Regular price: $31.49

Free with 30-day trial
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
Select or Add a new payment method

Buy Now with 1 Credit

By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Buy Now for $31.49

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

"I had never planned to become a savanna baboon when I grew up; instead, I had always assumed I would become a mountain gorilla," writes Robert Sapolsky in this witty and riveting chronicle of a scientist's coming-of-age in remote Africa. An exhilarating account of Sapolsky's twenty-one-year study of a troop of rambunctious baboons in Kenya, A Primate's Memoir interweaves serious scientific observations with wry commentary about the challenges and pleasures of living in the wilds of the Serengeti-for man and beast alike.
Over two decades, Sapolsky survives culinary atrocities, gunpoint encounters, and a surreal kidnapping, while witnessing the encroachment of the tourist mentality on the farthest vestiges of unspoiled Africa. As he conducts unprecedented physiological research on wild primates, he becomes ever more enamored of his subjects - unique and compelling characters in their own right - and he returns to them summer after summer, until tragedy finally prevents him. By turns hilarious and poignant, A Primate's Memoir is a magnum opus from one of our foremost science writers.
©2001 Robert M. Sapolsky (P)2013 Tantor
Show More Show Less

Critic Reviews

"Filled with cynicism and awe, passion and humor, this memoir is both an absorbing account of a young man's growing maturity and a tribute to the continent that, despite its troubles and extremes, held him in its thrall." (Publishers Weekly, Starred Review)
"Mike Chamberlain narrates this work by primatologist Robert M. Sapolsky, who went to Kenya to study baboons. Chamberlain's lively, bemused tone communicates Sapolsky's down-to-earth approach and sense of humor. Sapolsky's writing is eminently approachable for the layperson, and the listener soon begins to feel acquainted with the various baboons in the troop and to see certain similarities between their behavior and those of the human world. Through the amusing moments and the trials and tribulations, Chamberlain's energetic narration provides a great complement to the author's quirky personality." (AudioFile)
Show More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Jan on 07-06-15

One of the best books I've ever read.

I admit I went in biased having watched all his youtube lectures and read his other books, but this book was so satisfying as a narrative and so beautifully written, I'm having trouble recalling when I've ever enjoyed a book so much. "To Kill a Mockingbird" comes to mind as a perfect piece of literature. This book is so close, I'll probably think of it as my second all time favourite from now on. The only thing that would have made it better for me would be to have it read by Sapolsky. But the narration was good anyway.

Read More Hide me

46 of 49 people found this review helpful


By Robin A. Gower on 03-05-15

Compelling, humane, intelligent

This book, part memoir, part science, part philosophy, touched me deeply and taught me much about the tragicomedy of primate lives.

Read More Hide me

36 of 40 people found this review helpful

See all Reviews

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Gabriel Jianu on 06-07-17

Great book

Very intresting and often times funny. The reader does a fairly good job as well.

Read More Hide me

By Amazon Customer on 03-06-17

Beautiful story well told

A mix of science, wildlife, travel and just plain humour. A really enjoyable listen from a very engaging author. Highly recommend

Read More Hide me
See all Reviews

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Martin Martin on 05-03-15

Unexpected amazement

It was an amazing narrative with a great mix between his work and his experiences with the people whom lived nearby. Humorous and dramatic at just the right times to keep you coming for more.

Read More Hide me
See all Reviews
© Copyright 1997 - 2017 Audible, Inc