We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
Last Ape Standing Audiobook

Last Ape Standing: The Seven Million-Year Story of How and Why We Survived

Regular Price:$19.95
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

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.

Download the accompanying reference guide.

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (69 )
5 star
 (36)
4 star
 (22)
3 star
 (8)
2 star
 (2)
1 star
 (1)
Overall
4.6 (60 )
5 star
 (40)
4 star
 (15)
3 star
 (3)
2 star
 (2)
1 star
 (0)
Story
4.2 (62 )
5 star
 (31)
4 star
 (20)
3 star
 (5)
2 star
 (4)
1 star
 (2)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Steve OBrien Calgary 09-21-16
    Steve OBrien Calgary 09-21-16 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
  •  
    kgohl WORCESTER, VT, United States 10-23-15
    kgohl WORCESTER, VT, United States 10-23-15 Member Since 2010

    I'm a retired book editor who likes to grumble about things.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    75
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    157
    27
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
  •  
    Cpl Punishment 03-03-17 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Brown 04-09-16
    M. Brown 04-09-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "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
  •  
    S. van Zyl Charlotte, NC 04-09-17
    S. van Zyl Charlotte, NC 04-09-17 Member Since 2017
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steve E Hambric 12-04-16 Member Since 2017
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    uvejota 12-29-14
    uvejota 12-29-14

    Lectora todoterreno y bibliotecaria semántica, porque 2.0 ya no es in. Consultora en bibliotecología, libro electrónico y gestión de info.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    20
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
  •  
    Craig 06-19-14
    Craig 06-19-14

    I like to listen to business, self-development, behavioural and books that challenge my perspective

    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    59
    14
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
  •  
    Amazon Customer Atlanta, GA United States 05-28-14
    Amazon Customer Atlanta, GA United States 05-28-14 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    21
    10
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.