• Built on Bones

  • 15,000 Years of Urban Life and Death
  • By: Brenna Hassett
  • Narrated by: Laurence Bouvard
  • Length: 11 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 23-02-17
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Audible Studios for Bloomsbury
  • 4 out of 5 stars 3.9 (91 ratings)

Summary

The city has killed most of your ancestors, and it's probably killing you, too - this book tells you why.
Imagine you are a hunter-gatherer some 12,000 years ago. You've got a choice - carry on foraging or plant a few seeds and move to one of those new-fangled settlements down the valley. What you won't know is that urban life is short and riddled with dozens of new diseases; your children will be shorter and sicklier than you are; they'll be plagued with gum disease and stand a decent chance of violent death at the point of a spear. Why would anyone choose this?
But choose they did. Why? This is one of the many intriguing questions tackled by Brenna Hassett in Built on Bones. Based on research on skeletal remains from around the world, this book explores the history of humanity's experiment with the metropolis and looks at why our ancestors chose city life and, by and large, have stuck to it. It explains the diseases, the deaths and the many other misadventures that we have unwittingly unleashed upon ourselves throughout the metropolitan past and, as the world becomes increasingly urbanised, what we can look forward to in the future.
Built on Bones offers accessible insight into a critical but relatively unheralded aspect of the human story: our recent evolution. It tells the story of shifts in human longevity, growth and health that have occurred as we transitioned from a mobile to a largely settled species. Beginning with the very earliest experiments in settling down, the narrative moves slowly forward in time, with each chapter discussing a new element of humanity's great urban experiment.
©2017 Brenna Hassett (P)2017 Audible, Ltd
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
1 out of 5 stars
By Flint on 07-09-17

I had to give up on this one

I rarely give up on a book but this one was impossible to listen to because of the poor narration and the irritating voice of the narrator. It's a pity because I think I might have enjoyed the book if it had been read by someone else.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By C. A. Mealing on 08-05-17

Fascinating!

This is a fascinating topic, described in a humorous and down to earth way whilst still having substance. If you can get past the slightly odd phrasing and occasional mispronunciation by the narrator, you will enjoy it.

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17 of 21 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
1 out of 5 stars
By Sara on 11-05-18

What A Disaster

I was thrilled when I stumbled upon this book and anticipated a totally enthralling listening experience. The topic fascinates me and the reviews were good on several sites so I had high hopes. Yikes was I dismayed when I started to listen.

The author chose to present the material using such a terrible, flip, almost sarcastic tone that I found it totally off putting or really to be honest almost repellent. To me, the frequent attempts at failed humor and idiotic insider jokes squelched it completely. It was just too embarrassing.

Topping the whole thing off, just to make my day, I dropped the ball and found that it was too late for me to return this dreadful mess of a book. Oh Ugh. Can't recommend.

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9 of 13 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By J.T. on 02-08-17

This is a "light" book for many reasons

The author tries to be funny and sometimes she is. She is obviously young, smart and she will look back at her last chapter with a bit of regret I think. Her whine about the rich and poor is one that is almost silly. The rich inheriting investments but she does not recognize she is one of those making a living and not producing anything. Only a society of "rich" can afford to indulge her but she does not see she is one of the oppressors.

She should learn life is not fair and she is proof.

To paraphrase, this story is a "mile wide and a foot deep".

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0 of 4 people found this review helpful

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