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The Descent of Man

Narrated by: Jonny Philips
Length: 3 hrs and 54 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (18 ratings)

Non-member price: $28.09

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Publisher's Summary

Penguin presents the unabridged downloadable audiobook edition of The Descent of Man by Grayson Perry, read by Jonny Philips.

Grayson Perry has been thinking about masculinity - what it is, how it operates, why little boys are thought to be made of slugs and snails - since he was a boy. Now, in this funny and necessary book, he turns round to look at men with a clear eye and ask, what sort of men would make the world a better place for everyone? What would happen if we rethought the old, outdated macho version of manhood and embraced a different idea of what makes a man?

Apart from giving up the coronary-inducing stress of always being 'right' and the vast new wardrobe options, the real benefit might be that a newly fitted masculinity will allow men to have better relationships - and that's happiness, right?

Grayson Perry admits he's not immune from the stereotypes himself - as the psychoanalysts say, 'If you spot it, you've got it' - and his thoughts on everything from power to physical appearance, from emotions to a brand-new Manifesto for Men, are shot through with honesty, tenderness and the belief that, for everyone to benefit, upgrading masculinity has to be something men decide to do themselves. They have nothing to lose but their hang-ups.

©2016 Grayson Perry (P)2016 Penguin

Critic Reviews

"Grayson Perry for King and Queen of England. Imagine how brilliant our country would look if he was." (Caitlin Moran)

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Essential listening

Eloquent, insightful and absolutely necessary reading/listening for all men, women and non binary human beings who want the world to be a fairer place.

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Let your guard down

As a man you might feel attacked by the first chapter but hang in there. Grayson Perry doesn't want to take away your manhood, he wants to add to it and make it richer, more fulfilling, and less lonely.
He is a man who feels all the same pressures as you do. You'll recognise yourself in this book and if you're open to it he'll make you feel comfortable with who you are and why you came to be that way. He'll point out your weaknesses, prove they're not your fault, and pave the way to turrn them into strengths.
This book is authentic, insightful, and funny in it's writing and performance.
You'll be a better man for having read it.

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memorable

I think this is a great entry point. helpful info, well presented, very articulate. If you have seen and enjoyed any of this documentaries, you will like this too.

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  • ewa-aurelia
  • 17-11-2018

Really enjoyed the insight

Although not firmly based in biological sciences about sex differences, the perspective on masculinity offered by the author is accurate and insightful. The beautiful verses of the story are a delight to hear and the message is very important for today's societal/economic transition.

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  • Amanda
  • 25-01-2017

Truely brilliant!!

The most fascinatingly informed book I've ever read Grayson you're a legend! I had to read it in one sitting as I couldn't put it down- thank you for such an intelligent book!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Caitlin Frost
  • 04-11-2016

Thoughtful analysis

Great readShould be a required text for boys and girls from the age of 10!

4 people found this helpful

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  • William P Griffiths
  • 22-12-2016

Great read

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It's certainly thought-provoking but it's key strength is taking a difficult subject and making it funny.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Mary
  • 19-12-2016

Wonderful

Grayson Peer's wisdom, sensitivity and daring admissions of his own evolution as a man over time show him to have a strength and innate power that is massively attractive in a man; a Real Man. I would love all my male friends to read and learn from this book that they are more valuable to women as themselves and not as predictable stereotypes. Thank you, Grayson.

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  • Mabbers
  • 04-04-2017

Great

Really interesting and thought provoking and a really good insight into the mind of the modern man. It was also good to think from the male perspective.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Rogayah
  • 03-12-2016

Interesting

Interesting thoughts coming from a man about men and their built-in actions and reactions. Grayson Perry may not be an ideal spokesman for the gender but he is totally honest about men and maleness. I hope that once these thoughts have been aired they will be picked up and ruminated on by men and boys the world over. Perhaps then the world will be a better place.

The essay was well read, making it very enjoyable and allowing Grayson Perry come through. Will this be the beginning of a new chapter for the human race? I hope so!

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  • Emma
  • 12-02-2020

Eye-opening!

Remarkable! I highly recommend this to everyone... the content is paradigm-shifting and the narration is powerful.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 27-12-2019

If your ready to reflect then this is for you

I really enjoyed being challenged and made to recognise deeper issue with gender.
if your able to reflect on gender and wider issues then it is for you but be prepared to be challenged.

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  • M. Cottafavi
  • 12-12-2019

Minor tweak in narration please?

Narration was fine, but I am in a noisy car and struggled to hear the lower inflections...

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  • Bradley Smith
  • 20-09-2019

Life changing

Thank you for your honesty Grayson. I loved that you were a skateboarder in the 80s.