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The paper and print quality are very poor. Sending fake printed books in the name of special collector's edition and that too without colours. I found a better book through different vendor as compared to this Harsh Books.
'Sapiens' is a short telling of the entire human history, from pre-anatomically modern humans through the agricultural and scientific revolutions and to the present. Or so it attempts to be.
Unfortunately, this enormous task is the book's own undoing. There is no room for any indepth discussions about the various complex issues, and no room to discuss the evidence. The book is filled with assertion after assertion, and virtually nothing to back them up. I looked in the reference section and I was shocked to see how few citations there were. Such a massive subject derserves ten times more citations. If you think you're getting a good scientific description of the facts, don't buy this book. This book is essentially his opinions, and not much else.
Any person who has strong knowledge within any of the subjects in the book will quickly realise that Harari is not an expert on much of what he writes about. He does not just make many claims. He makes many wrong claims. And many, many more misleading ones. It's one of those books that are popular with the layman, but not so much with the expert.
When he leaves the topic of evolutionary biology, premodern history, and starts talking about modern history the book gets slighter better. Or is that just because I'm not as well-versed in those topics? Do I just not see his errors there, just like a layperson would not see his errors in his account of evolutionary biology, intelligence research, and more? I won't know. The problem is I can't put much trust in him, because there are so many things wrong or misleading stuff elsewhere. And he doesn't provide sufficient evidence.
Even in the better parts of the book, it is ultimately somewhat dull. Not much new to learn for me, unfortunately. There are so many books about humans, many of them much better than this.
I wouldn't claim that this is the worst book ever, obviously. But to say that it is overhyped is to put it mildly. If you want to read a story, then perhaps you might find it interesting. If you want a factual account that is supported by an honest look at the available evidence, then go somewhere else.
Harari has a knack of weaving complex and interesting concepts into stories, which allows the reader to feel smarter for having understood him. The book is very interesting and despite its length, can be zipped through due to its easy reading style.
Unfortunately, I also have to agree with many of the one star reviewers, that the books downfall is the almost constant speculation he engages in, without providing further evidence.
As an example, he states 'the creators of the cave paintings at Chauvet, Lascaux and Altmira almost certainly intended them to last for generations.'
This kind of statement is endemic of the sloppy thinking he engages in, where he will assume something for the sake of the narrative.
This wouldn't be a problem if it were in isolation, but it is a pattern repeated throughout the book, where he will base a conclusion off an assumption, then proceed to build a whole story off it. This relegates the book to a speculation rather than a historical account.
I would also advice Christians that he is rather condescending about religion in general and Christianity in particular. He describes Christianity as a 'myth' to be put in the same category as belief in Odin or in Wood Spirits. AS a Non-Christian I was annoyed over his presumptive anti-theism so I have no doubt that many believers will find him infuriating.
To sum up, this is an interesting and infuriating speculation of the humankind. Take it all with a shaker of salt.
If you are a believer, this book is a total waste of time. It is not at all a history of humankind, as it follows the scientific route. Yet to find scientists who can provide something which, when they are dating something, confirms without any shadow of a doubt that it was there at the beginning!
Of course when you're reading a book, you know the author's views & opinions will be biased, but when you're reading a book, the last thing you want is to be bombarded with strong opinions all the time, subtle hints here and there are good.
I mean, you wrote a book about it, so I think people have a pretty good idea on where you stand, but the author smacks it in your face, and that ruined the book, which is a shame because it had the potential to be a great book, don't get me wrong, this was a good book, but not a great one.
I was gifted this book in German (native language), however, I enjoyed it so much, that I got the audiobook to listen in my car in English AND got the paperback in English for my husband. Basically, I've purchased this book 3 times, this is how much I enjoyed reading it.
CONTENT - You do not need to be a science, nature, biology, history geek to enjoy this book - The way it is written makes it attractive for a very large audience - The writing style is simple, yet you feel like you are learning something every page - Insightful and applicable to humankind today - I do not agree with everything in the book, I think some of the statements are vague, however, this doesn't mean that you will not enjoy the book. It's ok to disagree.
I have read Homo Deus and Sapiens in a row, Firstly both the books are written in a lucid flow nothing is left out for doubt but every sentence provoke you to think of our past present and future. Its unbelievable how author put forth history/future of humankind in such an never ending enthusiastic manner. loved both the books
I am not going to lie the book was an interesting read and the author has a great skill in jumping from topic to topic.
Hovewer, majority of the book consists of things of which the author has no clue about, but maybe read some "blog post" or "book" on it. The major problem is in the phrases such as "We dont know". I think it is unethical that the author speaks in "We" and not in "I".
Additionally there is a lot of jumping on 1000 different topics which is the illness of 21th centry. Maybe thats why the book is so successfull. People get the impression that they "learned" something.
The book is equivalent of a video with a title "100 interesting facts in 10 minutes". The facts are exagerated, misinformed and sometimes false. But at least they are interesting.
The book starts ok, with a useful compilation of recent scientific discoveries. Then Dr. Harari begins to introduce sensationalist claims, like: “A corporation is a myth,” then proposes evidence that fits his claim. A corporation is not a myth, it’s a legal entity created by humans to conduct business with other humans. If a corporation is a myth, then the constitution of USA, and any other set of laws must be a myth as well. Ho goes so far as to declare that America, or any other country is a myth! Come on… Tell this to a pack of wolves who call their territory Wolfland. For me, Harari is one of those authors who come up with sensationalist and outrageous claims in order to sell his book, and judging by the ratings, he largely succeeds. But so do fake news.
So, Harari goes on to attempt to tear down just about every human institution of the last few thousand years as being fictional or "imaginary". Well, sure, they were all invented by humans. But invention is not fiction. Neither it is a myth.
Starting with a conclusion and only proposing evidence that fits with said conclusion bored me and I stopped reading it about a quarter of the way through. I really gave it a try, but this book is one of the most pretentious and pompous books I've ever read. I love good clear authors. Harari is not one of them. Can hardly get through a paragraph of his without being irritated by his generalization without support, constant non-sequiters and presentation of opinion as fact. And when he feels he’s gone too far, he says “Most scientists agree.” Go check it out.