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  • The Anthropocene Reviewed

  • Essays on a Human-Centered Planet
  • Written by: John Green
  • Narrated by: John Green
  • Length: 10 hrs and 3 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (468 ratings)

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The Anthropocene Reviewed

Written by: John Green
Narrated by: John Green
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Publisher's Summary

A deeply moving and insightful collection of personal essays from number-one best-selling author John Green.

The Anthropocene is the current geologic age, in which humans have profoundly reshaped the planet and its biodiversity. In this remarkable symphony of essays adapted and expanded from his groundbreaking podcast, best-selling author John Green reviews different facets of the human-centered planet on a five-star scale - from the QWERTY keyboard and sunsets to Canada geese and Penguins of Madagascar.

Funny, complex, and rich with detail, the reviews chart the contradictions of contemporary humanity. As a species, we are both far too powerful and not nearly powerful enough, a paradox that came into sharp focus as we faced a global pandemic that both separated us and bound us together.

John Green’s gift for storytelling shines throughout this masterful collection. The Anthropocene Reviewed is a open-hearted exploration of the paths we forge and an unironic celebration of falling in love with the world.

Audio exclusive! Three bonus essays!

©2021 John Green (P)2021 Penguin Audio

What the critics say

“The book is a review of humanity: how we grow, how we build, how we destroy, and how we observe ourselves. Many books succeed at making the personal universal, but this one also makes the universal personal.... This is a book about culture, about science and medicine, about Green himself, but really it surpasses these designations. It is essential to the human conversation. John Green whispered the truth of humanity onto the page, and as with all good secrets, you’ll need to lean in closely to hear.” (Library Journal, starred review) 

The Anthropocene Reviewed is the perfect book to read over lunch or to keep on your nightstand, whenever you need a reminder of what it is to feel small and human, in the best possible way.” (San Francisco Chronicle)

“There is something of the sermon in [Green’s] essays as he mixes curiosity and erudition with confession, compassion, and wit, searching for illuminating life lessons amid life’s dark chaos. His particular mix of irony and sincerity enables him to embrace both the sublime and the ridiculous.” (Booklist)

What listeners say about The Anthropocene Reviewed

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Anthropocene Reviewed, Reviewed.

I know, probably not the only review with that title. Couldn't resist.

Overall, excellent thoughts from a very thoughtful person, perhaps too thoughtful at times (I believe John would agree) but that rarely comes through. Well-rounded in details about varying topics and fascinating to hear even if one has heard it on the podcast. Some issues arise for me though.

First off I have to say there is a frustrating lack of life insurance advertisement slogans. I was waiting for him to insert them in between topics only to be disappointed. If only there was a compilation of all the slogans John has made in the podcast....Oh well, you'll have to listen to the podcast itself to know what I'm talking about.

Then there's a significant focus on the current COVID-19 pandemic. I get it, it's relevant and likely is impossible *not* to consider it. However the frequency of this detracts from the overall experience. I look forward to re-listening to this in the future and I *hope* this tendency of relating many topics to the current pandemic does not age well. Each moment of history seems fated to anachronistic reflection; my hope is this moment we inhabit together is reflected upon differently than what John writes in the midst of pandemic-related anxiety.

What amazes me about this work is how, in reflecting upon humanity's relationship with the world, John deepens a sense of his own humanness. It would be easy albeit tedious to research and write factual descriptions of all these areas. Details are present here yet only enrich what is a genuinely reflective personal account of how the topics influence him. In the midst of discourse on a human-centered planet, we get to hear one eloquent human speak into his own humanity. That's pretty neat.

I'm not always a fan of being human. It is rife with seeming contradictions and paradoxes which my all-too-logical self would rather put aside for other beings. It is to be reflective and then be reflective about my own reflections (and reflective on the possibility this process is inherently narcissistic and/or self-centered). And still that reflectiveness gives me hope. In a potentially recursive loop of history which appears to be interminable so far as my lifespan is considered, reflection means a lot. Victor Frankl said "Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom." John, in his unique tone and delivery, highlights that space for choice. And thus we are more likely to notice it and maybe, just possibly, choose differently for the future.

I give John Green's "The Anthropocene Reviewed" on Audible four stars.

3 people found this helpful

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Amazing

All I have to say is please, do yourself a favor and listen to this. It is truly amazing!

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Perfect collection of essays on human life

John Green is as insightful, warm, and captivating as ever. I can't believe it's taken him this long to start writing non-fiction; he's a total natural. This collection of essays on the human condition is both thought-provoking and highly accessible — it gives you so much to think about without ever making you feel dumb. John's artfully crafted prose is concise, packed with imagery and information, and rolls off his tongue in the most eloquent way. I disagree with other reviewers who said some essays were depressing — I felt well taken care of during even the bleakest of topics, and each one was well balanced with a note of hope and an uplifting essay to follow. His narration takes a bit of getting used to if you're not already familiar with his voice, but once you do, it's very soothing. This book ended too soon — I'll be revisiting it again, I'm sure.

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A great listen

Amazing storytelling. Really entertaining and thought provoking. He had me misty eyed at times and giggling at times. Loved it, thank you John!

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A profound and moving collage of stories

It is very fitting to leave a 5 stars review after hearing so many profound and moving stories and review by John Green.

I am just sad that I can experience this book for the first time only once.

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I give the Anthropocene Reviewed five stars

I want to watch a Liverpool game. I’d like to go to Iceland during and Olympic game they’re in. I’m torn about an extinct bird in Hawaii that was once the very last bird of his species. I enjoy the Mountain Goats. I will watch Harvey. These are just a few things, of many, that I care about now because of this book. John Green has a way of making you look at something with a new set of eyes, and care. I give sunsets five stars too.

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Thought-provoking and awe-inspiring

I've been a long time fan of John Green. To be able to listen to his everyday musings about broad concepts and niche experiences has filled me with an awe and wonder for the world and it's inhabitants. I give this book ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.

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Way more EMO than I expected

I like John Green He was my favorite presenter on Crash Course. I listen to the Dear Hank and John podcasts as well as watching both of their YouTube channels and Vlogbrothers. This is my first John Green book but I did read Hank Green's An Absolutely Remarkable Thing.

My two favorite essays in this collection are the one on Canadian Geese and the one on Teddy Bears. They are also right next to each other.

In other presentations I have watched by John Green there was always an uplifting feeling. Even when describing something horrible like slavery, the holocaust his tone was "Not our finest hour, horrible but it happened but we got through it". When describing current crisis like climate change his tone was always "This is horrible but if we work at it we can get through it". But the tone of this book was mostly that everything sucks. I get that it was written during the pandemic and some things weigh heavy but even on positive stories, like the eradication of smallpox he didn't take the win. This work unfortunately will make me gunshy of other John Green projects. I get that everything isn't sweetness and light in the world but this definitely had the attitude of somebody looking at a sunset and complaining it was too bright.

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The hug you need on any given day

John writes beautifully about anything. From the most mundane, to the most awe inspiring, I was hooked the entire time on every topic. While John’s voice narrates your morning commute, you feel hopeful, joyous, and comfort. I give John Green’s, The Anthropocene Reviewed, 5 stars.

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A review of a book of reviews

I don’t know what I expected, but whatever it was, this was far more. My heart in my throat. My humanity more human today. I give it ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ When the pandemic passes, I will listen to it again. When I need to be reminded that the world was as it was when it becomes what it will, John’s voice will carry me back without leaving me there. Today, it will carry me back to what was before now and help me cope with what is.

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  • E. Collins
  • 2021-05-18

unexpected

The last fiction book that made me cry was "Harry's Trees". The first nonfiction book that made me cry was this one. I'm not certain the point of this book was to make me feel deeply human after more than a year of extreme disconnect from humanity, but at this, it succeeded. I give it five stars.

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  • Stephen P White
  • 2021-05-20

Great Book.

I lost someone close to me 2 days before I bought this audiobook. The authors journey through the inescapable horrors of living to the overlooked and overwhelming joys of being alive was just the medicine my heart needed. I don't know and have never met John Green but he provided me comfort in a dark time and like the Neverending beauty around me I am very grateful. He may have failed as a chaplain but has succeeded in being a chaplain for those of us alone in the dark

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  • Booskerdu
  • 2021-05-19

So gorgeously written and read

Now I understand why John was so nervous about this book. It's hauntingly and harrowingly personal. Just amazing!

18 people found this helpful

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  • Donald
  • 2021-05-19

So glad John chose to narrate his book!

No one could have narrated The Anthropocene Reviewed better than John Green, himself. It was so well done, both written & spoken. The Kauai ōō review was heartbreakingly beautiful. 5 stars!

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  • Jackie Kozlowski
  • 2021-07-12

No New Content!

I love this podcast and was excited for the book, but it’s literally just all the podcasts together. This was never stated when he mentioned the book he was working on, and I’m bummed I wasted a credit I could have used on something else.

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  • Mike
  • 2021-05-20

I can't decide what I enjoy best.

I love listening to the calming, hypnotic narration, but the reviews are amazing. Highest recommendations!

6 people found this helpful

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  • snyy
  • 2021-07-08

okay

if you listen to the podcast don't bother if you don't it is interesting I left the book about 45 mins in and I don't think I'll finish it

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  • Chelsea Ryan
  • 2021-05-25

Perfect timing

Last week when I started this book, my sweet little dog Ziggy who had been with me for 6 years was still with us. As I finish the book today, he’s been gone for 3 days. This book has brought me a lot of comfort the past couple days, by reminding me how wonderful it is to be in love with the world, with the joy and the sadness and the pain and everything. Ziggy was a 5 star dog, a member of our family, and we are heartbroken. But he also brought us lots of joy. This book also brought me lots of joy, and at the same time, broke my heart. 5 stars.

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  • Dakota A. Smith
  • 2021-05-19

Reviewing a Review

It comes as no surprise that an author as talented as John Green could produce such a non-fiction masterpiece. This book opens your eyes to things one may not even think about in respect to how they see the world. In truth, I only bought this book because of the man behind the pages. I do not, however, waste an ounce of regret on my decision. I do and will love all of John Green's works until the day I die or lose the ability to consume them.

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  • Lily
  • 2021-12-28

Happy tears, chills, and everything between

Could not recommend this book more. Green unfolds the human experience in the most simple and complex of terms.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Dustin A Coates
  • 2022-01-16

Good, but overstays its welcome

As a big fan of the podcast that birthed this audiobook, I was surprised to find myself increasingly annoyed by the book and the author. What happened to the reviews I waited patiently for each month? And I realized that The Anthropocene Reviewed is best in small doses.

Green is that intelligent friend you had in college. Always there with a quote or a memorized poem (something Green goes to repeatedly here) and occasionally a fact that you didn't know you needed to know. But with that insight you get pretentiousness and navel gazing that wears on you. At one point, Green describes a meeting with an advertising executive who describes his frustration being talked down to by people like Green. Green's takeaway is not to be less condescending, but to spend less time around advertising execs. It's a clever enough joke, but by the end of The Anthropocene Reviewed, I found myself sympathizing with that executive more and more. With the podcast, I could feast on the good parts of Green's writing and forget the bad parts. Going straight through, however, the bad parts started to crowd out the good.

1 person found this helpful

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  • francois morillon
  • 2021-10-08

I cried and I laughed

It's rich in emotion and it's a strange ride to listen to but it's an important ride. It's a ride that changed me