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Publisher's Summary

Opening up a controversial topic with spirit and thoroughness, Sapiens will challenge your preconceptions, provoke discussion and, most importantly, push you to think for yourself.

The Sunday Times best seller.

Earth is 4.5 billion years old. In just a fraction of that time, one species among countless others has conquered it. Us.

We are the most advanced and most destructive animals ever to have lived. What makes us brilliant? What makes us deadly? What makes us sapiens?

In this bold and provocative audiobook, Yuval Noah Harari explores who we are, how we got here, and where we're going.

Sapiens is a thrilling account of humankind's extraordinary history from the Stone Age to the Silicon Age and our journey from insignificant apes to rulers of the world.

©2011 Yuval Noah Harari (P)2015 Random House Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

"It tackles the biggest questions of history and of the modern world, and it is written in unforgettably vivid language. You will love it!" (Jared Diamond, author of Guns, Germs and Steel)
" Sapiens is the sort of book that sweeps the cobwebs out of your brain. Its author, Yuval Noah Harari, is a young Israeli academic and an intellectual acrobat whose logical leaps have you gasping with admiration... Harari's writing radiates power and clarity, making the world strange and new." ( The Sunday Times)
"I would recommend Sapiens to anyone who's interested in the history and future of our species." (Bill Gates)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars

A must red for those who love books and those who do not....

Every sentence in this book needs to be read and understood carefully. You cannot miss any. Forging briskly through evolution of homosapiens from Chimpanzees and their evolution, it quickly moves to cognitive evolution, agricultural revolution, scientific revolution, industrial revolution, money, nation and politics, imperialism, decolonisation, imerial globe, an exosition on hainess, genetic engineering, bionics, inorganic life and suerhumans ending with how animal turned into man and trying to turn into God. The narration is one of the best I have listened so far. Kudos and salutess to author, narrator and audible.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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First one to listen

Good pace of narration by Derek. The overall rate of flow in the audio is just right to understand the subject Yuval Harari details.
There are right intonations just when required.

6 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Opinionated writer

One can sense bias in many chapters. Comes off as not factual enough, as if the writer is coercing you into his views (and opinions)

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A must read

Wow! An essential read for modern Human. Great read, would highly recommend this to everyone.

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Like a River ...

I enjoyed hearing this book over a week of driving. It demands our attention but the author strung his history of sapiens together well. His first section on the cognitive revolution set the story off like glacial melt tumbling down the mountainside. Towards the end, the story began to meander through the flats of the end game of evolution. Harari's final thoughts were fascinating.

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A must read for everyone

A great perspective on everything we think about!!! History, geography, civics, biology, science, religion bundled together.

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Good book.. that will take you back ..old times

nice book to read... it will give you clear understanding of past and present...worth it

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A nice walkthrough of Human journey

Really looking bed the structuring of book describing our journey from the days of monkeys in the middle of food chain to evolution of Super humans within a story of 20 hours... absolutely loved it.

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fantastic book ever read

one of the best books ever read . "sapiens" fan list should be present :)

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Feed your curiosity

This book kept me hooked even being non-fiction. loved it. The writer has very good points and narrator is very good at telling stories. Loved it. totally recommended

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  • Bradley Janse van Rensburg
  • 13-06-17

Life changing book

It's hard to clearly articulate how profoundly this book (and it's sequel, Homo Deus) has changed my life. I have a much firmer understanding of the history of our species, the origins of our religions and our belief systems, and our possible futures. Anyone who wants to think deeply about life's important questions and be involved in our destiny should read or listen to this book.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Shyam
  • 13-06-17

Brilliant Macrohistory

A sweeping narrative of the history of mankind. The author perches himself in a vantage that summarises millennia of biological and historical evolution. The concept that everything is a product of human imagination was dealt with convincingly. The enquiry into happiness and the role of biochemistry in the evolution of man was valuable. An objective analysis of various forces that have and are shaping the world.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Vivek
  • 07-07-15

A fresh and unique lens to view the world

It has made me re-evaluate almost everything I thought I knew! And it does so in vivid prose, bringing history to life. Highly recommended!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Lauri
  • 20-03-17

One of the best "histories" around

A must read/listen for anyone with a scientific outlook and interest towards history. This book has an exceptionally objective approach towards mankind and its habits, cultures and beliefs. The approach might even offend some people as the book is for example unapologetically atheist

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ram Anvesh Reddy
  • 14-03-17

A modern masterpiece

This is a modern master piece. Succinct, unbiased, extreme coverage of time and space. Just a marvellous read.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Leo Saumure
  • 20-01-16

The subtitle says it all

What did you love best about Sapiens?

I liked that it gave a good foundation of various disciplines when it comes to dealing with humanity: Biology, Sociology, Psychology, History, and even a bit of conjecture.

What did you like best about this story?

I enjoyed the fact that it pretty much covered everything from Darwin's theory of evolution to speculation about where we are heading as a species that can alter our own destiny.

What about Derek Perkins’s performance did you like?

Good reader, and able to convey both the finer points as well as the humour of the book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Diane Simpson Page
  • 20-08-15

Mind blowing

Incredible journey into the past and future of human beings. So much fascinating information and insights. I loved it. Wow.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Vetrici Marius PFA RO32536520
  • 23-08-17

A comprehensive book with surprising angles

The book takes you from early development of humankind up to the nowadays scientific breakthrough.

It is full of insights and explains in very simple terms the development of such concepts as money, religion, empiers, science and the linkage between them.

I truly enjoyed this insightful book full of aha moments.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Kumoyo
  • 28-07-17

A must read!!!!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Absolutely!! It is extremely well written and narrated. This book summarizes the answers to how we (Sapiens) have arrived at this point in time, ability and culture and goes beyond by asking the questions of where we are headed to, whether by our own devices or through circumstance. I definitely recommend spending a minimum of 15 hours of your time to read every bit of this book, I know I'll be scheduling another 15 to 20 hours for another read (more synoptic) to get into the guts of the matter and read alongside other such works

What was one of the most memorable moments of Sapiens?

There were so many great moments but I'll mention a few:

- The realization that we are probably not as special (when compared to other species) as we might want to believe.
- The realization that while we generally view ourselves as the one and only true humans, there have been other types of humans with their own strengths and quirks
- Our future and the implications of advancements we are making (such as AI, etc)
- A reinforcement of the realization that many things we consciously believe as real are either figments of our imagination or simply our own perspectives based on our beliefs, norms and values as well as the accuracy of our individual & collective apparatus i.e. eyes, ears, nostrils, etc.

What about Derek Perkins’s performance did you like?

A solid performance by Derek Perkins. His narration style was perfect for the content and while I reading I thought he was the author (I think it reminded me of Neil degrasse Tyson's narration of his own book, Astrophysics for people in a hurry, where you could tell that he was more than a master of the content in the book)....his delivery was awesome!

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I was left with many questions with one powerful question being whether the point to life was for the well-being of the individual or for the well-being of the species over time or maybe it's not a zero-sum game but that leads to even more questions than answers

Any additional comments?

Two very minor observations and/or corrections for the author:

- Akhenaten and his adoption of monotheism: I thought the date was more around 1350BC rather than 350BC as narrated in the book (which is rather quite late)

- The insinuation that Ghana (and by extension implying that African states) select dictators as leaders: there is a common misconception that all African states are run by despots. It is true that the systems of government in most African countries are worse than those in Northern and Central Europe (and maybe there is more corruption but I would probably qualify that statement by stating there is more "blantant" corruption in several African states whereas there is more sophisticated corruption in the west and obviously Trump, with his ethical dilemmas, is an exception to this) but many countries like Botswana, Zambia and Ghana have been voting for their leaders in peaceful elections for decades. Unfortunately, the general view presented of Africa is that of the deeply troubled states such as Somalia and Sudan and the success stories are completely ignored. I'm not trying to criticize you (the author) as you are likely just as much a victim of how information about Africa is presented by the media (a mix of fake and real news) but rather that if people like yourself can start to use a different tone and send a different message when talking about Africa, that this could change the attitude of many (including many Africans themselves who are exposed to some of the same fake news) about Africa and its people and facilitate greater cooperation across all sapiens and not just some sapiens.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • redthambo
  • 21-09-15

History meets philosophy

Good thought evoking listening. Many subjects covered but lack of facts makes you wonder how much is subjective.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jan W. H. Schnupp
  • Oxford, England
  • 24-09-15

Thought provoking but overconfident

I enjoyed this book a great deal, and found many ideas expressed in it quite thought provoking and insightful. In particular, the idea that the apparent drive of our species to form common narratives, stories, concepts, narratives, may have evolved because it facilitates spontaneous, loosely organized but highly effective cooperation among large numbers of individuals was interesting and very compellingly argued.
Nevertheless, the author does have a tendency to present his ideas not so much as interesting ideas that might be true, but as facts. His style is very engaging and persuasive, so you often don't even notice the hidden questionable assumptions, or the fact that, in his wide, sweeping arguments, the author often roams through several disciplines that he can't possibly all be expert in.
Overall a very enjoyable intellectual journey, but to be enjoyed with a healthy dose of skepticism.

146 of 151 people found this review helpful

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  • Robert
  • 27-05-15

Scares the hell out of me

Sapiens is easily one of the most thought provoking books I have ever read. It has caused me to doubt the our whole human endeavour while at the same time made me want to be a better person. loved it.

72 of 79 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • F Gibb
  • Dumfries
  • 12-05-16

More Manifesto than History

I gave it four stars because I quite liked the things that he was saying, and I agreed with his view of the way the Sapiens species has inflicted itself on the world. But if you are expecting a 'proper' history book- devoid of opinion, and trying to tell things as they happened, but without bias, then this is definitely not for you.
It's an editorial rather than a report.

34 of 37 people found this review helpful

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  • Craig
  • Worsley, United Kingdom
  • 08-07-15

Brilliant!

What did you like most about Sapiens?

Engaging narrative and the themes were spun together very imaginatively.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Sapiens?

The narrator brought the whole to life (for me the quality of narrator makes or breaks the audiobook....i have returned 3 previously that I am sure are great reads but are murdered by a poor narrator)

What about Derek Perkins’s performance did you like?

Engaging, never aggravating...no mean trick!

30 of 33 people found this review helpful

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  • D. Faulkner
  • 04-09-17

The Smartest of Sapiens

One of the smartest books I've read so far. From pithecus to politics, from shekels to shackles, hunting and gathering to happiness and genocide, this book ingeniously chronicles the history of us.

I have read a few books on this subject including Diamonds "The third chimpanzee" and this is by far my favourite of them all.

Narration was perfect. Pacing was perfect. The stories and sidebars drew me in every time. I can't recommended this book enough. Definitely in my top three books

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • P. Stewart
  • 17-01-18

Thought provoking but light on facts, heavy on opinions

Worth a listen as a discussion starter. But I would have preferred more research to balance the authors interpretations and opinions
Recommended.

16 of 18 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Karl
  • 23-01-18

Opinion stated as fact.

What would have made Sapiens better?

Many advanced concepts (such as the medical basis of depression) elaborated on by the author - who apparently has no knowledge in this area - with laughable inaccuracy and assumptions. Most of the book is opinions stated as facts.The author's personal view on modern life is clearly quite different to others', yet it is stated as fact.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 24-08-17

Started off strong, but the ending was weak

I thought the ending was a lot more 'own interpretation of current data'. The beginning was very strong and intriguing!

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • David
  • 28-05-15

Well balanced and original

A fascinating read about the human story to date. I really enjoyed the way Harari takes ideas back to basic principles and then applies reason on top. He is clearly a man who thinks for himself so there is a lot of original ideas contained within the book. He also doesn't take too many liberties where stating what we do and don't know about human history which is always refreshing. To top it all off it is a great performance by the narrator.

18 of 23 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Mr N A Kinsella
  • 14-05-18

Got to chapter 7 and gave up with this.

Repeatedly overstating the obvious and written for an alien who has never seen earth. Boring.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 30-08-17

Thought-provoking

I found it to be very interesting, challenging some assumptions that I may not have given thought to otherwise. I read plenty of reviews also and found that most negative reviews were based on some form of offence taken to ideas presented in the book. I did not perceive his work as absolute, merely a presentation of possible scenarios and ideas, with a healthy dose of reasoning and explanation.

26 of 29 people found this review helpful

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  • Crazybrave333
  • 11-03-17

Prepare to have you mind blown

This is by far the best book I have ever read.

It moves at the pace of mankind's development getting faster and faster as it goes.

It will change your perspective on so many things at so many levels. This book is a must for anyone who wants to think deeply about where we come from and how that impacts the way we live today.

29 of 33 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 13-01-17

One of the rare books that intrigued me constantly

If you ever wondered what your (human) place is in the universe, read this. Find out how we humans began, how homo-sapiens conquered the Earth, and why you have all of those problems in life. It's like a weight is gradually lifting from your shoulders, the further you read/listen.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • ivanbreks
  • 27-08-16

A must read for anyone who thinks.

Think you know something about anything? Read this and then think again. Harari often states the obvious, but these statements a mind blowing because we've all just taken them for granted, not even being aware that it's something worth thinking about.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • George Broadfoot
  • 15-05-16

so good

This is a vast and insightful work that does what all great non-fiction should do- it makes you feel smarter after hearing it. But also, you feel a bit dirty because lets face it, we are a terrifying species when viewed from certain angles.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • Darcy
  • 16-06-16

Exceptional

Cannot recommend this book more highly. A transformative experience that will encourage you to question everything

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Fergal McCraken
  • 08-06-17

A must read. Beautifully articulate

A profound and insightful treatise on our species...its origin, its impact and our possible futures

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr. George Sabados
  • 20-07-15

Revelatory!

This was a fascinating take on the evolution of Sapiens and prediction of unshackling humanity from the bonds of the body!
I was riveted and could not get through this audiobook fast enough.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-10-16

Very interesting

Understand some of the forces that shaped humanity, and how humanity shaped the world. The perspective gained in reading this book is simply awesome. The best book I've read in a long time.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • FritzRadda
  • 25-01-18

life as I knew it has changed for the better.

everyone MUST read this account and subjective explanation of our history. It is an eye opener and will make of you a happier person if you are open minded.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful