The subtitle describes this book perfectly: A brief history of humankind.

Starting before Sapiens (the scientific term for modern-day humans) it performs a whistle-stop tour of our history and even postulates what the future may hold for our species.

Topics covered include the rise to dominance by Sapiens over other human species, the birth of agriculture, cities and empires through to religion, language and our destruction of many of Earth’s other inhabitants.

Having read Guns, Germs and SteelCivilization: The West and the Rest and Why Nations Fail I found a lot of parallels and plenty of overlaps, so if you’ve previously encountered those this may not provide as many insights as it will for some.

Still, it’s a very interesting, if understandably brief, history of the world that is plainly written and easy to engage with. I did find myself tuning out in several sections though and the weighting of some topics over others feels odd in places.

Well read by Derek Perkins who does a perfectly good job.

Any one of the chapters covered could have been a book in and of itself, so broad are the topics, so this is a case of dipping your toe, but a good way to cover a vast array of topics without getting bogged down and worth a read.

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Reviewed: 13th August 2016