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Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

Discover this remarkable account of 21 years in remote Kenya with a troop of Savannah baboons from the New York Times best-selling author of Behave.

Brooklyn-born Robert Sapolsky grew up wishing he could live in the primate diorama in the Museum of Natural History. At school he wrote fan letters to primatologists and even taught himself Swahili, all with the hope of one day joining his primate brethren in Africa. But when, at the age of 21, Sapolky's dream finally comes true, he discovers that the African bush bears little resemblance to the tranquillity of a museum. 

This is the story of the next 21 years as Sapolsky slowly infiltrates and befriends a troop of Savannah baboons. Alone in the middle of the Serengeti with no electricity, running water or telephone, and surviving countless scams, culinary atrocities and a surreal kidnapping, Sapolsky becomes ever more enamoured with his adopted baboon troop - unique and compelling characters in their own right - and he returns to them summer after summer, until tragedy finally prevails. 

Exhilarating, hilarious and poignant, A Primate's Memoir is a uniquely honest window into the coming-of-age of one of our greatest scientific minds.

©2001 Robert M Sapolsky (P)2021 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"One of the best scientist-writers of our time." (Oliver Sacks)

"A Primate's Memoir is the closest the baboon is likely to come - and it's plenty close enough - to having its own Iliad." (New York Times Review of Books)

What listeners say about A Primate's Memoir

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good book ruined by narrator

narrator was absolutely horrible, sounds like text to speech, wish sapolsky would have narrated instead

narrator killed enjoyment, very dead delivery.

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  • Øyvind Hansen
  • 29-03-22

Highly recommended

A fantastic memoir of a scientist's time in Kenya, full of anecdotes about people, baboons and science. Some parts were hilariously funny, at times it was sad and heartbreaking. I enjoyed it from start to end.