... exemplary ... quickly charges off in surprising and consistently fascinating directions ... In the equally illuminating and entertaining second half of the book, Colapinto wades into the hotter waters of gender, sexuality, race and politics...It would be easy to misstep here, but Colapinto’s observations are, by my read, informed and respectful.
[Colapinto] diligently delivers his newfound knowledge and hard-earned perspective, aided by an exhaustive lineup of scholars, scientists, historians, physicians and voice artists. From Cicero to rock stars to demagogues to opera divas to newborns, Colapinto learns, enlightens and entertains ... Our voices gives life and meaning to our words—and as humans, Colapinto says, we do crave meaning. This is an intensely researched compilation that includes evolution, history, politics and competing scientific theories, launched by Colapinto’s personal struggle to save his voice. Fact-heavy yet digestible, This Is the Voice requires time and attention to absorb, but it’s worth it.
... heavily researched ... Especially interesting is his theory of how Abraham Lincoln’s high voice helped win a presidential debate. Insights on why babies vocalize before they speak words further fascinate. Lots of data, evidence, thoughtfulness, and heart here.
An expert popular science account of human speech ... New Yorker staff writer Colapinto provides an intensely researched, tightly focused, lucidly written story that is long but not too long ... A rich trove of science and contemporary culture.
Colapinto explains fundamental aspects of the human voice, including the physiology that makes human speech possible (e.g., neural circuitry and the organs involved); how tone, pitch, and accent can have social relevance for men and women ... Colapinto’s narrative is chock full of information, and is something any curious-minded reader will be glad to have spent time with.