This Is the Voice by John Colapinto [7/10]

New Yorker journo John Calapinto tackles a much neglected aspect of our human nature, our melodious voice, in “This Is the Voice.” The book is a revelation, explaining how the intricate collection of skin flaps and sinews in our throats can express a near infinity of ideas and emotions, how our voice is instantly recognisable, how demagogues employ it to sway millions. Using precise yet soulful language, the author explains how the voice confounds the Chomskyian theory of innate language, how the voice might well be the evolutionary lynchpin of our ascent to the pinnacle of the animal kingdom, how the voice’s complexities are only now being understood. His tale of his own voice, wrecked by minor physical damage after belting out songs in a band, is a clever frame for the book. A wonderful, entertaining work of revelation, This Is the Voice might be just the fascinating 2022 read you need.

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