• Author Alice Roberts
  • Narrator Alice Roberts
  • Publisher Random House
  • Run Time 13 hours and 53 minutes
  • Format Audio
  • Genre Popular science.

Listen to a sample

What to expect

Random House presents the audiobook edition of Tamed, written and read by Alice Roberts.

The extraordinary story of the species that became our allies.

For hundreds of thousands of years, our ancestors depended on wild plants and animals for survival. They were hunter-gatherers, consummate foraging experts, taking the world as they found it. Then a revolution occurred – our ancestors’ interaction with other species changed. They began to tame them. The human population boomed; civilisation began.

In Tamed, Alice Roberts uncovers the deep history of ten familiar species with incredible wild pasts: dogs, apples and wheat; cattle, potatoes and chickens; rice, maize and horses – and, finally, humans.

She reveals how becoming part of our world changed these animals and plants, and shows how they became our allies, essential to the survival and success of our own species.

Enlightening, wide-ranging and endlessly fascinating, Tamed encompasses thousands of years of history and archaeology alongside cutting-edge genetics and anthropology. Yet it is also a deeply personal journey that changes how we see ourselves and the species on which we have left our mark.

‘A masterpiece of evocative scientific storytelling.’ Brian Cox

‘The best popular book on broad-sweep history since Guns, Germs and Steel.’ Peter Forbes


Critics Review

  • Epic and joyous, a landmark in the story of us.

    Adam Rutherford
  • A masterpiece of evocative scientific storytelling.

  • Two recent pioneers of the history of humanity are Jared Diamond, author of Guns, Germs and Steel, and Yuval Noah Harari, in his book Sapiens. It is a teeming subject, about which Roberts is multiply qualified to write, as an anatomist, archaeologist, anthropologist, paleopathologist and professor of public engagement in science. Roberts remains composed, engaging and undogmatic throughout… Tamed is an excellent point of entry for anyone who wants to understand the new deep human history and what it portends.

  • [A] lively work of popular scientific history, in which [Roberts] looks at 10 species that have become part of our everyday existence … illuminating facts, Roberts is an informed guide to the oddities that have made the world what it is today.

  • Tamed may be the title of Alice Roberts’ latest book, but the writing is anything but tame. Lyrical storytelling untangles the current thinking on how we’ve entwined our lives with those of plants and animals. From dogs to apples to potatoes to chickens, Roberts provides fascinating insights into domestication, offering anecdotes from past and present that link genetic and archaeological findings.

    'Book of the Month', BBC Wildlife Magazine

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