• Who Ate the First Oyster?

  • The Extraordinary People Behind the Greatest Firsts in History
  • By: Cody Cassidy
  • Narrated by: Dennis Boutsikaris
  • Length: 4 hrs and 55 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (260 ratings)

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Who Ate the First Oyster?  By  cover art

Who Ate the First Oyster?

By: Cody Cassidy
Narrated by: Dennis Boutsikaris
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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.

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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.

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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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Interesting

I’m not a history anything, but the author crafted the information in an interesting way. The narrator was easy to listen to.

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Humanizing History

I loved this book. It really makes so many parts of our shared history tangible and interesting. Humans are incredible in how innovative and yet also how destructive we are. I would definitely give this a listen if ancient human history interests you.

I only had one issue with the book. 10 minutes in, the author mentions a scholar at the University of Santa Barbara. A university which…..does not exist. I’m assuming it was an oversight and he meant to say University of California at Santa Barbara, but a bit shocking that none of the editors picked up on that!

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Supremely entertaining

these types of "trivia" books are my favorite, so I'm probably biased, but that was easily one of the more entertaining books I've listened to. The premise overall is great, but the structure of exploring each question, the tone of address the quirkiness of humans and the richness of how the lives these "individuals" were described has this high on my list of books to revisit!

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Not your grandfather's history book.

pre history can be exceedingly boring, but not this one! .. excellent writing and narration. they have taken a fresh approach to old questions...it sounded like story time by giving the current character names. don't miss this one.

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If you want to know the firsts, this is your book!

My English teacher friend from church posted this on her books insta BookseithBeddes. I knew I had to read it. I love the Discovery Channel and everything involving the evolution of our planet.

This book does a great job giving you that overview alongside the scientific evidence for you to go out and do your own research. Loved it!

Also, the reader was great!