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Download The Well-Dressed Ape: A Natural History of Myself Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample The Well-Dressed Ape: A Natural History of Myself (Unabridged) Audiobook, by Hannah Holmes
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (245 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Hannah Holmes Narrator: Joyce Bean Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: December 2008 ISBN:
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The Well-Dressed Ape, aka Homo sapiens, is a strange mammal. It thinks of itself as complex, intelligent, and in every way superior to other animals - but is it, really? With wit, humility, and penetrating insight, science journalist Hannah Holmes casts the inquisitive eye of a trained researcher and reporter on...herself. And not just on herself, but on our whole species - what Shakespeare called the paragon of animals.

In this surprising, humorous, and edifying audio, Holmes explores how the human animal fits into the natural world, even as we humans change that world in both constructive and destructive ways.

Comparing and contrasting the biology and behavior of humans with that of other creatures, Holmes demonstrates our position as an animal among other animals, a product of - and subject to - the same evolutionary processes. And not only are we animals - we are, in some important ways (such as our senses of smell and of vision), pitiably inferior ones. That such an animal came to exist at all is unlikely. That we have survived and prospered is extraordinary.

At the same time, Holmes reveals the ways in which Homo sapiens stands apart from other animals. Despite the vast common ground we share with our fellow creatures, there are significant areas in which we are unique - our capacity for self-reflective thought and our talent for changing ourselves in response to natural challenges. Deftly mixing personal stories and observations with the latest scientific theories and research results, Hannah Holmes has fashioned an engaging and informative field guide to that oddest and yet most fascinating of primates: ourselves. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kelly | 2/14/2014

    " Extremely interesting! A look at humans from a different perspective. I really liked this book. A lot of the theories I heard in grad school such as the paleolithic diet. She relies heavily on anthropology, which I really liked. All in all a really good book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Eric | 2/8/2014

    " Lots of interesting evolutionary analysis and information about various species and how they compare to humans. I really enjoyed it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 jody | 2/8/2014

    " Put this one down to switch to audio. It is really good but in the mood for fiction! Audio was no better - slow talker put me to sleep. Might have to get the book again sometime "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jostalady | 1/27/2014

    " Need an engaging overview of current science regarding humans? You got it! Hannah is both matter of fact and amusing in her presentation of what science has to say about human and primate history up into the present. Quite a complement book to my physical anthropology class, which can be...a lot to take in. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Connie | 1/24/2014

    " I really struggled to read the last two chapters, but overall really enjoyed the book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lisa | 1/20/2014

    " Although this book is ostensibly about the human animal, I learned a lot of fascinating stuff about other animals. My personal preference would have been to have footnotes for references to other books and scientific papers rather than a chapter by chapter bibliography. That said, I really enjoyed the rich narrative spun with Holmes' delightful command of the English language. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bcoghill Coghill | 1/13/2014

    " Very enjoyable romp thru the "natural history" of the human body. I mean natural history in the 19th century meaning of the words. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jillian | 12/9/2013

    " Abandoned this. It read like a super dry textbook. Blech. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathy | 11/20/2013

    " Highly readable natural science; not an easy thing to pull off. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lesath Scorpii | 11/8/2013

    " Overly cutesy, rife with errors ("meat isotopes"?!) and spelling mistakes, and frankly nihilistic at times. I would not recommend it. There are much better pop sci books on human evolution/ physical anthropology. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ann | 9/30/2013

    " This is an interesting and accessibly written treatment of the physical and behvioral evolution of humans in comparison with that of other animals. I can't say I learned a lot of new stuff here, but I enjoyed it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Skip | 9/29/2013

    " Witty and amusing, like all of her books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John Gordon | 5/31/2013

    " I enjoyed how the author discussed human characteristics based on how we have evolved over millions of years and then placed these in a modern context. This is an easy read of popular science, some chapters are a little slow going but overall this is an interesting and entertaining book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Charise | 3/26/2013

    " Clever, witty, and educational. I need books like this about chemistry and physics! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amy | 3/8/2013

    " Lots of interesting facts presented in a readable format. Nothing earth shattering, but a quick, informative read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tim | 12/31/2011

    " This type of book is right up my alley. Very interesting and full of tidbits that stay with you. We like to think that we humans are so evolved, but much of our behavior fits right in with the rest of the animal kingdom. Good stuff. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ruth | 10/26/2011

    " I'm having a great time reading this book, and lots of things to discuss with my husband, like why owls have to turn their heads to see things, and why do we have hair on our heads? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeff | 6/18/2011

    " I reviewed this book in the Portland Phoenix in January 2009. Here is the link. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jesse | 2/11/2011

    " A natural history of humans. The author usually writes about animals but sets out her to describe herself in the same manner. Well researched, informative, thoughtful and educational. I feel a lot smarter now. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary | 4/22/2009

    " Interesting. I must admit that I skimmed some of the later sections though. "

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About the Narrator

Joyce Bean is an accomplished audiobook narrator and director. In addition to having won eight AudioFile Earphones Awards, she has been nominated multiple times for the prestigious Audie Award. Equally adept at narrating fiction and nonfiction, and she also narrates audiobooks under the name Jane Brown.