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Publisher's Summary

Who wore the first pants? Who painted the first masterpiece? Who first rode the horse? Who invented soap? This madcap adventure across ancient history uses everything from modern genetics to archaeology to uncover the geniuses behind these and other world-changing innovations.

Who invented the wheel? Who told the first joke? Who drank the first beer? Who was the murderer in the first murder mystery, who was the first surgeon, who sparked the first fire - and most critically, who was the first to brave the slimy, pale oyster?

In this audiobook, writer Cody Cassidy digs deep into the latest research to uncover the untold stories of some of these incredible innovators (or participants in lucky accidents). With a sharp sense of humor and boundless enthusiasm for the wonders of our ancient ancestors, Who Ate the First Oyster? profiles the perpetrators of the greatest firsts and catastrophes of prehistory, using the lives of individuals to provide a glimpse into ancient cultures, show how and why these critical developments occurred, and educate us on a period of time that until recently we've known almost nothing about.

©2020 Cody Cassidy (P)2020 Penguin Audio
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

Critic Reviews

"A fun and enlightening quick trip through all the clever, stupid, dangerous, and gross human firsts that we've all wondered about." (Zach and Kelly Weinersmith, New York Times best-selling authors of Soonish: Ten Emerging Technologies That'll Improve and/or Ruin Everything)

"In this fascinating and entertaining book, Cody Cassidy has done what might seem impossible: illustrating the identity, life, and death of some of the most momentous - and entirely anonymous - figures in human (and prehuman) history." (Ryan North, author of How to Invent Everything: A Survival Guide for the Stranded Time Traveler)

"Illuminating and entertaining.... Cassidy humanizes prehistory with wit and a firm grasp of the science behind these anthropological case studies. Enthralled readers will develop a new appreciation for the ancient past." (Publishers Weekly

What listeners say about Who Ate the First Oyster?

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It could be better...

This is a book that is a little bit of something about everything.
Reduce to one hour, and it would be perfect.

4 people found this helpful

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Absolutely Intriguing

once you start this adventure you won't want to stop, every chapter is an interesting moment in our bumbling yet extraordinary evolution. I came away from this book in awe of all that it took to get us to where we are today and the brave souls that took this first steps to get us here. Great read, great narration, I'll probably give it a second read for good measure, the story on Utsi the "1st murder" was incredibly interesting...

2 people found this helpful

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Had a great potential but....

I bought this book based on a recommendation from BookRiot. It sounded that I will really like it and find it interesting. It has been some of the longest 5 hours of my life, I do not enjoy the content, the narrator sounded good but the story was not as interesting as it could. The information is very good, But the structure of the book was just boring. I have read several autdiobooks in the last couple of years, I have DNF some of them and I still wonder why I did not DNF and return this book, it was just not for me.

2 people found this helpful

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Fascinating Book!

I loved this book, from the topic to the performance, and the way its written. Cassidy does a great job of communicating complex ideas in science about human development and making connections to the modern day. This is an approachable read with humor and a wealth of fascinating information. It's a great way to further understand all the ways that we've benefited from the contributions of generations before us.

1 person found this helpful

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informative and entertaining

Great collection of interesting and intriguing stories. After finishing this book i hope to find more stories explaining other curious firsts by humanity.

1 person found this helpful

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Loved it!!!

I absolutely loved this book it was well written well thought out proceeded in an orderly manner and the the vocalize ate the reading of it was wonderful.

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fun and informative

a fun light hearted look at key moments in human history. interesting way to frame up the subjects.

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hilarious history

laughing while learning is my favorite way to absorb new information, I feel like this book really did both

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Great introduction to evolutionary history

if y'all are looking for a book that is a super in-depth study then this one is not for you. however if you were looking for a book the introduces you to different inventions or concepts inhuman evolutionary history then this is the book for you. It's offers a great jumping point for more in depth topics

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Interesting and More Enjoyable Than Anticipated

This book was a fantastic listen. It was extremely interesting, more enjoyable than anticipated, and just quirky enough to keep me wanting to come back or keep listening.