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Publisher's Summary

Now in a third edition, Robert M. Sapolsky's acclaimed and successful Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers features new chapters on how stress affects sleep and addiction, as well as new insights into anxiety and personality disorder and the impact of spirituality on managing stress.

As Sapolsky explains, most of us do not lie awake at night worrying about whether we have leprosy or malaria. Instead, the diseases we fear - and the ones that plague us now - are illnesses brought on by the slow accumulation of damage, such as heart disease and cancer. When we worry or experience stress, our body turns on the same physiological responses that an animal's does, but we do not resolve conflict in the same way - through fighting or fleeing. Over time, this activation of a stress response makes us literally sick. Combining cutting-edge research with a healthy dose of good humor and practical advice, Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers explains how prolonged stress causes or intensifies a range of physical and mental afflictions, including depression, ulcers, colitis, heart disease, and more. It also provides essential guidance to controlling our stress responses. This new edition promises to be the most comprehensive and engaging one yet.

©2004 Robert M. Sapolsky (P)2012 Tantor

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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  • bracken
  • mocksville, nc, United States
  • 12-20-13

Excellent and informative

This book was so good I got it in print. The print version has visuals that I missed in the audio version. The book isn't quite as good as his series of lectures- which I highly recommend. The lectures are a bit more personal and interesting. Also, this narrator's voice was a bit annoying. Sapolsky's own voice is much better. I would suggest you buy the lectures (search Sapolsky on audible) and get this book in print (third edition).

34 of 34 people found this review helpful

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The narrator is awful

What did you like best about Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers? What did you like least?

I love Robert Sapolsky and his research, but the narration of this book... I don't know, may be it would be appropriate in some provincial drama theater, but for an audiobook it's completely inappropriate. the narrator's voice rises and falls in volume 5 times per sentence, sometimes in the middle of the word, and as a result some words are too loud and the very next word you have to strain your hearing to understand. If you are driving, the quieter words are completely lost in the road noise, and you have to reconstruct them from the context. All that makes listening very stressful, which is very ironic considering the content. Someone needs to explain to the narrators like this that cheap drama belongs somewhere else, and in an audiobook that is frequently being listened to in places where there's a lot of ambient noise shouting one word and whispering another is not a good idea.

How could the performance have been better?

See above regarding the narration.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Fabulous Book / LOUSY Reader

What didn’t you like about Peter Berkrot’s performance?

Exaggerated emphasis, stagey inflection. Berkot's rollar coaster reading is highly distracting, injects ambiguity as to the meaning of some sentences and ruins the enjoyment of the text. Half David Biencouli, half 1950's William Shatner-- NOT an appropriate voice for scientific material.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Not if Peter Berkot were narrating it. I've already purchased a documentary, based on Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers, and Sapolsky is a far better better, more engaging interpreter of his work than Berkot.

Any additional comments?

Unfortunately, this is a prime example of a wonderful book ruined by a bad reading.I had read this book years ago, love the author, had heard Sapolsk lecture in person, and was really looking forward to what I thought would be a fun review of great material. But Peter Berkot's reading of Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers wrecked my happy anticipation. Many scientific and historical authors make the rounds on TV talk shows or radio interview programs, giving their audience the opportunity to hear them read and/or discuss their manuscript in their own voice. Not all are scintillating lecturers, but they have an engaging enthusiasm for the material which sustains the audience, and which no grade C actor or professional reader ever manages to capture. Whether or not the author is "professional" in reading their material aloud, matters less than hearing the author's own intended inflection, emphasis and enthusiasm. A stagey reading by a professional reader, destroys the mood and introduces ambiguity, causing uncertainty as to the author's meaning in some cases.

21 of 24 people found this review helpful

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  • ANDRÉ
  • ORLANDO, FL, United States
  • 10-05-13

A great pick!

I bought this book in an audible promotion- 3 books with 2 credits. And I am glad I did it. I loved Robert Sapolsky's style, his extensive research and the way he puts it into words and stories. I listened to it as a doctor and, wow!, there were many things I did not know about stress... The reading is easy, and very entertaining. Great book!

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Erica
  • ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA, United States
  • 07-01-13

Ack! Now I'm stressed about how stressed I am!

No, really, this book was extremely well narrated and very interesting. Makes what could be boring medical stuff fun to listen to. Some of us handle the stressors in our modern lives better than others and the author does give tips in the last chapter on how these people do it.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Savdog
  • Annapolis, MD United States
  • 06-14-16

Great information - just too much of it!

This is a very in depth book on stress. You will leave it knowing the precise chemical and neurological responses caused by stress and their impacts on the body. Unfortunately, it was really too much information for me. I would recommend listening to an abridged version.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Should have gotten the abridged version.

Narrator's voice was a bit grating, and most of the content was like a research paper until the end. Nevertheless, the overall message and leanings were good.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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STRESS

Robert Sapolsky explains stress is related to the presence of glucocorticoids (steroid hormones) in the body. However, the meaning of “presence” is like the fable of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Like Goldilocks’ entrance into the bears’ house, glucocorticoids in the body can either be too much or too little. Glucocorticoid presence in the body must be just right to be good for humans. Being just right is dependent on the cause of stress, quantity of glucocorticoid hormones, and the effect of glucocorticoid presence in the body.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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More about the physiology of stress

This book is more about the physiology of stress than coping with stress. It also covers a lot of studies about the impact of stress on animals... some useful, some not (unless you can translate how an animal fighting to be alpha male in a pack would apply in your own life). There was also a lot of technical information about how the body and brain work when stressed.

14 of 18 people found this review helpful

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The book is very long

The book is very very long, even though I listened on 1.5x speed. Also the information presented is very good

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Reesy
  • 05-31-15

Loads of info

Well narrated, funny in places with loads of good info. I'll summarise for you; relax, don't sweat the small stuff, make friends, make love, exercised regularly and don't eat crap.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • stephen whelan
  • 06-19-17

very informative

highly entertaining, jargon free and potentially a life changer.. I would recommend this book to anyone!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • helena
  • 06-18-17

Absolutely Brilliant!

Brilliant book! Accurate, scientific, balanced. Very interesting, educational and insightful! Well read too, the person narrating the book is channeling Sapolsky really well.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-09-17

Awesome

A great audiobook full facts drawn from interesting studies and delivered in a captivating style.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Paul McCullough
  • 08-31-16

Amazing book. highly scientific.

Sapolsky is a fantastic teacher, in this book he gives an excellent map of a stress territory, it explains many aspects of our daily life in how to cope with it.

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  • Charlott
  • 04-24-16

My favorite author!

I am a big fan of Dr Robert Sapolsky. This book is very fascinating.

Dr Sapolsky takes his reader on a great journey. I watch a lot of his lectures on YouTube.

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  • Carol
  • 01-05-15

Interesting Stuff

Wow, interesting if a little depressing at points. But I'm now definitely better informed about glucocorticoids! Didn't enjoy the narration.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • bruna
  • 07-06-16

loved it

I love the style, lots of info. great stiries and explanations of streess and its havoc in the body. Thank you for your hard work. me and my patients are greateful to you

0 of 1 people found this review helpful