An Appetite for Wonder: The Making of a Scientist

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UK hardcover, 1st edition.

An Appetite for Wonder: The Making of a Scientist is the first volume of Richard Dawkins's autobiographical memoir, the second being Brief Candle in the Dark: My Life in Science. The book was published on 2013-09-12 and primarily focuses on Dawkins's childhood, family, and school life. The school section includes grade school, university, and post graduate projects up until the publication of The Selfish Gene in the 1970s.


Read?Audiobook read by Richard Dawkins and Lalla Ward.

After inadvertently reading Dawkins's second volume first, I made it a point to read this book immediately afterward while everything was still fresh in my mind. I finished it on .





  • I like that Dawkins gives a fairly uncensored view of British boarding school life including the bullying, neglect, and physical and sexual abuse.
  • It's refreshing to hear someone say that innate ability shouldn't be praise nearly as much as learned ability.
  • It's nice to read how, despite being a militant atheist as an adult, he was once persuaded by the allure of religion as a child, until reason and science prevailed.
  • Dawkins uses an extensive vocabulary, which is appreciated.


  • Dawkins says that the sexual abuse he and his colleagues received in school didn't appear to do any lasting harm to them, however, I would argue that, being blasé about sexual abuse is indeed lasting harm.


  • Nothing.




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