the guardian Sat 07 March 2009
On the Origin of Species, by Charles Darwin, abridged and read by Richard Dawkins (6hrs, CSA Word, £18.59)
For once I'm not complaining about an audio being abridged. If anyone is qualified to edit Darwin, it has to be the former Oxford Professor for the Public Understanding of Science and author of The God Delusion Richard Dawkins. It's based on the first of the six editions of the book published between 1859 and 1872, which Dawkins, with customary contrariness, reckons is the most modern. I'm no expert on Victorian scientific texts and have only heard extracts from this one on Melvyn Bragg's Ten Books that Changed the World, but it sounds surprisingly modern to me. Maybe it's the engaging way he reads it, in his light, chatty, unprofessorial voice that makes natural selection as easy to digest as chick lit.