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The Brain

The Story of You
Narrated by: David Eagleman
Length: 5 hrs and 36 mins
Categories: Education, Science
4.5 out of 5 stars (340 ratings)

Non-member price: $27.33

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Publisher's Summary

This is the story of how your life shapes your brain and how your brain shapes your life. Locked in the silence and darkness of your skull, the brain fashions the rich narratives of your reality and your identity.

Join renowned neuroscientist David Eagleman for a journey into the questions at the heart of our existence. What is reality? Who are 'you'? How do you make decisions? Why does your brain need other people? How is technology poised to change what it means to be human?

In the course of his investigations, Eagleman guides us through the world of extreme sports, criminal justice, facial expressions, genocide, brain surgery, gut feelings, robotics, and the search for immortality.

Strap in for a whistle-stop tour into the inner cosmos. In the infinitely dense tangle of billions of brain cells and their trillions of connections, something emerges that you might not have expected to see in there: you.

©2015 Canongate Books (P)2015 Canongate Books Ltd

Critic Reviews

"Entertaining and profound: page-turning neuroscience from a bit of a genius." (Guardian)
"Clear, engaging and thought-provoking." (Nature)
"The posterboy of neuroscience with ideas that will stretch your mind." (Observer)

What listeners say about The Brain

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

favorite quote from the book

"It would take a zettabyte of computational capacity to run a simulation of the brain. That is the entire computational capacity of our planet right now."

3 people found this helpful

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From the perspective of an science undergrad.

Unfortunately a little basic and short, but still alright(listenable) content wise. Read very well though.

2 people found this helpful

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A little basic

Not bad but a bit too introductory especially in the early chapters. Still have some interesting research findings shared in later chapters.

1 person found this helpful

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Fantastic... Sagan-esque.

Beautifully written, up to date and broad in scope. A fascinating gateway into neuroscience and philosophy of mind.

1 person found this helpful

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Engaging and fascinating material

This book opens up your mind about the brain, giving you a clearer understanding of our reality and and analyses everything from robotics to consciousness to our reality. Intriguing

3 people found this helpful

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The Brain. Artificial intelligence only.

Enjoyable read. Did not live up to expectations though. As a specialist physician I find it predictable. No new concepts and very little unique nuances explored. Overall an easy read but disappointing: didn’t give wings to the imagination.

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very interesting

really interesting book. this was my first audiobook aswell. Opens your mind to so many interesting questions

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On my highest recommended list

Well written. Engaging. Topics are thoroughly explored. Explains using examples and analogies that make it easy to understand.

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Everyone should read this book and then share it with their friends!

This is one of the best and most well articulated and simplified to the general public and most important books I have ever read or heard, and everyone should read this book and then give it to their friends as everyone should know the science of our brains!

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brilliant book!!

simply brilliant book that in layman terms explain how do we think!! and why do we think...

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  • VAIBHAV ARORA
  • 25-03-2020

Must read

It stands amongst the likes of “Thinking Fast and Slow” and “Sapiens” that must be read by each individual on Earth. I now want to watch the PBS tv series, “Brain with Dr David Eagleman” and then order and read the book to completely absorb the amazing content.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-09-2019

Love it!!

It's so easy to understand, jet you know its merely the beginning of the studies on the brain, is awesome

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  • Lilian
  • 18-09-2018

Very good indeed.

Up dated information very well explained with a contagious enthusiasm. I would listen to it again.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 23-02-2017

5 star

A fantastic journey, we should spread this knowledge as far as possible to reduce the ignorance and violence

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-09-2016

Amazing

Brain science is extremely interesting and important. You will learn something about the reality her. I promise.

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  • Alan Mellerick
  • 24-03-2016

Excellent summary of neurology for the layman.

I really enjoyed this book. The author delivers exactly what he promised; a high level review of this fascinating science that touches biology, physics and philosophy without going too far down any particular rabbit holes.

He does repeat himself just s little, now and again, and sometimes he labours a point when I wish he would spend more time on something like consciousness, but in just 5 hours of listening he delivers plenty of food for thought, and springboards to go diving off into related topics.

The performance is enthusiastic without taking itself too seriously, and holds your interest all the way along.

A good one - recommended.

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  • Oktay
  • 03-03-2016

The book I was looking for

This book opens the blinds of a luminous window. You get to see all the wonderful things about your brain and what it can do. The book also raises questions that encourage you to think. This is the book you are looking for.

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  • Ilkka
  • 26-02-2016

Between fascinating and superficial

What made the experience of listening to The Brain the most enjoyable?

The stories about people with some sort of brain malfunction or the reported psychological tests gave insight into how our minds work as an individual, within a group or between groups. The speculations about future brain-environment interactions, artifical intelligences and transhumanism were one of the best parts of this book.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

From stupid molecules to cosmic consciousness.

Any additional comments?

For most parts, the book felt like a list of different kinds of brain phenomenon with superficial explanations on them. I was already aware of many of the topics in this book, so I didn't get as much new information as someone else might get. Still, this audiobook worked nicely as a catalyst for thinking about brains and minds while taking walks.

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  • Dom
  • 14-01-2016

Couldn't stop listening

Very interesting book for someone with no background on the brain. Kept me interested throughout and never got lost.

34 people found this helpful

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  • Kerry
  • 27-04-2016

.

Had my mind blown 2 or 3 times, each and every car journey. Your brain is absolutely incredible and the author has managed to convey many of it's intricacies without losing you on the overly nerdy stuff. Fascinating!

27 people found this helpful

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  • Richard
  • 02-10-2016

Very good, but it can be quite a deep book.

I enjoyed this book. It is educational and helps you understand about how we think. It also gives you insight into how our brains work. It's not really a chill out book as you would probably expect. It did at times have me rewinding certain parts to understand what the author was trying to explain. None the less I was happy with my purchase and how the content was delivered. Therefore if you have a slight interest in how we think, and how our brain interprets the world. Then you may well enjoy this book.

15 people found this helpful

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  • aky
  • 03-12-2015

Excellent, but not quite as good as Incognito

Eagleman's earlier book, Incognito, was one of the first books cognitive science, so I found in absolutely enthralling. Perhaps because I've read other excellent books on the topic since then, I didn't find this as much of a game-changer in my understanding of how the mind works. I felt that some of the material was a repetition of his earlier book. That said, I still found this to be an excellent listen. There's enough new material to make it well worthwhile. Eagleman's writing style is very easy to follow; I think he strikes the right balance between academic and popular science writing. I'd give this book 5 out of 5, and my only real criticism is that I'd have given Incognito 6 out of 5 if I could have.

20 people found this helpful

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  • Rex Ovire
  • 05-01-2017

Content

Very well written and researched a great book for parents, teachers and professionals. Really awesome

6 people found this helpful

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  • Luke
  • 31-12-2016

Amazing!!

Want to be smarter? Read this book!

Good at getting you thinking, i saw in some reviews that the book drags on abit... But i gobbled this book up in two settings. Very impressed!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Laszlo
  • 25-11-2015

Thorough discussion but long-winded

A highly insightful book discussing the forefront scientific findings in the research of one of the most important keys to our future. David Eagleman has done a fabulous job at explaining very complex concepts using language perfectly understandable for laymen. A great introduction to this field. He js using his engaging, energetic personal style throughout the book. If only here was an abstract-like short version of the whole.

7 people found this helpful

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  • 13
  • 02-01-2018

Dangerously ableist

Wow. The arrogance of the author is jaw dropping. In one breath he condemns dehumanization and in the next casually asserts that only those of the predominant neurotype have any human validity. His pathetic rhetoric trots out all the outdated views of disabled people as poor broken wretches who are in need of fixing while he casts himself and his dangerously biased perspectives on science as the heroes saving us from the terrible monster of natural human diversity. He clearly never considered that not all of his readers will have typically developing brains and could be perfectly happy in not conforming to the societal norms he glorifies. He would benefit from reading the work of disability studies academics before considering publishing anything further but I fear this would require a degree of humility which is beyond the capacity of his brain.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Alex
  • 19-05-2016

Truly thought provoking and insightful!

David does a great job of inspiring us to take care of our brain and redefine ourselves. Highly recommend!

6 people found this helpful

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  • Angelicano
  • 25-02-2016

Absolutely fascinating

What made the experience of listening to The Brain the most enjoyable?

I loved every single word of this. Fascinating beyond all expectation. Entirely accessible yet never feels dumbed down with a charismatic reading by the author, who clearly is deeply in love with his subject. I found the last chapter unexpectedly provocative, perplexing and exciting. What a book. I keep buying it as a gift for others. I also bought the printed version which has great pictures. Both great experiences. 10 stars.

What other book might you compare The Brain to, and why?

It works well if you read books by popular neuroscientists like Oliver Sacks.

Which character – as performed by David Eagleman – was your favourite?

Well, the author is the reaer and so is all the characters. And he is totally beguiling.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It thrilled me with wonderment from the very beginning.

Any additional comments?

This book is just an absolute thrill and pleasure. All human life is here. You will know yourself better.

7 people found this helpful