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The Awakened Ape: A Biohacker's Guide to Evolutionary Fitness, Natural Ecstasy, and Stress-Free Living

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  606 ratings  ·  67 reviews
What secrets do Amazonian tribes, Himalayan hermits, and enlightened monks know about health and happiness that have been lost to the world today?

In The Awakened Ape Jevan Pradas uses evolutionary psychology to hack the human mind and body to answer the question: "How can we enjoy life to the fullest?
Kindle Edition, 291 pages
Published January 11th 2017 (first published 2017)
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Rif A. Saurous
Feb 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
You know the drill. The paleo story: blahblahblah adapted for nomadic tribal hunter gather life blahblahblah in some ways hunter-gatherers had it better blahblahblah sleep lots lift heavy things don't eat processed foods blahblahblah. And the Buddhist story: Attachment and craving cause suffering, which we can mitigate (or by some accounts eliminate) via meditation. This book puts the stories together, arguing that primitive hunter-gatherers didn't suffer in the Buddhist sense. Two great stories ...more
Apr 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
I’ve always liked people who think for themselves. Those who look at life objectively and originally, who consider alternatives and use rational reflection to inform their own perception. I think it’s important to question the “why” of things. To try not to mindlessly exist, following the path of least resistance and behaving in a pre-ordained, predictable pattern like so many others.

Go to school, pass your exams, go to university, get a job, get married, get a house, have kids, etc. There is n
Jan 22, 2019 rated it it was ok
Couldn't get past the borderline misogyny

I wanted to like this book, I was hoping for a fresh take on some unoriginal ideas. As an anthropology major, it was difficult to read some of the anecdotes that the author is trying to correlate with causation. I realize this isn't a textbook, but still, the sweeping, oversimplified, and almost problematic ideas posited by the author are almost laughable at times. Sprinkled throughout, there are so many derogatory references to women, I honestly can't be
Joshua Barton
Jan 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Not a typical bio hacking book

This is a good read. Goes quickly. Not your typical bio hacking book. This is more about living a paleo life (not just nutritionally) with mediation thrown on top.

The beginning and ending thirds are very strong. In the middle third (roughly), the author comes across as a horny college-aged stoner. Some of the science is a bit thin in a few areas and the author doesn't completely understand what he is citing.

Despite the negatives, the good parts are so strong that I
Joseph Slape
Apr 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Claim your birthright.

I throughly enjoyed reading this book. It reminded me that our modern day society is not in line with the way we were meant to be. Plenty of tips to help get back to being a real human, as close as possible at least. I'll probably be giving this another read through in the near future.
Michael Wayne Hampton
Jun 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
good overview of how to incorporate evolutionary health and mindfulness practices into everyday life
Joe Flynn
Dec 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
A very generous 2* at that. A lot of this is trash in both style and content, made worse by the sense that the author knows better - at least for the content parts. Fast an loose with science, reason, argumentation, anthropology, and evidence, despite knowing better.

Some of the writing, especially the stories of his sexual conquests, is repulsive, condescending, and gross. I feel it is not a book women will enjoy. I could see male teenage virgins enjoying it though, and I actually think much of
Sean Burke
Aug 18, 2018 rated it did not like it
This one really cannot be recommended. Poorly constructed logic and primitive thinking pervades, while some of the research presented was in fact interesting, the lazy use of language is insulting to his readers’ intellect.

While there’s a few nuggets in there, the idea that the only enlightened beings today can or should all be Paleo meat chugging heterosexual, “bros” was so off putting and exactly opposite from Buddhism that the number of times I noticed my eyes rolling made me wish the next p
Bon Tom
Dec 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Really good, makes perfect sense in almost every aspect. There's even clear recipe for how to solve the human "cultured" situation, which was not coded in our genes.

Although, I'm not completely sold on that "no wash" idea :) It perfectly logical, but I'm not sure I could power through that mid-phase in which I'm still out of balance and contaminate my environment with my stink, alienating everybody who comes in vicinity.

Females, though... Exactly two (2) times in my whole life did I sample that
Jan 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
First off, to clear things up, this is not another Paleo cookbook, nor is it your average self-help book. This book goes much deeper into the social and psychological factors that we all should consider in our pursuits to be happy humans. Jevan Pradas does this spectacularly by blending in the scientific and anthropological data with funny short stories. These short stories will have you rolling on the floor laughing like a Piraha one second (you'll get this joke after reading the book) and pond ...more
Aug 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Very Knowledgeable Book

Very Informative Book that makes you Think and Change your Lifestyle. Every Page makes Sense. Had a Great Impact on Me. I Strongly Suggest this Book. One of the Best Books I read.
May 27, 2020 rated it did not like it
This is watered-down Paleo and bullshit meditation for the pickup artist crowd.

Skip this book. You will learn far more from any of the Paleo blogs and small Buddhist handbooks out there than you will from this book. The research is a tepid sampler of cherry-picked armchair anecdotes and as a result, the conclusions are quite shaky. There's more than a whiff of old-school Colonialism (weird!). Yuval Noah Hirari's work makes this book look like a reddit meme. As many have pointed out, the author i
Miles Zilesnick
May 19, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: rebel-book-club
Whereas some of this book is interesting, it is completely ruined by the author's constant misogyny the whole way through the book and shame tactics to live a "better life". He does have some interesting points on meditation, but he is obsessed with sex and positioning women as objects, and it's cringey at points to read.
Charlotte Adams
May 17, 2020 rated it did not like it
Didn't enjoy this book, seemed under researched and laddish. Not what I was expecting at all...
Crystal Johnson
Feb 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Found this book interesting. It's not all about the paleo diet as one reviewer said, although nutrition is brought up. We ALL know that eating natural foods are better than processed foods. That our modern diet is making us fatter and more unhealthy. He goes deeper into WHY we eat these natural foods and a core reason is so that we have the happy hormones be released (serotonin & dopamine). Indigenous people did not suffer the same ailments we do. They did not suffer obesity. They did not suffer ...more
Alex Devero
Jul 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-development
This book was a nice surprise. Unlike many other books about biohacking, this doesn't try to push you anything high-tech that would cost you a fortune. Instead, it goes back to the roots of humankind and shows what "hacks" can we learn from currently living tribal societies as well as our ancestors. The book starts with asking the question many people ask: "what is the meaning of life?" Then, Jevan explores daily habits of tribes such as Pygmies, New World Savages, Cannibals, Masai and Piraha. A ...more
Aug 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
May 16, 2019 rated it liked it
I guess it takes much more than the cheesy self help books style enthusiasm to awake me, so I didn't find this book particular enlightening or mind opening. I gave it a generous 3 stars for the first somewhat entertaining part of the book, the second was irritating beyond belief! What I found especially frustrating with these books that promote paleo or pre agriculture lifestyle is the simple fact that there are very few evidence that this was actually benefiting humans and , most importantly, t ...more
Nov 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Big Ideas:

+ There are several disconnects (or mismatches) between modern society and the hunter gatherer (HG) societies in which humans evolved. These disconnects cause us many problems but some of these can be corrected for
- HG societies are not very hierarchical, but modern society is rife with hierarchy. HG society is egalitarian, since everyone has to share food and resources for survival. Coercion is frowned upon to the point that parents often don’t even keep their children from imminent d
May 21, 2020 rated it it was ok
It is disappointing to write a negative review on a book that overall (minus Paleo) provides a message I would agree with. I found the book seriously lacking and its tone, at times patronising, really grated at me. The arguments were not presented in a balanced way, the book tried to capture too much and its light conversational language came across as immature – this combination really affected the quality in my eyes. The only thing I liked is description of the Positivity Challenge, something ...more
Jun 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A nice read

A good reminder of how we've evolved as a species,and how we need to live in order to return to our primordial's sure to awaken you to a new state of consciousness.loved it!
Brian Rugroden
Jun 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Good introduction

Not a bad read! Good introduction and i liked how he incorporated both paleo and Buddhist meditation lifestyles. It's a good mix.
May 12, 2020 rated it did not like it
This book was immensely frustrating and can only be described as a brilliant example of how not to write about either science or philosophy. The author seems to make two entirely separate arguments - half of the book was about paleo living but was seemingly based in anecdote rather than evidence (I found myself shouting 'citation needed' at it more than once); the other half consisted of badly, badly misunderstood Buddhism. The author also doesn't coherently link the two strands of his argument ...more
Shhhhh Ahhhhh
Dec 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Not a lot of new information for me here. Rehashing lots of stuff I'm already familiar with. Flow, meditation benefits, forest bathing, the not self, squatting to poop, spinal alignment, exercise (and specifically exercise connected to flow triggers like competition), sebum response cycles to use of shampoo, monogamy/ polyamory, natural sleep cycles, the quality of life enjoyed by aboriginals once they pass infancy, shamanism as properly channeled schizophrenia, psychedelic usage, and the inesca ...more
Bastard Travel
Dec 23, 2018 rated it liked it
SECOND READ: Knocked off a star for the cringey purple prose. Conceptually still solid, even if the book is science-adjacent at best. Cite your sources and save the poetry for your workshop, Encino Man.

The intersection of neuroscience and Buddhism as explained by a surprisingly well-read wook. It's a real hard to put down, but take it with a grain of salt.

Yes, regular exercise, good nutrition, a social support network, and meditation will moderate your hormone profile, and you'll exp
Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
"Enlightened" Dude Bro lectures us on how Hunter/Gatherers are the best type of society, and if you want to be happy you should eat a Paleo diet, do Buddhist meditation 2 hours a day, also give up using soap and deodorant. All a bit juvenile.
Linda Lamthong
Mar 06, 2020 rated it it was ok
The meditation concepts are well written and interesting but I just can’t take the author seriously cos he keeps going on and on about banging chicks every other chapter 😂
Apr 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
The Awakened Ape is a sublime book that is potentially life changing.

That being said I didn't like everything that was written. I will not focus on the good aspects of the book in my review because they are too many to mention so I will be only focusing on the things I did not like.

1) Him redefining hedonism at the start of the book didn't sit well with me. Hedonism, as a philosophical definition--which has also been mentioned by Jevan--is to "Maximize pleasure and minimize pain". He mentions t
Melissa Timberman
Apr 17, 2019 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 30, 2020 rated it it was ok
Really difficult review to write. Overall the concept/basis of the book and main ideas made sense, we are increasingly living in artificial environments and that brings on a host of problems: “just as our physical health will decline from the sedentary lifestyle we have adopted in the modern world, our mental health is an equal peril from this unnatural environment we find ourselves in". With this I agree and enjoyed the comparisons with HG societies and options to fix it.

However then we go into
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