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Download I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes within Us and a Grander View of Life Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes within Us and a Grander View of Life, by Ed Yong Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ed Yong Narrator: Charlie Anson Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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A groundbreaking, wondrously informative, and vastly entertaining examination of the most significant revolution in biology since Darwin—a “microbe’s-eye view” of the world that reveals a marvelous, radically reconceived picture of life on earth.

Every animal, whether human, squid, or wasp, is home to millions of bacteria and other microbes. Many people think of microbes as germs to be eradicated, but those that live with us—the microbiome—build our bodies, protect our health, shape our identities, and grant us incredible abilities. In this astonishing book, Ed Yong takes us on a grand tour through our microbial partners, and introduces us to the scientists on the front lines of discovery.

Yong, whose humor is as evident as his erudition, prompts us to look at ourselves and our animal companions in a new light—less as individuals and more as the interconnected, interdependent multitudes we assuredly are. The microbes in our bodies are part of our immune systems and protect us from disease. Those in cows and termites digest the plants they eat. In the deep oceans, mysterious creatures without mouths or guts depend on microbes for all their energy. Bacteria provide squids with invisibility cloaks, help beetles to bring down forests, and allow worms to cause diseases that afflict millions of people.

I Contain Multitudes is the story of these extraordinary partnerships between the creatures we are familiar with and those we are not. It reveals how we humans are disrupting these partnerships and how we might manipulate them for our own good. It will change both our view of nature and our sense of where we belong in it.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Offer[s] engrossing—and gross—details about how an invisible world shapes our species…[with] facts presented in graceful, accessible prose….And he’s funny.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “An excellent, vivid introduction to the all-enveloping realm of our secret sharers.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “A delightful, witty book. Yong vividly describes the intricate alliances forged by microbes with every other organism on the planet.”


  • “Weaves revelatory anecdotes and cutting-edge reporting into an elegant, illuminating page-turner.”

    Minneapolis Star Tribune

  • “Excels at objectively navigating the large body of research related to the microbiome without overselling its curative potential or sacrificing any of the deliciously icky details.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “Yong makes a superb case for his position by interviewing numerous scientists and presenting their fascinating work in an accessible and persuasive fashion.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Narrator Charlie Anson brings out the dry humor in British science journalist Ed Yong’s fascinating and accessible treatise…Anson also does admirably pronouncing the many scientific names and words, and his smooth and lively delivery helps keep listeners from getting bogged down…Perhaps what Yong and Anson communicate most effectively is the palpable joy of discovery and an appreciation for the secret and intricate workings of our world, which we’re still only beginning to understand.”


  • A New York Times Editor’s Choice
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