The Gene

  • by Siddhartha Mukherjee
  • Narrated by Dennis Boutsikaris
  • 19 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The Gene is the story of one of the most powerful and dangerous ideas in our history, from best-selling, prize-winning author Siddhartha Mukherjee.
Spanning the globe and several centuries, The Gene is the story of the quest to decipher the master code that makes and defines humans, that governs our form and function.
The story of the gene begins in an obscure Augustinian abbey in Moravia in 1856, where a monk stumbles on the idea of a 'unit of heredity'. It intersects with Darwin's theory of evolution and collides with the horrors of Nazi eugenics in the 1940s. The gene transforms postwar biology. It reorganises our understanding of sexuality, temperament, choice and freewill. This is a story driven by human ingenuity and obsessive minds - from Charles Darwin and Gregor Mendel to Francis Crick, James Watson and Rosalind Franklin and the thousands of scientists still working to understand the code of codes.
This is an epic, moving history of a scientific idea coming to life by the author of The Emperor of All Maladies. But woven through The Gene like a red line is also an intimate history - the story of Mukherjee's own family and its recurring pattern of mental illness, reminding us that genetics is vitally relevant to everyday lives. These concerns reverberate even more urgently today as we learn to 'read' and 'write' the human genome - unleashing the potential to change the fates and identities of our children.
Majestic in its ambition and unflinching in its honesty, The Gene gives us a definitive account of the fundamental unit of heredity - and a vision of both humanity's past and its future.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Fascinating, exhilarating thought provoking all at the same time

Very well researched, written and read - at times like a thriller, at times like a mystery and at times like a credible science journal. 20 hours very well spent!!
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- Nitin

May become compulsory

Would you consider the audio edition of The Gene to be better than the print version?

Cannot comment


What did you like best about this story?

The effort shown by the author to give as 'balanced' account as possible.


Have you listened to any of Dennis Boutsikaris’s other performances? How does this one compare?

I am not aware of listening to a performance by Dennis before - but this is truly outstanding.


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

'Moved' is not the word I would use - did it make me think ?? - numerous times.


Any additional comments?

That someone would even consider doing a 'work' relating to this subject is amazing - and we should all thank Siddhartha for doing so. But to dos so with such an evenhanded approach is a compliment to his intelligence. Could we, IN THE VERY NEAR FUTURE, see this become compulsory reading in our schools - I, for one, hope so.

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- WILLIAM

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-06-2016
  • Publisher: Random House AudioBooks