And Other Lessons in Our Lives as Animals
Funny, serious, important essays about how the human animal functions.
Described by Oliver Sacks as “one of the best scientist-writers of our time”, Robert M. Sapolsky here presents the human animal in all its quirkiness and diversity.
In these remarkable essays, Sapolsky once again deploys his compassion and insights into the human condition to tell us who, why and how we are. MONKEYLUV touches on themes such as sexuality, aggression, love, parenting, religion, ageing, and mental illness. He ponders such topics as our need to seek out beauty; why our preferences in food become fixed; why we are sexually attracted to one another; why Alzheimer's disease tends to be a post-menopausal phenomenon; and why grandmothers buying groceries for their grandchildren are part of nature's Darwinian logic.
“The prose is perfectly pitched: Sapolsky writes in a jocular, entertaining style without ever pandering to the presumed ignorance of his readers. And he expresses infectious enthusiasm, especially when he is reporting on new experiments performed by colleagues in his field”
Steven Poole, Guardian
“Sapolsky, who has a weakness for Martian jokes, is a bona fide boffin, but he looks beyond the lab for his case studies, assembling a cast that includes Sandra Bullock and a love-struck baboon named Jonathan. This highly readable book will both inform and enlarge your appreciation of the mystery of existence”
Mail on Sunday
“The author of Monkeyluv, an entertaining collection of essays about humans and animals, is also a luminary among that rare breed -- the funny scientist. Essays -- on genetic wars between men and women, dreams, bad moods, ambiguity and stress -- are...a combination of Oliver Sacks and David Foster Wallace”
Los Angeles Times
“Sapolsky gives us these and many more intriguing gene factoids, but he also explains the elaborate nature/nurture interactions in which they are embedded...the book is a witty blend of anecdote and analysis”
Rita Carter, Daily Mail