Regular price: $19.95

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

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.

©2013 William J. (Chip) Walter Jr. (P)2014 Audible Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    41
  • 4 Stars
    23
  • 3 Stars
    10
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    1

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    37
  • 4 Stars
    20
  • 3 Stars
    6
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    2

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    46
  • 4 Stars
    16
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    0
Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Harmed by the Narration

Is there anything you would change about this book?

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

Has Last Ape Standing turned you off from other books in this genre?

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.

Would you be willing to try another one of Bernard Clark and Teresa DeBerry ’s performances?

I will probably avoid Ms. DeBerry's performances in the future.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • kgohl
  • WORCESTER, VT, United States
  • 10-23-15

Drama

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

amazing

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • SvZ
  • Charlotte, NC
  • 04-09-17

Great Story, Poor Narration

Would you try another book from Chip Walter and/or Bernard Clark and Teresa DeBerry ?

Would definitely read anything by Chip Walter - well researched and deeply insightful.

What other book might you compare Last Ape Standing to and why?

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.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

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.

Do you think Last Ape Standing needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

Sure, there is many areas this books could lead into - a deeper review of Neanderthal civilization might be one such topic.

Any additional comments?

If the topic wasn't so interesting, the narrator could've easily killed this book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful Listen

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.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

This was my second reading of this book

Would you listen to Last Ape Standing again? Why?

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.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

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.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful