earphones. I expect to listen to some of it again and again, as it is still difficult to grasp all of it at once while busy watching where I am walking.
As to Darwin, it is refreshing to see how so much of his theory is backed up by first hand information. In this day of high tech, it seems all information is really 3rd, 4th, or Nth hand summaries of other peoples works. When Dawkins reads the part on the struggle for existence, you can actually visualize Darwin crawling around that fenced in plot of ground getting dirty as he measured the height of the plants (or trees) and counted the rings himself to determine how many years the cattle had been keeping the vegetation from growing.
And I find his prose to be almost poetic; reading it just doesn't have the same affect as hearing Dawkins speak it aloud. It's the feline population that keeps the mice down, allowing for more bees to pollinate the flowers. Not just cats eating mice. I didn't quote this exactly, but I think you get the idea.