An Appetite for Wonder

  • by Richard Dawkins
  • Narrated by Richard Dawkins, Lalla Ward
  • 7 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Born to parents who were enthusiastic naturalists, and linked through his wider family to a clutch of accomplished scientists, Richard Dawkins was bound to have biology in his genes. But what were the influences that shaped his life and intellectual development? And who inspired him to become the pioneering scientist and public thinker now famous (and infamous to some) around the world?
In An Appetite for Wonder we join him on a personal journey back to an enchanting childhood in colonial Africa. There the exotic natural world was his constant companion. Boarding school in England at the age of eight, and, later, public school at Oundle introduce Dawkins, and the listener, to strange rules and eccentric schoolmasters, vividly described with both humorous affection and some reservation.
An initial fervent attachment to Church of England religion soon gives way to disaffection and, later, teenage rebellion. Early signs of a preference for music, poetry, and reading over practical matters become apparent as he recalls the opportunities that entered his small world. Oxford, however, is the catalyst to his life. Vigorous debate in the dynamic Zoology Department unleashes his innate intellectual curiosity, and inspirational mentors together with his own creative thinking ignite the spark that results in his radical new vision of Darwinism, The Selfish Gene.
From innocent child to charismatic world-famous scientist, Richard Dawkins paints a colourful, richly textured canvas of his early life. Honest self-reflection and witty anecdotes are interspersed with touching reminiscences of his family and friends, literature, poetry, and songs. We are finally able to understand the private influences that shaped the public man who, more than anyone else in his generation, explained our own origins.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Sorry I am Biased

Don't look to me for an unbiased review. This man was key to my freedom from religious shackles. I loved his humble portrayal of English life in this book. The view into life at the sunset of the British Empire. The glimpse of University life. I understand why he is so fed up with the uneducated and narrow minded vandalising progress in science. Spraying graffiti on the trains of knowledge. Thank you Mr Dawkins.
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- Stephen

Richard Dawkins biography but only half the story

It was interesting to hear Richard Dawkin's life story. Although I would stress this is his early life only, something I wasn't aware of when I listened and hence the ending came rather unexpectedly early for me. He is still on wife number 1 in this book. Thankfully his current wife, Lalla Ward, makes only a tiny contribution to narrating this book as I find her profoundly irritating to listen to.

It was a good read, I would recommend. Nice to have it narrated by Dawkins as always.
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- Lindsay Kay Caddy

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-09-2013
  • Publisher: Random House Audiobooks