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Summary

If you think you are you, think again. 

Primate Change is a wide-ranging, polemical look at how and why the human body has changed since humankind first got up on two feet. Spanning the entirety of human history - from primate to transhuman - Vybarr Cregan-Reid's book investigates where we came from, who we are today and how modern technology will change us beyond recognition. 

In the last 200 years, humans have made such a tremendous impact on the world that our geological epoch is about to be declared the 'Anthropocene', or the Age of Man. But while we have been busy changing the shape of the world we inhabit, the ways of living that we have been building have, as if under the cover of darkness, been transforming our bodies and altering the expression of our DNA, too. 

Primate Change beautifully unscrambles the complex architecture of our modern human bodies, built over millions of years and only starting to give up on us now. 

'Our bodies are in a shock. Modern living is as bracing to the human body as jumping through a hole in the ice. Our bodies do not know what century they were born into and they are defending and deforming themselves in response.’ 

Author bio: Vybarr Cregan-Reid is an author and academic. He is Reader in English & Environmental Humanities in the School of English at the University of Kent. His most recent book is Footnotes: How Running Makes us Human (Ebury 2016), which reviewers called 'delightful', 'impassioned and energetic', and 'a blazing achievement'. He has written widely on the subjects of literature, health, nature and the environment for the BBC, the Guardian, The Independent, The Big Issue, The Telegraph, The Mail, The Washington Post, The I Newspaper, Wanderlust, Literary Review and New Zealand Herald, and he has appeared on Radio 4 and Sky News.  

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio on our Desktop Site.

©2018 Vybarr Cregan-Reid (P)2018 Octopus Publishing Group

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An important book

This is a fascinating listen which explores the problems resulting from the mismatch between our bodies and the modern world we live in. The book is very well researched and the author is able to present complex information in an accessible way, resulting in an absorbing narrative. I was shocked by some of the statistics the author uncovers, such as the massive increases in things like allergies and short sightedness in a relatively small period of time. The ‘turning back’ sections are great - giving advice on how to undo/prevent these problems.

5 people found this helpful

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The changing man

Millions of years of evolution and the effect of the agricultural and industrial revolution on our bodies

Nows the time to get up from that chair that’s doing your spine pelvis and feet so much harm and get out and walk bare foot.

I feel there is a slight theory practice gap here but it’s certainly made me think.

I will be changing certain things in my lifestyle after reading this book, and hope it’s not too late to make a difference. The evolution of man sitting in a chair rather than in a squat is fascinating and after reading other material on this subject I am rethinking my strategy for life.

My only gripe about the book is the author/ narrator who sounds very monotone, almost as though he is a bit bored with subject after writing it.
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This is the time for the author to sit or stand on his scientific laurels and leave the narration to someone more capable of this job.

Highly recommend, as the content is so interesting.

4 people found this helpful

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Thoughtful and timely.

A wonderful antidote to our quick fix culture with a focus on the social, historical and cultural developments that have brought us here. Delighted that it's narrated by the author which always seems to add something to the delivery.

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A wake up call

Cregan-Reid brings great breadth as well as depth from his research. He writes with empathy and humour that makes the subject come alive. I like his narrative style. I can also heartily recommend his book Footnotes, especially if you're a runner, though you don't need to be.

2 people found this helpful

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Wake Up Call for Humans!

Incredible book and I'm so pleased i found it. i definitely have a new perspective on the world we live in, our bodies, work and aging and this is going to help me as i prioritise my time and goals as a 56 year old man with family and with a sedentary job. Fitness and outdoors has got to increase as has appreciating life for what it really is....

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Rubbish

Boring with little content and has a clear political bias without addressing it. But it does bring up some interesting questions.

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Must-read for anyone who is in healthcare.

An essential read/listen for anybody working in healthcare or who is looking to change their lifestyle to improve their health.

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Not bad

had some interesting bits and some very dry bits. You can tell it was written by an academic. Author can come across a bit bitter and emotive at times. on the plus side it seems very well researched. Ultimatley it was ok but I doubt ill remember it.

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An interesting take albeit a bit mouthful

An interesting book on how human body is affected and reacts to life in anthropocene. A bit too long for amount of information provided. Found myself bored more than once by lengthy talks about authors own physical ailments. Not a bad book. But would I recommend it to a friend? Probably not. 2.5/5

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  • 04-04-21

Interesting if a little alarming

An interesting listen but maybe not the best book to listen to during a pandemic when our activities are limited by rules. As a usually active individual who has found being stuck indoors rather challenging, this book heightened my anxiety at times but then reinforced my understanding if the importance of an active lifestyle. The detail is very interesting so I recommend it but if you’re feeling a little cooped up, maybe give it some time before you listen!