The Well-Dressed Ape: A Natural History of Myself Horror Book Review
Featured Book Review: Darkbound
Darkbound is an amazing book. Michaelbrent Collings outdid himself with this book. It is not at all what I thought it would be. I took three nights to finish this book because I stayed up way past my bedtime. Darkbound was so suspenseful that I just kept on reading to…
Horror books Review
The well-dressed ape, akaHomo sapiens, is a strange mammal. It mates remarkably often, and with unprecedented affection. With similar enthusiasm, it will eat to the point of undermining its own health–behavior unthinkable in wild animals. The human marks its territory with doors, fences, and plastic flamingos, yet if it’s too isolated it becomes depressed. It thinks of itself as complex, intelligent, and in every way superior to other animals–but is it, really?
With wit, humility, and penetrating insight, science journalist Hannah Holmes casts the inquisitive eye of a trained researcher and reporter on . . . herself. And not just herself, but on our whole species–what Shakespeare called “the paragon of animals.” In this surprising, humorous, and edifying book, Holmes explores how the human animal–the eponymous well-dressed ape–fits into the natural world, even as we humans change that world in both constructive and destructive ways.
Comparing and contrasting the biology and behavior of humans with that of other creatures, Holmes demonstrates our position as an animal among other animals, a product of–and subject to–the same evolutionary processes. And not only are we animals–we are, in some important ways (such as our senses of smell and of vision), pitiably inferior ones. That such an animal came to exist at all is unlikely. That we have survived and prospered is extraordinary.
At the same time, Holmes reveals the ways in which Homo sapiens stands apart from other mammals and, indeed, all other animals. Despite the vast common ground we share with our fellow creatures, there are significant areas in which we are unique. No other animal, as far as we know, shares the human capacity for self-reflective thought or our talent for changing ourselves or our environment in response to natural challenges and opportunities. One result of these extraordinary characteristics is the spread of our species across the entire planet; another, unfortunately, is global warming.
Deftly mixing personal stories and observations with the latest scientific theories and research results, Hannah Holmes has fashioned an engaging and informative field guide to that oddest and yet most fascinating of primates: ourselves.