Over the past 150 years scientists have discovered evidence that at least 27 species of humans evolved on planet Earth. These weren't simply variations on apes, but upright-walking humans who lived side by side, competing, cooperating, sometimes even mating with our direct ancestors. Why did the line of ancient humans who eventually evolved into us survive when the others were shown the evolutionary door? Chip Walter draws on new scientific discoveries to tell the fascinating tale of how our survival was linked to our ancestors being born more prematurely than others, having uniquely long and rich childhoods, evolving a new kind of mind that made us resourceful and emotionally complex; how our highly social nature increased our odds of survival; and why we became self aware in ways that no other animal seems to be. Last Ape Standing also profiles the mysterious "others" who evolved with us - the Neanderthals of Europe, the "Hobbits" of Indonesia, the Denisovans of Siberia and the just-discovered Red Deer Cave people of China who died off a mere 11,000 years ago. Last Ape Standing is evocative science writing at its best - a witty, engaging and accessible story that explores the evolutionary events that molded us into the remarkably unique creatures we are; an investigation of why we do, feel, and think the things we do as a species, and as people - good and bad, ingenious and cunning, heroic and conflicted.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.
©2013 William J. (Chip) Walter Jr. (P)2014 Audible Inc.
There are no listener reviews for this title yet.
"Broad social and psychological view of hominids"
I listened to this book twice- about one year apart. The book really pushed into psychological and sociological aspects of hominids with very well thought out extrapolations. It is well referenced and balanced. It had a deeper meaning to me on the 2nd read.
I wish Audible would find readers who don't feel the need to dramatize nonfiction. Women readers in particular seem to do this, and in this case it's particularly annoying because she seems to "punch" all the cliches, making them even more hard to listen to.
The reader aside, this book has both compelling and boring moments--but don't we all. It's a good read---I found the sections on the Neanderthals and on the bicameral mind particularly interesting---although occasionally I wondered if the author was verging on pseudoscience.
"Harmed by the Narration"
Teresa DeBerry's narrative style is quite annoying. She sounds like someone accustomed to reading "just so" stories to backward children. Her reading has a soporific rhythm which makes the text seem more tedious than it is. The author has a penchant for using rather shopworn clichés and occasionally applies them incorrectly. For example, he compares the Acheulean handaxe to the Swiss army knife (what a chestnut that one is) but attributes it to the Neolithic period. Furthermore, Mr. Walter writes with a yawn-provoking politically correct style which does nothing but detract from the listener's pleasure
Paleoanthropology is a fascinating subject for me, though "Last Ape Standing" has been somewhat disappointing I will continue to seek out titles in this genre.
I will probably avoid Ms. DeBerry's performances in the future.
The concepts in this book helped me to appreciate what a truly wonderful and unique development the human race is and how important it is to nurture one's children.
"Great Story, Poor Narration"
Would definitely read anything by Chip Walter - well researched and deeply insightful.
Reminded me of Sapiens: A Brie History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari, where this is more focused on phyiscal evolution rather than cultural development.
Just awful, the worst narrator ever - overly dramatic with the weirdest pronunciation of foreign names, sounded like a Mills & Boon saucy love fest rather than a scholarly work.
Sure, there is many areas this books could lead into - a deeper review of Neanderthal civilization might be one such topic.
If the topic wasn't so interesting, the narrator could've easily killed this book.
I learned so much about our past, nature and psychologically during Last Ape Standing, and thoroughly enjoyed the process. Fascinating subject and a narrative filled with thought provoking studies and examples. I normally read business books, and believe a change of pace like this is critical for balance. Highly recommend.
"This was my second reading of this book"
Absolutely yes, in fact, this was my second reading of the book (this time in audiobook), maybe that is a oerfect clue about how much I've enjoyed it and how entertaining and enlightening it is.
"Loved it - made me look at people differently"
The book made me look at homosapiens as more than the dominant beings but as a stroke of luck in the journey of evolution. I used the information to discuss with my family at dinner and provide different perspectives on why people are different.
"Some interesting info, quite fluffy"
This book repeats a lot -- despite the fact that the subject has lots of data that could be included while keeping it interesting. I lost interest because the thinking per minute required dropped too low, even at double speed.
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