• Flights of Fancy

  • Defying Gravity by Design and Evolution
  • By: Richard Dawkins
  • Narrated by: Richard Dawkins
  • Length: 4 hrs and 46 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (133 ratings)

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Flights of Fancy  By  cover art

Flights of Fancy

By: Richard Dawkins
Narrated by: Richard Dawkins
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Publisher's Summary

The wonder of flight. The science of evolution. From both, Richard Dawkins weaves a fascinating account of how nature and humans have learned to overcome the pull of gravity and take to the skies.

Have you ever dreamt you could fly? Or imagined what it would be like to glide and swoop through the sky like a bird? Do you let your mind soar to unknown, magical spaces?

In Flights of Fancy, Richard Dawkins explains how nature and humans have learned to overcome the pull of gravity and take to the skies. From the mythical Icarus, to the sadly extinct but spectacular bird Argentavis magnificens, from the Wright flyer and the 747, to the Tinkerbella fairyfly and the Peregrine falcon. But it is also about flights of the mind, about escaping the everyday - through science, ideas and imagination.

©2021 Richard Dawkins (P)2021 Head of Zeus

What listeners say about Flights of Fancy

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Thank God for Richard Dawkins!

Dawkins excels at popular science books, and this is quite possibly his best effort to date. He explains very complex systems in ways that even an idiot like me can understand. He is truly a gift from God.

8 people found this helpful

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5 Stars For a reason

I thought I was pretty well informed about flying but every few minute of listening I learned something new, we’ll written, well read by the author, I listened to it in one sitting and I’m starting over to absorb even more.

5 people found this helpful

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What a wonderful book

I'm well above the target age group, but was looking for something to listen to at work. This is exactly the type of book I would have LOVED to own as a young person. It explores the questions of how flight works, what it's for, and how it originates, giving just enough information on each topic to spark fascination without getting bogged down. Analogies and examples simplify complex topics and make them easy to understand. Dawkins is an exuberant narrator whose love of nature and science is clear and infectious. this is a great book and I will probably end up sending it as a gift to a few people.

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Dawkins best book yet

I’ve read most everything Richard Dawkins has written and I think this is his finest work yet. The audiobook is wonderful and I love the conversational tone and his unparalleled ability to make science easily understood. This is a master work.

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Fascinating History of Animal Flight

Flights of Fancy would be an excellent introduction to Dawkins to a first time reader. It's an excellent, succinct, and to-the-point book about the history of flight (and gliding) in the animal kingdom, including the relatively short history of human flight.

While relatively short by Dawkins' standards, less than five hours in audio divided in to short chapters, the book is packed with a ton of great biological information and interesting observations, all read to you by the world's preeminent evolutionary biologist. As always his prose is smooth and satisfying, and he manages to sprinkle some humor in here and there for good measure. When it comes right down to it, it's really amazing that animals can fly so efficiently considering the amount of energy required and physical traits needed to overcome the Earth's gravity.

After looking at the previews of the Kindle and print additions I regret not buying the physical version of the book. The illustrations are fantastic and numerous. I'll have to spend a lunch hour at Barnes and Noble with it to take them all in.

Richard is 81 now and I hope he has some more books in him. I've seen him speak in person twice, in Rochester MN and Dallas. My wife and I flew to Dallas in 2018 and bought the meet and greet passes for his appearance with the great Carolyn Porco. It was a thrill for me to chat with him and get a picture of the two of us. He is one of humanity's brightest minds.

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Could Have Been Better

Seemed like most are from 'The Ancestors' Tale'. But a good combination of basic Physics of flight and evolution. But could have been better if it contained little more advanced topics and contents.

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Now my favorite Dawkins book

Richard Dawkins writes and speaks eloquently comparable to Carl Sagan. He’s able to convey complicated ideas in a way palpable to the average listener.

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Dawkins did it again!

Once again, Richard Dawkins wrote a concise, rich, easy to read, yet inspiring book. That's how a confident scientist, who cares more about communicating knowledge than to show off his intelligence, writes! it's a respite from all the self-indulgent, long, and tedious non-fictions these days. Well done Sir!

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Must Read. As emotional as enlightening.

An artist's masterpiece! This is one of Richard Dawkins' best books. I honestly envy his ability to explain advanced concepts with such elegant, beautiful and poetic metaphors.
His narration is as mesmerising as it can get. I can listen to him for dozens of hours.
The book's emotional ending left me wanting for more.

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My only complaint is that it isn't longer!

I will be listening to this book again and again. In the classic style of Richard Dawkins, he manages to explain the mechanisms of evolution in a way that is not just easy to understand, but also manages to change the way you look at the world. Even though I have read or listened to every single one of his books, he continues to surprise me with facts and hypotheses about nature that I had never considered before. Were insect wings solar panels or gills? Did dinosaurs use thier proto-wings as butterfly nets? Why do dolphins jump out of the water during dolphin "stampedes"? Is the concept of exploration programmed in our dna? Are teeth too heavy for flying? How did bats get their extemely elongated fingers?

I could obviously go on, but please get this book!

Just as a PS: It is great to have the author of the book doing the audio.

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  • Allan Hviid Jensen
  • 06-29-22

Delightful story

Dawkins as always an eloquent storyteller, connecting dots in thought provoking fashion. Nothing much new here but very much worth the time in Dawkins company.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-06-22

Flights of Fancy

RD. does an excellent delivery of this , I am extremely biased with his way of thinking and I think he has so many proper answers for this topic he talks about ,
Hope to listen again ,
Martin T

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-29-22

At least its true

Richard Dawkins does it again, science explained in very simple terms, very easy to understand.
As I have read most of his other books, this one is a little too basic.
But definatly a good over view.
We'll narrated by the great man himself.