I was lucky enough to get sent a copy of this for review all the way back before it was published last September. And I read it last September but failed to actually get around to writing the review for it due to one thing and another. So, in an effort to catch up and write reviews for the books I read in my blog/reading slump I decided to start with this one.
Much like it’s predecessor, Sapiens, this book was engaging from the outset. Harari’s writing is incredible, and makes even the most complex thoughts and issues accessible and approachable. As a book it also poses some really heavy information to digest which I think about now, a few months after I finished it especially when flicking through the pages of New Scientist magazine and advances in technology make the future posed in this book even more plausible than it did the week before.
In this book Harari looks at how human nature – and humanity – could be transformed due to developments in bio-technology, bio-engineering, and the like. Results of combinations of genetic engineering and bio-tech could result in very different humans to what we currently know, it could be a catalyst in to the next stage of human evolution. Science is progressing exponentially, day by day, and along with it humans are progressing – evolving – too.
While what he paints in these pages is very much a dystopian future it is also scarily plausible. Every argument in this book is logical, rational and well thought out and even now, some months on from reading it, I occasionally find myself thinking about it (as I said above, most commonly when flicking through the most recent issue of New Scientist).
It is a book which the non-scientist, non-anthropologist can digest, but I strongly recommend reading Sapiens first even though this could stand alone quite easily. As someone who is more interested in bio-tech and bio-engineering I actually preferred this book to Sapiens but I know that isn’t a general consensus among most readers. Both this and Sapiens are definitely worth the read, and they appear bulky but they are so, so easy to read.