cover image Pandora's Seed: The Unforeseen Cost of Civilization

Pandora's Seed: The Unforeseen Cost of Civilization

Spencer Wells, read by the author, Tantor Media, unabridged, six CDs, 6.5 hrs., $34.99 ISBN 978-1-4001-1626-3

Wells examines the positive and negative impact civilizations have had on the planet, from court hearings on genetically designed babies to the threat of environmental degradation on the Tuvalu Islands. His story brings the listener from a precivilized world to future possibilities that depend on the course of the next hundred years. Wells balances anecdotes and data with real world examples that embody the abstract concepts he proposes. However, his narration works against the material; the projection is inconsistent throughout, and at times, sentences that start strong sound breathless by the last few words. Wells's emphasis and modulation do not match the sophistication of the prose and fail to fully engage the listener. A Random hardcover (Reviews, Apr. 5). (June)