Sapiens: A Graphic History: The Birth of Humankind (Vol. 1) by Yuval Noah Harari - Book Review

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Sapiens: A Graphic History: The Birth of Humankind (Vol. 1) By Yuval Noah Harari Cover Image
ISBN: 9780063051331
Availability: Click Title for IN STORE Location
Published: Harper Perennial - October 27th, 2020

When I first spotted this book on the shelf, I did a double-take. I had absolutely adored Sapiens, Yuval Noah Harari’s all-encompassing history of human development and behavior, but I could not for a second imagine how such a complex and cerebral work of literature would translate to, of all things, a graphic novel. It was almost begrudgingly that I flipped the cover open and began to read. This adaptation is by no means a carbon copy of its ancestor, but it is just as effective as (and in some cases, more than) the original book. Harari himself is the star of the show, drawn as a cheerful and patient guide through history, and in this version he’s accompanied by half a dozen fellow scientists who aid him in his explanation of some of the more specialized subjects. This format lets us travel from the prehistoric savannah to the French Revolution in the span of a page without missing a beat, and makes it easier to digest complicated topics like legal fiction, genetic and cultural adaptation, or social stratification. Sapiens: The Birth of Humankind will be a hit with fans of the original book, history buffs new and old, and anyone else who might, like me, stumble across it by surprise. ~ Reviewed by Digby Baker-Porazinski