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  • Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers

  • The Acclaimed Guide to Stress, Stress-Related Diseases, and Coping - Now Revised and Updated
  • By: Robert Sapolsky
  • Narrated by: Peter Berkrot
  • Length: 17 hrs and 16 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (270 ratings)

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Summary

Now in a third edition, Robert M. Sapolsky's acclaimed and successful Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers features new chapters on how stress affects sleep and addiction, as well as new insights into anxiety and personality disorder and the impact of spirituality on managing stress.

As Sapolsky explains, most of us do not lie awake at night worrying about whether we have leprosy or malaria. Instead, the diseases we fear - and the ones that plague us now - are illnesses brought on by the slow accumulation of damage, such as heart disease and cancer. When we worry or experience stress, our body turns on the same physiological responses that an animal's does, but we do not resolve conflict in the same way - through fighting or fleeing. Over time, this activation of a stress response makes us literally sick. Combining cutting-edge research with a healthy dose of good humor and practical advice, Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers explains how prolonged stress causes or intensifies a range of physical and mental afflictions, including depression, ulcers, colitis, heart disease, and more. It also provides essential guidance to controlling our stress responses. This new edition promises to be the most comprehensive and engaging one yet.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2004 Robert M. Sapolsky (P)2012 Tantor

What listeners say about Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers

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Loads of info

Well narrated, funny in places with loads of good info. I'll summarise for you; relax, don't sweat the small stuff, make friends, make love, exercised regularly and don't eat crap.

14 people found this helpful

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very informative

highly entertaining, jargon free and potentially a life changer.. I would recommend this book to anyone!

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Absolutely Brilliant!

Brilliant book! Accurate, scientific, balanced. Very interesting, educational and insightful! Well read too, the person narrating the book is channeling Sapolsky really well.

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Awesome

A great audiobook full facts drawn from interesting studies and delivered in a captivating style.

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Amazing book. highly scientific.

Sapolsky is a fantastic teacher, in this book he gives an excellent map of a stress territory, it explains many aspects of our daily life in how to cope with it.

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Interesting Stuff

Wow, interesting if a little depressing at points. But I'm now definitely better informed about glucocorticoids! Didn't enjoy the narration.

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Good book about stress

As usual great book by Robert Sapolsky.
Narration is also good IMO, not too fast, easy to understand everything.

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makes you think

This really makes you think in a different way. What I love most is Sapolsky is so compassionate about those with the least resources in society to change their dynamics and find peace and health. Obviously a bible fir therapists and social workers.

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A gem of a book

A fabulous book, written by a brilliant author and well read. Sapolsky struck a fine balance between providing technical detail and making the information accessible while at the same time injecting humour. I enjoyed the narration immensely.

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Absolutely Brilliant!

One of the best books! I thought the narrator was so funny and enjoyable to listen to!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 15-12-14

The narrator is awful

What did you like best about Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers? What did you like least?

I love Robert Sapolsky and his research, but the narration of this book... I don't know, may be it would be appropriate in some provincial drama theater, but for an audiobook it's completely inappropriate. the narrator's voice rises and falls in volume 5 times per sentence, sometimes in the middle of the word, and as a result some words are too loud and the very next word you have to strain your hearing to understand. If you are driving, the quieter words are completely lost in the road noise, and you have to reconstruct them from the context. All that makes listening very stressful, which is very ironic considering the content. Someone needs to explain to the narrators like this that cheap drama belongs somewhere else, and in an audiobook that is frequently being listened to in places where there's a lot of ambient noise shouting one word and whispering another is not a good idea.

How could the performance have been better?

See above regarding the narration.

69 people found this helpful

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  • bracken
  • 20-12-13

Excellent and informative

This book was so good I got it in print. The print version has visuals that I missed in the audio version. The book isn't quite as good as his series of lectures- which I highly recommend. The lectures are a bit more personal and interesting. Also, this narrator's voice was a bit annoying. Sapolsky's own voice is much better. I would suggest you buy the lectures (search Sapolsky on audible) and get this book in print (third edition).

65 people found this helpful

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  • Wise & Careful Shopper
  • 29-06-13

Fabulous Book / LOUSY Reader

What didn’t you like about Peter Berkrot’s performance?

Exaggerated emphasis, stagey inflection. Berkot's rollar coaster reading is highly distracting, injects ambiguity as to the meaning of some sentences and ruins the enjoyment of the text. Half David Biencouli, half 1950's William Shatner-- NOT an appropriate voice for scientific material.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Not if Peter Berkot were narrating it. I've already purchased a documentary, based on Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers, and Sapolsky is a far better better, more engaging interpreter of his work than Berkot.

Any additional comments?

Unfortunately, this is a prime example of a wonderful book ruined by a bad reading.I had read this book years ago, love the author, had heard Sapolsk lecture in person, and was really looking forward to what I thought would be a fun review of great material. But Peter Berkot's reading of Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers wrecked my happy anticipation. Many scientific and historical authors make the rounds on TV talk shows or radio interview programs, giving their audience the opportunity to hear them read and/or discuss their manuscript in their own voice. Not all are scintillating lecturers, but they have an engaging enthusiasm for the material which sustains the audience, and which no grade C actor or professional reader ever manages to capture. Whether or not the author is "professional" in reading their material aloud, matters less than hearing the author's own intended inflection, emphasis and enthusiasm. A stagey reading by a professional reader, destroys the mood and introduces ambiguity, causing uncertainty as to the author's meaning in some cases.

39 people found this helpful

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  • A. Yoshida
  • 12-01-14

More about the physiology of stress

This book is more about the physiology of stress than coping with stress. It also covers a lot of studies about the impact of stress on animals... some useful, some not (unless you can translate how an animal fighting to be alpha male in a pack would apply in your own life). There was also a lot of technical information about how the body and brain work when stressed.

16 people found this helpful

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  • ANDRÉ
  • 05-10-13

A great pick!

I bought this book in an audible promotion- 3 books with 2 credits. And I am glad I did it. I loved Robert Sapolsky's style, his extensive research and the way he puts it into words and stories. I listened to it as a doctor and, wow!, there were many things I did not know about stress... The reading is easy, and very entertaining. Great book!

13 people found this helpful

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  • Nobody's business
  • 30-01-14

Some good points, but a stressful listen

I wasn't thrilled about this one, but I did learn a few things. Mostly I learned what happens in our bodies when we encounter stress, how many things can influence stressful reactions, and how bad stress is for our bodies.

DO NOT LISTEN TO THIS IF YOU ARE STRESSED! There is even a point in the book where the author says something that amounts to: "If you aren't stressed out by now, you haven't been listening." So much for the "coping" part of the advertisement for the book.

HOWEVER, if you are stressed and you don't know what is causing it, you may find the answer in this book. If you really want to know about the hormonal changes that take place in your body when you are stressed, this is the book for you. If you need more evidence that an angry disposition is bad for your body, please listen to this audiobook. BUT...don't look to this book for stress relief. The author doesn't really approach that topic - he deals primarily with stress itself.

I must say that having a better understanding of what is going on when I get stressed may help me in the long run, but listening to the description of it was very stressful. The narration was OK - not stellar, not horrible. I sped it up to get through it because this book was stressing me out.

I also didn't appreciate the use of pornographic quotes (somewhere around the end of chapter 2 or beginning of chapter 3 if you want to skip it) to demonstrate stress during sexual arousal. Also...don't listen to this without headphones if children are around, there is a lot about sex in this book. Most of it is scientific, but I thought that going into the sex lives of hyenas was a bit much. (No, I'm not kidding. He did that.)

On the other hand, I have to give him kudos for approaching the touchy, but very real, topic of self blame for diseases like cancer when patients believe or have been led to believe that their own stress habits or their lack of belief in thier own ability to cure themselves are the cause of the diseases they face. I agree with the author that that sort of "stress relief" taught by people who would profit from it is cruel and very damaging.

On the whole, listen to this audiobook for scientific purposes, but if you're stressed out, find another book.

12 people found this helpful

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  • Kenneth Harvey
  • 11-01-16

Should have gotten the abridged version.

Narrator's voice was a bit grating, and most of the content was like a research paper until the end. Nevertheless, the overall message and leanings were good.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Erica
  • 01-07-13

Ack! Now I'm stressed about how stressed I am!

No, really, this book was extremely well narrated and very interesting. Makes what could be boring medical stuff fun to listen to. Some of us handle the stressors in our modern lives better than others and the author does give tips in the last chapter on how these people do it.

10 people found this helpful

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  • CHET YARBROUGH
  • 14-06-14

STRESS

Robert Sapolsky explains stress is related to the presence of glucocorticoids (steroid hormones) in the body. However, the meaning of “presence” is like the fable of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Like Goldilocks’ entrance into the bears’ house, glucocorticoids in the body can either be too much or too little. Glucocorticoid presence in the body must be just right to be good for humans. Being just right is dependent on the cause of stress, quantity of glucocorticoid hormones, and the effect of glucocorticoid presence in the body.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Emily
  • 16-02-13

I wanted to get through it but quit halfway

Would you try another book from Robert M. Sapolsky and/or Peter Berkrot?

I got tired of the arrogant tone and over use (and over emphasis) of the word "moreover." The content was interesting, but perhaps better suited to print/ebook format.

I may read Sapolsky in print in the future, but won't be buying audio books narrated by Berkrot.

How could the performance have been better?

Less arrogant tone.

5 people found this helpful